If you’re considering adopting a pet from a Delaware shelter or animal rescue, you’re doing a wonderful thing for a dog or cat. Plenty of pets desperately need a loving, furever home. If you are a first-time pet parent or you’re looking to make an addition to your current family of four-legged friends, we will provide you with a guide to adopting a pet in Delaware so you can make all the right decisions. Please consider adopting an older dog or cat because they often get overlooked. Senior dogs and cats still have lots of love to give, and they will have a lower energy level and will usually be easier to care for.
Prepare Your Home For Their Arrival
Before you bring your new dog or cat home, there are some things you need to prepare. Choose a spot in your home to set up just for your new pet. This is where they will sleep, relax, eat their meals etc. Make sure their place is nice and cozy as they may be under a lot of stress due to the change in their environment.
If you plan to crate train your dog, have a crate ready to go with toys and blankets. Have your pet’s food and water dishes ready as well.
If you want to adopt a puppy, be sure to puppy-proof your home well in advance. They will get into everything and want to chew on everything in sight. Put away any valuables and tape up any electrical cords that may be within their reach. You may also want to install some baby gates if there are areas in your home you don’t want the pup to access.
Make sure there is no access to cleaning supplies, poisons, and medications. Curious puppies looking for something to chew on might get into something that can harm them. Even if the lids are on, they can chew into the containers. Because cats and kittens can jump up on counters, keeping items like medicine containers out of reach of curious cats is very important.
What To Do During Their First Day Home
It is very exciting to bring home a new dog, puppy, cat or kitten! Before you leave the shelter, there are some questions you want to ask. First, ask what food they were being fed and at what times. You can then try and stick to that same schedule. If you want to change the food brand, you can do so gradually over several days by adding more and more new food daily. Never change a dog or cat’s food drastically, as it will upset their stomachs.
Make sure your new furry friend is safely secured in the car. Most dogs might feel more comfortable in a crate depending on how long the drive is to your home from the shelter. Cats should always be in a carrier.
When you finally arrive home, bring your new addition to the area where they will take their potty breaks immediately. Once he relieves himself, continue to bring him to the same spot every day. If your dog has an accident, don’t punish him/her for it. This is a normal part of him/her getting used to the new environment. For a new kitty, show them the litter box’s location and even set them in it.
Create House Rules and Get Into a Routine Right Away
Congratulations! You are finally home with your beloved furbaby. Now, it’s time to establish house rules and routines. Dogs and cats thrive on having a routine and predictability in their lives. If there are multiple family members in the home, ensure everyone is on the same page about the rules, routine, and even training practices. Your new pet needs consistency and stability in their lives.
For dogs, create a routine for potty breaks – meaning you should take them out at the same time every day. Most dogs require at least two walks per day. For high-energy breeds, you can exercise them off leash in a secure area.
In addition to potty breaks, feed your dog on a regular schedule to help foster structure. Feed them high-quality food and ensure they are being fed in a quiet place.
Cats are more independent and their main routine will be feeding time.
Places to Adopt a Dog or Cat in Delaware
If you are unsure where to start in terms of looking for a dog or cat to adopt in Newark and its surrounding areas, we have you covered. So many pets need loving homes right here in your area. When looking at pets, please consider adopting a senior cat or dog that so frequently is not chosen.
You can start at the Delaware SPCA. Every animal adopted from the Delaware SPCA will be spayed or neutered, fully vaccinated, and microchipped, just to name a few benefits. This makes the adoption so worth it because a lot of the initial pet care costs are taken care of for you.
The Delaware Humane Association is ready to help you find your furry best friend! They also provide veterinary care to all animals before they are adopted and may offer some discounts to pets who have been waiting to be adopted for a while or discounts for multiple pet adoptions.
We also like Faithful Friends for cat and dog adoptions.
Final Thoughts on Pet Adoption in Delaware
It is important to go through the adoption process responsibly and ensure that this is the right decision for you and for your pet. In the end, having a dog or cat by your side daily is extremely rewarding as you go through life. Before you are eligible to adopt, you may need a reference. We can do that for existing clients and for new clients once we meet with you.
Taking care of your pet can sometimes take a village! That is why we are here to help. We offer daily Dog Walking and Cat Sitting, and for new pets, we recommend adding our Pet Pajama Party, where our staff stays at your home all night when you are away. Then you will be assured of coming home from work or vacation to a happy, CONTENT pet.
We also offer In-Home Dog Boarding in our home on a very limited basis, but for most new pets, it is best to keep them in their own home where their routines stay the same. Contact us today to get started! We can’t wait to meet you and your new fur babies!
Dog Walkers & Pet Sitters in Newark, Hockessin, Greenville, Wilmington, Bear and New Castle, DE – Landenberg, Avondale and Kennett Square, PA and parts of Elkton, MD.