Now back to our discussion on pet ownership – it is time to take your new addition home. Hopefully, you have picked up all the necessary items and have them ready at home. That way you can take Max home without unnecessary stops.

Try to remember that this is a time of great change for your new pet. If you have a brand new pet, this is his first time away from mom and littermates. With adult pets it is a move to a new home, different from their current residence. It is a good idea to bring your new buddy home in the morning so you have the better part of the day to spend together. Weekends or the beginning of holidays are excellent times for homecomings as well. This will help to make his first few days at home as smooth as possible.

To help with the transition, please remember to get all of the pertinent information from the people who know your pet best. Find out what diet is being fed and the feeding schedule. Then be sure to get the exact same food and follow the same feeding routine. A problem we see quite commonly in pets going to a new home is diarrhea – often due to sudden diet change or the addition of too many new treats. If you would prefer your pet be on a different food that what is currently being fed, simply wait about 2 weeks. Once your pet has had this initial period to “settle in” you can gradually switch to the new diet. We also often see intestinal upset when milk is given to puppies and kittens. Many of these little furry guys are lactose-intolerant. Once they are weaned, puppies and kittens really need only water and a good quality diet to meet all of their needs.

Your pet’s health record contains vital information as well. Be sure that you get a copy of this and that you understand the immunization and deworming status of your pet. Once you get home, if you are unsure about repeat deworming or booster immunization date, do not hesitate to call your local veterinarian or your pet’s original home.

On the car ride home, the driver should have an assistant to hold the new pet even if you are getting an adult – maybe Fifi will want to be on the driver’s lap. If you are going alone to pick up your new addition, a kennel is a great idea. If you have a long drive, plan some stops along the way. Regardless of the length of the drive, have paper towels and bags handy in case of accidents or vomiting.

Once at home, take your pet immediately to his new “bathroom” area. Give him ample time to sniff around and do the necessities. Once in your home, your new pet should be given the opportunity to explore your pet-proofed home. Give him some space and time – resist the temptation to crowd around him. Speaking of crowds, you probably want to keep them to a dull roar for a few days. New pets draw lots of well-intentioned family and friends. Try to give your pet time to get familiar with things before introducing him to the “whole” gang.

Then there is the picking of a name. Try to pick something short and that doesn’t sound like any of the commands you will teach him later. Oh, you may want to make sure you know the sex of your pet – Evandyr is probably the most masculine name I have ever seen for a girl kitty!!