Introducing a New Pet in Massachusetts for the Winter Holidays

pet care in New Bedford Dartmouth Fall RiverWe have all seen the television commercials and movies where the parents present their children with a big box, topped with a bow, and inside there is an adorable puppy, kitten, bunny, or some equally cute animal. While it delivers the oohs and ahhs that most people want for the holiday season, the holidays are considered to be the worst time of year for introducing a new pet into your home. Whether you already have pets or this is the first addition to your family, the stress, the hustle and bustle, and sheer excitement of the holidays can make it a difficult time for a new pet.

When you think about how it might be for a new pet – regardless of the species or age – to come into a new home environment and have a positive experience, it becomes clear that the holidays really are not a very good choice. However, there are things that you can do if you or your child is gifted a pet during this time of year – beginning with a new pet veterinary check-up at Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth. We can help you get things started off on the right foot – or paw – for you and your new family friend. The more you can do to make this time easy for the animal, the better your relationship will be together going forward.

Make Time to Spend Together

Bonding is essential when it comes to a new pet, whether that pet is a dog, cat, or a gerbil. If you happen to get a new pet during the holiday season, consider canceling some of your plans so that you can spend time getting to know one another. Depending on the type of pet, you will want to provide a calm and quiet space to allow them to acclimate to their new home and give them the space they need to get to know and trust you on their own terms. A new puppy that is not house-broken or a cat that is frightened by all the lights, sounds, and excitement of the holidays can be a bad mix – especially if your holiday calendar is full.

The best way to prevent this new pet from becoming a post-holiday statistic and ending up at the local shelter is to do your part and invest the time necessary to make this a positive transition for everyone involved. Introducing a new pet is never easy, but the more you can do to slow your schedule, calm the household down, and take the time required to focus on your new pet, the better your results will be. If you are just thinking about adoption, maybe consider going after the holidays to rescue a post-holiday surrender in your local area. There will be a lot of pets that need a home within the first few weeks of the new year. Contact your local shelter for more information or to be alerted when new animals start coming in for care.

Pet Vaccination Checklist

You will want to ensure that your new pet is current on their essential vaccinations, including rabies shots, as required by Massachusetts law. If possible, have the shot record in hand when you visit Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth. Most shelters, breeders, and other adoption centers will provide this to new pet parents at the time of adoption. You can work with one of our veterinarians to create a pet vaccination checklist based on your pet’s age, breed, and lifestyle. Pets that frequently visit “doggie daycare” and boarding facilities, as well as dog parks and other public places, will need other vaccinations to protect them from common issues that can occur in these situations.

Prevention is key when it comes to pets, so be sure to schedule at least two appointments within the first year to establish quality veterinary care when introducing a new pet into the family. Your trusted veterinarian can answer questions, offer advice, provide suggestions for nutrition, and assist with preventing fleas, ticks, and other pests that are a concern in the South Coast area. If you would like to schedule a new pet veterinary check-up or contact our team with questions about your pet vaccination checklist, give us a call at 508-996-3731. We can answer any questions you might have about the veterinary services we provide and help you create a loving and healthy home for your new pet.