It’s a popular time to adopt a pet, so make sure you’re off to a great start

November-followed-on-the-heels-of-October-as-a-great-time-to-adopt-a-pet-_16000425_800910740_0_0_14068238_300November followed on the heels of October as a great time to adopt a pet. Shelters nationwide reported an increase in pet adoptions during October, which is the American Humane Society’s  Adopt-A-Dog Month. In November, shelters again asked local citizens to take an interest in adoption during Adopt-A-Senior-Pet Month. When pet owners bring home a cat or dog, they should take steps to make sure their new animal friends feel welcome.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals suggested that pet owners prepare for their new animal before they even bring him or her home. This means stocking up on pet care supplies, divvying up responsibilities and establishing house rules.These rules could include if the new family member is allowed on furniture or not, what behaviors are encouraged and if he or she is allowed “people food.” It’s best for pet owners to also make a veterinarian appointment before they pick up their new four-legged friend. The appointment should be scheduled within one week after adoption.

Petfinder has some suggestions for pet owners once a new dog or cat is home. Pet owners adopting cats should give them a small space or room that houses their litter box. They can consider this room their own, so they won’t be overwhelmed by everything. As cats become more comfortable and are ready to explore the rest of the house, pet owners should remind family members to not startle their new furry friend. Pet owners can provide toys around the house to help cats feel more at home.

When dogs come home to their new families, it’s best for pet owners to start establishing rules and expected behaviors as soon as they get into the car. It’s dangerous for dogs to ride in the front seat, so he or she should ride in the back or in a crate. Pet owners should go straight home and avoid any stops where they’d have to leave Fido alone in the car.

When pet owners arrive home with their new dog, they should have him or her use the bathroom outside before they enter. Once inside, the dog should get to explore the home at his or her own pace, and be shown a space that will have something familiar in it, such as a towel from the shelter.

Pet adoption can be a fun but anxious time for animals and their new families. Pet owners should make sure it goes smoothly to start the relationship off on the right foot.