Tips for Bringing Home a New Pet

Introducing a New Furry Friend to Your Household

Before bringing a new pet into your home, it is important to make sure that it is the right decision for you and your family. Pets require significant care and preparation which is vital to ensuring an easy transition into your home. Note, it can take days, weeks, or even months for your pet to finally feel at home. But don’t put too much pressure on yourself or your new pet. Patience is key!

Here are some tips to help.

Supplies and Equipment

Important supplies and equipment include fundamental items such:

  1. Bed
  2. Water/Food bowls
  3. Food
  4. Collar/Leash
  5. Toys
  6. Other items to stimulate them

Remember that your pets’ emotional and mental wellbeing is just as important as their physical needs.

Veterinary Care

Most veterinarians are booking so far in advance, so we recommend scheduling an appointment as soon as you know you are getting your new pet to have a thorough health or wellness check. Ideally, this exam should be done within a week of their arrival. Your new veterinary team can advise on the correct vaccination protocol for your pet and ensure that there are no underlying illnesses or concerns.

Preparation for Your Other Pets

Make sure that any other pets in the home are up to date on their vaccinations. Whether you adopted your new pet from a shelter or purchased them from a breeder, re-homed pets can bring new diseases with them that could be transmitted to existing pets in the household.

Just as important, calmly introducing your new pet to your existing one(s) is critical in the transition process. A cautious approach is to do this gradually until they get used to one another.

Limit Visitors at First

Initially, it is important to spend as much time at home with your new pet to help them settle into their new home. It is crucial to give everyone living in your home time to get to know one another without outside pressures.

Try and keep new visitors to the house to a minimum until your pet has settled in. It is important that your pet gets to bond with you and your family first.

Preparation for Children and Other Family

Children are naturally curious, and will no doubt be extremely excited by the arrival of a new pet. It is important to explain to them that animals take time to adjust to new environments and may be scared, nervous or wary of them for a few days. Take the time to educate your children on how to treat your pet with the care and respect that they deserve.

Establish Rule and Standards

Establishing some basic house rules ahead of your pets’ arrival can help create a routine that your pet will quickly adopt on their own. Knowing what to expect will also help them settle faster.

  1. Make a plan: Before your new pet arrives, think about the rules and standards you want to set and explain those to all members of the home.
  2. Set boundaries: If you don’t want your new pet on furniture, set that boundary the moment they enter your home (example).
  3. Be consistent: Once you have implemented a rule, stick to it. Your pet will react better and more consistently in return.
  4. Get everyone involved: Assign family members specific tasks to help them bond with your pet and take ownership of their commitment as pet owners.

Potty Training

When it comes to training your pet, patience is most definitely a virtue. Tip: remain consistent and stick to a routine. If you have a dog, take them outside at the same time every day. A good place to start is first thing in the morning, the last thing at night, and after meals. Stay with them to boost their confidence but wait ‘in the wings’ until they are finished.

Most kittens are trained to use the litter box, but if you need to reinforce this training, place them in the litter tray after waking and after meals. Using a litter box does go against a cat’s natural instinct, so once they are settled, you may find that they prefer to do their business outdoors. With both dogs and cats, positive behavior reinforcement by way of praise, affection, and treats is often the quickest and easiest way to train them.

Exercise and Outdoor Time


  • Research breed and ask your veterinarian about the appropriate amount of exercise
  • Keep in mind, puppies are more vulnerable to diseases so ensure they are properly vaccinated
  • Use a leash when going on walks
  • Train them to return to you by gently pulling them towards you
  • Reward successful return and behavior
  • Offer tons of praise and affection
  • Before letting them roam freely in a yard or dog park, make certain they are spayed or neutered as a precaution

When you feel that your dog is ready to be let off the lead, begin in a secure, fenced-in location. Make sure you are confident they will return to you when called. Also, ensure they have proper identification, either in the form of a collar and tag or ideally, a microchip.


  • Ask your veterinarian about the appropriate amount of exercise
  • Consider your immediate environment before letting them outdoors
  • Keep in mind, kittens are more vulnerable to diseases so ensure they are properly vaccinated
  • Before letting them roam freely, make certain they are spayed or neutered as a precaution
  • Confirm they have adequate identification either in the form of a collar and tag or ideally, a microchip.

You can train your cat to respond to you by offering praise and goodies such as tuna chunks or commercial cat treats.

Adopting a Senior Pet?

If you are adopting an older pet, it is wise to try and find out as much history about the pet as possible. This will let you know what sort of temperament and behavior to expect. This will also help you make any adjustments necessary for the well-being of your new pet. For example, some pets that have gone hungry when living with previous owners can be guarded, possessive, or even aggressive at feeding times and need to be given space to eat.

Bringing home a new pet is exciting and a big responsibility! Make sure you and your family are prepared by following these tips. Remember to call to book an appointment with us once your new furry friend is settled.


Home Ready: A Quickstart Guide to Ownership

Preparing for Homeownership

Buying a home is a huge milestone, and it’s important to prepare before you dive in headfirst. After all, this is likely the largest investment that you will ever make. The more prepared you are, the more confident you’ll feel in your home search and home financing journey. Here are some steps you can take to help you prepare for homeownership:

Understand Your Credit

Your credit can affect where you live, what types of loans you’re eligible for, how much money you can borrow, the interest rate you will pay and might even have an effect on aspects of your personal relationships. Checking your credit score will allow you to know what you’re working with, so you can start updating your credit, if necessary.

Save for a Down Payment

A down payment is the percentage of your home price that you will pay upfront. It represents the initial amount of equity, or ownership, that you will have in your home. It’s a common misconception that a 20% down payment is required to purchase a home. This is not always the case, especially as a first-time home buyer. So how much do you need to put down? The answer is different for everyone. Your down payment depends on your lender, your mortgage type and your financial situation.

Each loan program will have its own down payment requirements:

  • FHA – Backed by the Federal Housing Administration, the FHA requires as little as 3.5% down.
  • VA – Backed by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, these loans are for qualified active-duty, retired and reservist military members (and some surviving spouses) and typically do not require a down payment for homes that do not exceed the VA limit.
  • Conventional – We offer Conventional loans starting at just 3% down.
  • USDA – Backed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, these loans are for rural and suburban home buyers and also start at 0% down.

While these loan programs may not always require a 20% down payment, you will be required to pay private mortgage insurance if you put less than 20% down—unless you are using a VA Loan. The private mortgage insurance will protect the lender on their investment in case you are not able to make your monthly payments, and in some cases can be removed once you reach a certain amount of equity in your home.



No matter your situation, we have a loan to fit your needs


Monica Atkins

NMLSR # 455845
Mortgage Loan Officer

Phone: 240-335-0178
Fax: 240-335-0188
Mobile: 571-215-6602

5010 Regency Pl, Suite 101
White Plains, MD 20695

Featured Loan Officer

Monica is one of the preferred mortgage lenders who meet my high standards of service and reliability, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free home-buying experience for my clients.

About Monica Atkins

The guidance of a trustworthy and experienced mortgage professional can simplify any home financing experience. FitzGerald Financial Group has a wealth of knowledge and resources to assist you in finding the best loan to meet your individual home buying needs. We pride ourselves in providing excellent customer service and establishing long lasting customer relationships.

As an experienced lender, Monica Atkins is available to guide you through the home financing process. Whether you are purchasing your first home, an investment home, refinancing or just need mortgage advice, Monica Atkins can help.

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