Articles Tagged "pets"

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There's nothing quite like adding a new furry friend to the family. And while your pet's unconditional love truly is a virtue, there's no denying the chaos a new pet can cause. If you're not ready, a new pet can throw your household into complete disarray. That's why we're here to help you prepare your home for a new pet.

Pet Proof Everything

Pets – especially young ones like puppies or kittens – are a lot like young children, which is to say, they'll get into just about anything they see. That's why it's critical to safeguard every room in your house to protect your pets from themselves. Pet-proofing your house can include a lot, like

  • Keeping hazardous materials (like cleaning solutions) out of reach
  • Hiding electrical wires
  • Putting up toys with small pieces
  • Securing medicines
  • Safely storing harmful foods

These are just a few generic examples. Depending on your house, you may have more items to consider when pet-proofing.

Who's in Charge of What?

Pets are a lot of responsibility, so it's easier to divvy up those tasks among family members. Decide before bringing the pet home who's going to feed it, who will handle its potty breaks, who will clean up after it, who will schedule veterinary appointments, and more. Making these decisions in advance will help manage stress levels when accidents happen.

Create a Routine & Stick to It

Routines can help both your family and pet adjust to the new status quo. Regular exercise, consistent feed times, and more will keep your home running smoothly.

Stock Up on Supplies

You'll need a lot to keep your new pet happy and healthy. Food and water bowls, a leash and collar, toys, dog or cat bed, food, and medication are just a few things you'll need to get started. Depending on what type of pet you're getting, you may need even more specialized supplies. A new puppy isn't going to need the same things a pet snake will, for instance.

What are the Rules for Your New Pet?

Will he or she be allowed on furniture? Where will they sleep at night? If it's confined to a habitat (like a fish or lizard), where will it be stored? What are the go-to commands that everyone will use to train and interact with the pet? Of course you can't think of everything before, but setting what rules you can in advance will make your family's transition that much easier.

Secure Doors & Windows

The last thing you want from your new pet is an accidental escape. Make sure all your doors and windows are secured and can't be easily opened by a curious paw. Investing in doggy gates and screens can further keep your pets where they belong: safely inside!


Let's face it: quarantine can get a little lonely at times. Even if you're in a house full of people, sometimes you long for the unconditional love of a pet. Because while your family might get sick of you greeting them with, "Hey all you cool cats and kittens," a pet never will. Thankfully, now's a great time to bring a furry friend into your home. If you're not ready for the full-time responsibilities of adopting a pet, many local shelters are offering pet foster programs to help alleviate overcrowding. Fostering a pet gives you a chance to experience life with a sweet, four-legged buddy, gives the animal access to a loving home environment while awaiting a full-time home, and helps your local shelter in so many ways. We've highlighted some of the shelters offering pet foster programs in our major cities below, but you can always contact your local shelter if yours isn't listed here.

Jacksonville Humane Society

The Jacksonville Humane Society remains open even as the local city shelter has closed shop for Coronavirus concerns. To ensure they have enough space for the animals, they're continuing their pet foster program. Fostering is free, and the shelter covers all medical costs and provides necessary supplies as they last.

Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando

The Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando take in thousands of abandoned, abused, and forgotten pets every year. You can help those pets heal and learn to love again by becoming a volunteer foster home.

S.A.F.E. Pet Rescue, Inc. – St. Augustine

S.A.F.E. Pet Rescue, Inc. regularly visits St. Augustine's animal control facility to save as many animals as possible, and foster homes assist with this tremendously. By fostering even just one animal, you can make a huge difference.

Humane Society of North Central Florida – Gainesville

Fostering a pet from the Humane Society of North Central Florida provides an integral piece in the shelter's life-saving mission. The humane society depends on foster homes for dogs, puppies, cats, and kittens who aren't ready for adoption, need medical treatment, or just need respite from the shelter life.

Humane Society of Camden County, Inc. – St. Marys

Volunteers are always welcome at the Humane Society of Camden County, Inc. The shelter makes use of its pet foster program to provide its animals a safe environment while they await their forever home.

Humane Society of Vero Beach & Indian River County

The Humane Society of Vero Beach is accepting fosters for dogs, cats, and even "critters," which includes rabbits, guinea pigs, and more. They've even adapted to Coronavirus concerns by offering a social distance compliant outdoor pet pick-up service for foster parents.

The Animal Sanctuary - Melbourne

Like several others on this list, The Animal Sanctuary routinely rescues at-risk animals from local shelters to give them a second chance at finding a loving home. You can play your part in their mission by volunteering to be a foster home.

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