Looking to bring home your first pet, but not sure where to start? We have the answers you need! Learn about what you should expect and do before and after you pick up your new family member.
Recent studies have shown that, “about 3.9 million animals are abandoned or surrendered to shelters every year” (The Zebra, 2023). Adopting an animal is one of the most rewarding journeys you can take as a new pet owner. Giving an animal an opportunity to experience a new life and forever home is life changing. Gulf Coast Humane Society is committed to educating the public on everything they need to know about pet adoption. That said, today we will discuss the most frequently asked questions that first-time adopters tend to ask when researching everything they need to know and do before bringing their new pet home.
How should I prepare my home for my new pet?
It should be your top priority to ensure that your home is pet-proofed prior to your new companion’s arrival. Your new pet will be very curious and want to investigate their new area, so make sure they are safe when you are not present. Start by making sure any harmful chemicals or foods are out of reach and out of sight. Next, try to identify any electric wires that have easy accessibility. Even if your new pet does not have any interest in wires, it is better to take this precaution now before it is too late. Shoes, furniture, and other personal items can be damaged by new pets when you first bring them home. Until their habits can be identified, take precautions to ensure your property isn’t damaged. A quick solution is using bitter cherry spray on objects. This spray is non-toxic and non-staining, and only alters the taste of these objects, deterring animals from chewing on them. It is also important to make sure you have the appropriate supplies for your pet before you bring them home. This can include new toys, bedding, food and water bowls, treats, and much more. The more you prepare for your pet, the more confident you will be when you first bring them home!
How do I make sure my pet receives proper healthcare?
It is important to note that all the animals here at Gulf Coast Humane Society are fully vaccinated by our amazing clinic staff with their age-appropriate vaccines and microchipped to ensure they are ready for their new families. To make sure you are keeping your new pet up to date on all their vaccines check out our list of veterinarian offices around Corpus Christi that can be the perfect fit for your new companion! However, unexpected vet visits can be costly. To combat these costs, we suggest utilizing Good Charlie energy. Good Charlie provides 24/7 video call vet visits and covers up to $750 on any emergency vet visits. They also round up your monthly energy bill and donate it to a rescue partner (such as GCHS) at no additional cost to their customers!
What should I bring when I first pick up my new pet?
Make sure you bring a carrier or crate so your new pet can be safely secured during your drive home. This ensures the safety of your pet on their new journey and prevents them from causing any accidents during the car ride. If your vehicle is too small to contain a large crate for transport, then provide a seatbelt that will secure your pet to the back seat. If you don’t have these items don’t worry! We provide slip leads and cat boxes for all adopters.
How long does it take for my new pet to adjust in my home?
It typically takes about 3 weeks for your pet to adjust to their new environment and 3 months for them to adjust to your routine. While this is standard for most animals, it is important to remember that not everyone has the same background. A history of neglect, abuse, and more can factor into the amount of time it takes for an animal to get well-adjusted to their new home. However, it is important to not let this discourage you from adopting. This is the case with any new pet that you bring into your home. Relationships take time and patience to ensure they work, and your pet deserves that same opportunity. All of our adopters are asked to register with Maddie’s Pet Assistant. This app allows you to frequently update with the latest information on your pet’s progress in their new home. Any minor issues you report are given solutions within the app. All important information is reviewed by our staff, so in case of any emergency situations, we will contact you directly for more information.
When should I start training?
Start as soon as you get home! Starting training as soon as you come home makes sure your new pet understands immediately what behavior is unacceptable. By delaying training, even by just a week, it can encourage your pet to start bad habits. These habits can be harder to train out of your pet once you start training, so be prepared! Starting with basic obedience training and potty training is a perfect place to start before starting any classes with professional trainers. At Gulf Coast Humane Society, we provide our own “Puppy 101” classes. These free educational classes are led by our certified dog trainer and give first-time puppy owners the opportunity to learn how to handle them! Another option we provide is GoodPup. This virtual 8-week program includes one-on-one training that allows owners to video call a dog trainer. With your adoption, your first week of GoodPup training is free, and the remaining weeks are 20% off!
It is important to remember that not every animal that comes into the shelter has a history of abuse or neglect. Most of our intake animals were just abandoned or homeless before their arrival. This can deter potential families from adopting because they might think something is “wrong” with these animals. Regardless of their history, every animal at the shelter deserves the chance to find their forever home. To start your adoption process, fill out our adoption inquiry form before your visit. Our hours are Monday-Saturday 11AM-6PM and Sunday’s 11AM-5PM!
Bender, A. (2022, June 13). How to Train Your Shelter or Rescue Dog. The Spruce Pets. https://www.thesprucepets.com/train-a-shelter-or-rescue-dog-1118219#:~:text=Plan%20on%20Crate%20Training&text=In%20this%20way%2C%20you%20can,dog%20may%20feel%20extremely%20stressed
Zebra, T. (2023, July 11). Pet adoption statistics in 2023 | the zebra. The Zebra. https://www.thezebra.com/resources/research/pet-adoption-statistics/