Preparing for a new pet

Burt and his most prized possessions. Photo credit:  Katie Haster

Burt and his most prized possessions. Photo credit: Katie Haster

Even if you don’t know me well enough to know that (spoiler alert!) I’m a crazy pug lady, you may have noticed appearances by my two senior pugs here on my website and on my instagram. My husband and I certainly have a soft spot for these old, hilarious, loving creatures. We especially love to brag about them during the month of November, because it’s Adopt a Senior Pet Month! With that in mind,  I thought it would be a perfect time to talk about getting organized in preparation for bringing a pet into your home.


You can read more about why adopting senior pets is great here.  But even if you’re getting ready to surprise someone with a puppy for Christmas (aww!), things will go more smoothly if you think about your space first.


There are three areas of your day-to-day living to consider before adding a furry friend. Let’s discuss!


1). Space -

This is especially important if you live in a smaller home or apartment. Even if you have a smaller pet, they and their things will take up space! Your new family member will need space for a bed (or beds! Are they allowed on the furniture?), space to eat and drink water,  and food storage. They’ll also have equipment like leashes, jackets, and grooming supplies that will need a home. Having a plan for these extra items before bringing Fido home will help reduce stress and clutter while you’re all getting to know each other.


  • Place food and water bowls in a low traffic area where you’re less likely to kick them over.

  • Put leashes and outerwear on key hooks by the door so they’re always ready.


2) Schedule -

If you don’t currently have pets, adding walks, feeding, and grooming to an already packed schedule can be challenging. Before you bring home a pet, talk with your family and/or roommates about these responsibilities and work out the timing. (One perk of adopting a senior pet? They are often already house trained!)


  • Include walking and feeding on your calendar until the new schedule becomes habit.

  • Add an extra cushion of time for morning walks before work in the beginning so your pet can get used to the new environment and routine.


3) Finances -

Like any other area of adult life, pets can often bring unexpected costs. Pet food can get pricey, especially if your pet has allergies or special dietary needs. Vet visits and new medications can add up. While they aren’t fun to look forward to, having a plan for how you’ll handle them can go a long way. Knowing you’re prepared to take care whatever might come up while cuddling your new fuzzy friend will make those first months much less stressful.


  • Consider pet insurance. (not for everyone, but worth looking into if you have a young pet or a breed known to have many health problems)

  • Keep track of what you spend on your new pet for the first couple of months. That way you’ll have a good idea of how to budget for them in the future.


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Now if you’ve taken all of the above into account - consider yourself prepared/warned and get out there and adopt! I can’t wait to see pictures of your new fluffy family members (hint, hint)!