One good thing about 2020? More people are fostering and adopting pets who need homes. And during the holidays, pet adoption increases even more because families have more time away from work and school.
Before you foster or adopt — and especially when considering a pet as a gift — it’s best to make sure you’re ready not just for the fun and companionship pets can bring, but also for the responsibilities. Preparing thoughtfully in advance will ensure you and your new pet are happy and comfortable at home.
“This year has been so unexpected, but one constant is that animals always bring positivity and comfort,” says veterinarian Dr. Marty Becker, founder and CEO of Fear Free, in partnership with BISSELL. “If you’re preparing to adopt or foster a pet, it’s important to ease their transition into your home.”
Here are questions to ask before bringing a new furry friend home.
1. Does your living situation allow pets?
If you live in a rental, there are likely animal rules. Even if pets are allowed, additional fees might be added to help pay for possible damage or cleaning. Be sure to identify any such limitations before adopting or fostering a pet.
Also, make sure there’s room for your pet to have their own space. “One immediate change you can make in your home is to create a dedicated space for your new pet with bedding, food, water and toys to help them feel safe,” recommends Becker.
2. Do you have everything you need?
With pets come supplies: food and dishes, toys, bedding, litter boxes (for cats), leashes (for dogs), plus cleaning supplies. Make sure you’re prepared with enough funds to support the ongoing needs of your four-legged pal.
One crucial way to prepare your home for a new pet is to have effective cleaning tools on hand so you can spend less time cleaning and more time with your pet! Getting a BISSELL® CrossWave® Cordless Max multi-surface wet/dry vac is a great first step — it vacuums and washes sealed hard floors at the same time, making it easier and quicker to keep floors clean. Especially during this season, there are a variety of formulas you can use in this wet/dry vacuum that adapt to your cleaning needs, including sanitizing hard floors, cleaning your delicate wood floors, or cleaning multi-surfaces, like sealed hard floors and refreshing your area rugs.
The BISSELL® CrossWave® Cordless Max gives you cordless freedom, and its rechargeable battery provides up to 30 minutes of cleaning power, depending on mode and usage. The machine’s self-cleaning cycle cleans the brush roll after each use, so all you have to do is dump and rinse the dirty water tank.
BISSELL also proudly supports BISSELL Pet Foundation and its mission to help save homeless pets, and when you buy one of their products, you help save pets, too.
3. Will you have time to spend with your pet?
Now it may feel like you have plenty of time to take walks, play with pets and cuddle, especially while family members are working and learning at home. However, since we might not always be remote, it’s important to plan for changes in schedules down the road.
Will there be time in your family’s schedule in the future, so your pet will have all of their needs met — including companionship and attention? Consider adding special comfy beds or leaving a radio on to help your pet adjust to being home alone. Get them gradually used to being on their own by taking short outings without them — leading up to the time when family members need to return to the workplace.
4. Can you create a relationship with a veterinarian?
If you don’t already have a veterinarian in mind, start looking for one in your area. Ask pet-loving friends, neighbors and family for recommendations. Neighborhood social media groups often have great suggestions, too. Once you find a vet, call ahead to inquire about wellness visits, and establish a relationship so you’re prepared.
Becker offers tips during this time when vet offices are not allowing pet parents to enter with pets: “As you’re preparing for any of those first veterinarian appointments, I recommend bringing a comforting toy or blanket from home to help reduce anxiety.”
For help finding a vet, prepping for vet visits and other advice, visit FearFreeHappyHomes.com.
Spending time preparing now will create more time to relax and play with your new best friend later. Being a pet parent is a rewarding gift — especially now — because it offers opportunities to increase your capacity for responsibility, compassion and play. And if you’re fostering, you’ll have the special opportunity to prepare a pet for their future forever home.