kitten and puppy snuggled next to each other

Taking Care of a New Pet

In the last year, there has been a rise in pet adoptions across the U.S. It is speculated that it has a lot to do with the pandemic and people working from home. For some, it may be more possible to have a pet now that they are at home more to care for a pet. Or, perhaps they are getting pets to provide their kids with companionship while they work from home. For whatever the reason, it has been great for pets needing homes to find their forever homes.

Establishing Your Pet in Their New Home

Some people may be old hands at taking care of pets. Others may be first-time pet owners. In any case, not all pets are the same. So, even if you have had pets before, your new pet could present some new experiences for you. For this reason, we thought we would start with some basics about adopting a new pet.

1.   Plan for the added expenses

Per a report from CNBC, dog owners spend up to $1,201 a year on average on their dogs. Cat owners spend up to $687 per year. These figures don’t even take emergencies into consideration. Here are some items you want to include in your budget:

    1. Spay/Neutering
    2. Vaccinations
    3. A healthy diet
    4. Bedding and toys
    5. Parasite control
    6. Veterinarian Checkups
    7. Emergencies

2.   Schedule an Appointment with a Veterinarian

If your pet has not been spayed or neutered or vaccinated, you will want to schedule this with a vet right away. Since the pandemic, it can take longer to get your pet in for an appointment. Veterinarians are still catching up from the time they had to be closed due to the pandemic. Also, there is a spike in new pets that need to be seen by veterinarians. So the sooner you call and schedule the better.

Important Note: Please do not put off getting your new pet in to be fixed and vaccinated. They will reach sexual maturity before you know it!  Female puppies can reach sexual maturity by six months, depending on size and breed. Male puppies reach sexual maturity on an average of 5 months. Their maturity dates also depend on their size and breed. Female kittens typically reach sexual maturity at 6 months.  While male kittens reach sexual maturity between six and twelve months.

3.   The importance of getting microchips and ID tags

Routinely we hear about pet parents looking for lost pets. Typically someone leaves a door or gate opened and the pet escapes. Or a pet gets frightened by a storm, fireworks, etc., and bolts away. While microchips and ID tags won’t prevent such accidents from occurring, they make it much more possible for you to get reunited with your pet.

4.   Grooming your pet

Pets, no matter if they are long, medium, or short hair, need to be groomed. Brushing your pet’s fur helps keep the fur and skin healthy.  It takes away old and damaged hair and helps the skin breathe while also keeping down the level of grease in their coat. Too much grease can block pores and cause irritation and all sorts of skin problems. So, you will need pet grooming tools such as combs and brushes. You can find how to groom your dog or cat on

  1. Have a carrier, crate, or dog harness to transport your pet

    You will want to have a carrier, crate, or harness on hand for your pet at all times. You will need one to transport your pet to and from the veterinarian. Carriers are great for cats and small dogs. If your dog is too large for a carrier, transport your dog in a crate or secure them with a dog harness.  It is very dangerous to travel with your pet in the front seat! Here are safety tips from the ASPCAfor traveling in the car with your pet.

Final Words

A new pet in the home can add so much joy to your life.  While there are some things you cannot predict, like a sudden emergency, there are many things you can do to make your home safe for your pet. We at Hillsboro Advanced Veterinary Care hope the above tips help you get started on this new journey with your furry friend. Contact us to schedule an appointment.


Stacey Funderburk D.V.M.

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