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Care of Your New Pet

Regardless of the type of pet you select, they each have basic needs. These are simple and straight forward, but worth considering prior to bringing your new pet home.

Food and Water

Dogs and cats need food specially formulated for them. It is a mistake to assume that they will do well on a diet of “people food” or that they should hunt for their meals. 

Get guidance from your veterinarian as animal’s needs vary greatly. There is also literature and information available at your pet store. Purchase your pet food upon approval of your adoption request, so you can be with your pet on its journey to a new home and family.

A Safe Environment

Consider where your pet will live. Even if it lives indoors, you will need to be sure that when outside, your pet is safe. Animals need protection from extreme heat and cold, direct sunlight, high humidity, strong rain, wind, snow, and ice. Do you have a fence, and if so, what is the height? A fence can help to keep your pet within the safety of your home. Also, be certain that proper ID tags are on your pet.

Veterinary Care

Veterinary care is as important to your pet as medical care is to you. So much can be done to help your pet live the highest quality of life possible. Please have your pet spayed or neutered, and help them live longer by getting vaccinations - such as for rabies.


Physical exercise is important to the health and well being of animals. While your pets may explore your backyard, they may still need the encouragement of a guided walk. Because each animal has different medical factors, ask your veterinary about the appropriate length of walk for your pet. Play time can help to stimulate the mind of your cat or dog, and assists in developing a loving bond between you and your pet.

General Care

Pets need assistance with grooming and care for their bodies. Dogs need regular grooming (this can vary on the length of their coat), bathing, cleansing of teeth and ears, and may need to have their nails clipped. Cats are often more capable of grooming themselves, however, may also have additional needs. All pets should have a regular checkup with the veterinarian - when you can ask specific questions. There are many good groomers that can help to keep your pet looking its best.

Social Order

Dogs are pack animals and expect to have a leader. To feel secure your pet needs to be part of a group, which is your family or friends. Dogs also need a team leader who they can watch to know what is expected and when. If you do not assume this position your pet most likely will. Many books are devoted to this subject and may help you understand how animals think and behave. Obedience training or behavioral classes may also help.

Consistency and Attention

Animals need consistent expressions, rules and results to learn what is expected of them. They want to please and it boosts their moral to know that they have completed your command. They need to be treated fairly to know that their owner is trustworthy. By nature many animals are born with happy and outgoing dispositions. Abuse can change this into fear, nervousness, aggressive and unpredictable behavior. Pets adopted from shelters may need additional care and guidance to begin to trust people again. Your love and consistency can help to give your pet a new life.