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Buy Your First Home, Adopt Your First Pet

Monday, June 9, 2014

Cat on play towerWhen you purchase a home, it’s natural to buy other things to build your new life. But you don’t need to buy a pet! Your local shelter can help you find the right pet for you — purebreds too.

It’s easy to find an adoption event or Everyday Adoption Center near you. With 8 million pets entering U.S. shelters every year, you’ll be spoiled for choice.

You can be sure you’re adopting a healthy pet. Shelter pets receive full medical and behavioral assessments by veterinarians and training experts before they’re made available for adoption.

Adoption is better for your budget, too. Adoption fees are cheaper than purchasing a pet. And most shelter pets are spayed/neutered before you meet them, so you won’t have to worry about the expense of the surgery, or of unwanted litters.

A lovable pet is a lovable pet no matter where you find him. Buying from a breeder just doesn’t make sense when so many homeless pets are waiting for their forever homes.

Open your new home to a shelter pet! Find out where to meet your furry friend at a PetSmart Charities adoption event or adoption center near you.

Make Your New Pet Feel at Home

Housewarming for your new pet is easy with a few tips.

1. Give your pet some space — literally. She’s happy to be home, but will need a safe place away from the action to take a rest. A crate or a small, comfortable room is a good spot.

2. Provide structure. Pets need rules to tell them where they fit in. Otherwise, they feel uncertain, even hiding out under a bed or a chair (if they do, wait it out — don’t drag them out!). Be consistent with training and routine to build confidence and good behavior.

3. Choose the right stuff. Get the basics first:

  • bowls that don’t slide around, and are wide enough to fit cat whiskers
  • durable toys that boost mental and physical activity
  • quiet, big-enough dog beds and crates
  • tall cat-scratching posts that don’t wobble

4. Introduce her to her people. Pets will use their noses to figure out who’s who, so introduce smells first. Try dirty laundry — a t-shirt or pillowcase in a place where your pet hangs out will help her get used to the scent.

5. Introduce her to her siblings. Scent swapping works! Rub a small towel on each pet so their scent transfers to the fabric, then put each towel in the other pet’s space long before they meet. Next, let them play “footsie” under a door, then a gate or a screen door. Go slowly and keep the mood mellow.

6. Keep expectations realistic. Your first couple of months with your new pet won’t be perfect, and that’s just fine. Even if you’ve had pets before, remember your pet is unique and new. Be patient and kind with your pet and yourself. You’re learning each other together.

Meet your new pet now! Find a PetSmart Charities adoption event or adoption center near you.

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