The best thing you can do to help your pet settle into their new home is to give their new family as much information about him or her as you possibly can!
Prepare a document for their new family; include everything from the below list and anything else that comes to mind, along with your pet's food, treats, bed, toys, litterbox for our feline friends, and any other familiar items they love.
Also, don't forget to check out our Pro Tip (scroll down)!
- Known likes and dislikes: Does your pet like to be petted a certain way? Does he growl when his paws are touched? Does your cat refuse to be picked up and held?
- Current diet and feeding schedule: The new family is free to change your pet’s diet, of course, but they should try to keep everything the same for at least a few weeks. Changing the environment and being without you will be stressful, and may cause digestive issues. Adding a change of diet to the mix can multiply that. To help set your pet up for success give the adopter any leftover food, treats, chews or bones along with their current diet and feeding schedule.
- Activity preferences and schedule: Do you walk your dog one mile, twice a day? Is he or she used to just having a bit of playtime in the backyard? Does your cat get cranky unless you play with her and tire her out? What are her favorite toys? Make sure to let the new family know all the things your pet likes and what their normal routine is, so your pet can continue to get what he or she needs (and for example, won’t be expected to do too much, if they’re not used to much activity).
- Commands: What tricks or commands does your pet know, and what are the exact words and/or hand motions needed to evoke the behavior? Does your pet usually get a treat when they do a trick/obey a command? Are they treat-motivated? If not, what other positive reinforcement helps them to learn new tricks or commands?
- Litter Box preferences (cats): Have you discovered any quirkiness in your kitty’s litter box-using habits? Does she need complete privacy? Does she prefer a certain brand or type of litter? Does she prefer a covered litter box? Is she used to the litter box being cleaned out once or twice a day?
- Potty/Outside Schedule (dogs): How often does your dog need to go outside to potty? Every 3 hours? Every 5 hours? In the mornings, do they go outside to potty immediately or do they prefer to go out after their breakfast? How long (during the night) is your dog comfortable “holding it” (7 hours? 8 hours?) Will your dog let them know if they need to go outside or will they suffer in silence?
- Sleeping arrangements: Is your pet used to sleeping in the bed with you? Do they prefer to sleep on their own bed? Do they whine if they are not in the same room with you at night? Do they prefer to sleep on their own bed in their crate?
- Send along any remaining pet food, as well as your pet’s favorite bed, toys, litterbox, leash, carrier, etc. Those items are familiar and will greatly help your pet settle in to their new home.
Pro Tip: In your document, be sure to include your pet’s microchip number (a 9 digit numeric, 10 digit alphanumeric, or 15 digit numeric number) and the company their chip is registered with in this document.
If you are able to initiate the transfer of your pet’s microchip registration to their new family, (through your pet’s microchip company) —that would greatly expedite things, and help ensure your pet will be reunited with their new family if they are ever lost/found!
Thank you for doing everything you can to help your pet transition smoothly into their new home!