Together for the Life of Your Pet

Your new furry family member is finally here! You've done your homework and you're going to be great!

This final portion of the Guide takes you through the first days after your new pet arrives, and the important steps needed to ensure his long-term health and happiness.

The First Ten Days

At Pickup Time

Obtain a copy of your pet's medical information from the shelter or breeder and bring it to your pet's first veterinary exam.


  • Don't allow pets to ride unrestrained in the car
  • Use a size-appropriate crate, carrier or harness restraint
  • Make sure your pet rides in the BACK seat. Front-seat airbags can seriously injure pets sitting in front, even if restrained

Welcoming Home

  • Bring your new pet to its potty spot/litter box as soon as possible
  • Avoid overwhelming your new pet for the first few days; give him time and space to adjust
  • Slowly introduce your new pet to your current pets
  • Supervise children when they play with the new pet and step in as needed; review do's and don'ts often

First Veterinary Exam

It's important for your pet to have a baseline exam within 7 days of coming home. At your first appointment, bring the medical information you got from the shelter or breeder. At the visit, ask your veterinarian about:

First Veterinary exam


Consider a Wellness Plan

Soon, your new pet will be an amazing part of your life. To ensure that for years to come, partner with your veterinarian to provide regular preventive care. Banfield Optimum Wellness Plans® deliver ongoing, comprehensive and affordable preventive pet health care. Every plan includes:

  • Unlimited free office visits
  • Routinely recommended vaccines
  • Comprehensive physical exams
  • Early screening for serious illnesses
  • Discounts on most Banfield products & services
  • Predictable, reasonable monthly payments
  • Convenient drop-offs, evening & weekend hours
  • Online access to your pet's health records
  • Customizable options to best tailor your plan to your pet's unique health care needs

Learn More About

Optimum Wellness Plans®

for Your New Pet

Build Your Plan

Get Into the Clean Habit

Keeping your pet's environment clean is an effective way to help prevent parasites like fleas and ticks from transmitting dangerous diseases.

Researching Caregiver Options

Your new pet might be family, but he can't go everywhere with you. Even a full house will need backup from time to time. It's a good idea to investigate your pet care options sooner rather than later (finding help right before Labor Day is the opposite of fun).

Doggy Day Care

It's a good idea to visit several doggy daycare facilities and tour them with your dog. Watch your dog to see how he reacts to the environment and staff. Ask questions and take notes:

  • Is the staff kind, knowledgeable and helpful? Trust your instincts
  • What is the human-to-dog ratio? How many dogs does one staff member oversee at any given time?
  • What are the hours and rates? Do those align with your schedule and budget?
Doggy Day CAre

Dog Walker

A dog walker is a great option if your dog can stay home alone. You should also:

  • Acquaint your pup with their new dog walker well in advance. He should spend enough time with his new companion to start obeying simple commands
  • Closely observe your pet's behavior to ensure he's comfortable with the dog walker

Pet Sitter

A pet sitter can come to your home 2 – 3 times a day, check on your pet, put food out, change water, have some playtime and call/text you with an update. You should also:

  • Introduce your pet to this new human before you go away
  • Watch your pet to make sure he's comfortable


Your time and effort have paid off. With the right start at home – and a partnership with your veterinarian – you and your new pet can look forward to a long, happy relationship. Every new pet deserves high-quality health care, but they can't do it alone. Banfield is here to help for the life of your pet.