Bringing a new pet into your home is life-changing in numerous ways. A pet can be a wonderful companion that enriches your lives in meaningful ways on a daily basis. Your new pet is also a major responsibility. You are required to provide for its physical care and to support its emotional health. This responsibility begins on your first day together, and it may extend for a decade or longer. Regardless of the age of your pet when you bring it into your home, there are a few important things that you should learn about it as soon as possible.

Current Health Status

In most cases, you will obtain vaccination records and other important health data from the person or center that you adopted it from. If not, visiting a veterinary hospital or clinic to update your pet’s vaccinations as needed is essential. A general health physical should be scheduled regardless of the records that you receive. By doing so, you may learn about conditions that must be treated, such as worms or a urinary tract infection.


You may assume you understand your new pet’s temperament through personal observation and interaction during the introduction and adoption experience. However, pets are often anxious or excited during these experiences. Over the first few days, you may notice that your pet’s anxiety level decreases and its personality emerges. Through observation of your pet’s behaviors and personality, you can better determine if it needs special toys or other items to soothe anxiety, to deal with a high energy level or to address other issues.

Dietary Needs

Do not assume that the pet food that your animal was fed at the time of adoption is right for optimal health. Some pets may have underlying issues, such as food allergies, which you need to identify as soon as possible. Pay attention to how much the animal eats, potty trips, skin issues and more. Adjusting your pet’s diet and finding the right food for its needs may take time through trial and error, but it is essential for the best care of your pet.

Expect a transition period as you and your new pet become accustomed to sharing your living space and as your deep bond develops. Simply be patient and observant during this process. Through personal observations and under the care of your vet, you can better care for your pet and ensure that it is as healthy and happy as possible.