Are you thinking about getting a new pet? While owning a pet comes with unconditional love and companionship, it’s important to understand the responsibilities. By doing so, you can properly prepare for what’s ahead and ensure that you and your pet have the best experience possible. Here are three tips to consider before getting your new pet.
Choose with Your Heart and Mind
We’ve all heard the stories of people going to a breeder or rescue shelter and falling in love with a pet (or two). While this kind of experience can be an indicator that you’ve found a pet you will love forever, it’s also good to pick a type and breed of pet that will fit your lifestyle. Otherwise, it can be difficult to provide the care they need on a day-to-day basis and could result in endless frustration. For instance, if you are away from home a lot, getting a dog may not be the best option, as dogs need a good bit of time and attention to really thrive and be happy. Cats, on the other hand, don’t usually need as much time and attention.
It’s also important to think about your home. Is it big enough to house a large breed (Great Dane, English Mastiff), or would a smaller breed (Pug, Pomeranian) make more sense? Do you have a backyard where a highly active pet can release their energy (Australian Shepherd, Weimaraner), or should you go with an animal that requires less exercise, such as a fish or lizard? Furthermore, does anyone in your household have allergies? Check out this article for advice on choosing and owning a pet when you have allergies.
Prepare Your Living Space
Before you bring your pet home, you’ll want to make some preparations. Start by pet-proofing to make sure your pet stays safe. This involves keeping anything that could harm them out of reach, such as human medications, cleaning chemicals, electric cords, toys with small pieces, poisonous plants, and so on. Also, get some new toys for your pet; dogs are less likely to chew up your belongings if they have chew toys, and cats love things like felt mice to play with. And make sure you purchase other necessary supplies (leashes, collars, litter box, cat litter, crate, etc.) before your new family member arrives.
It’s also important that you plan to do more cleaning once you have a pet. Even the cleanest of pets will leave a mess behind them. For starters, designate their living space somewhere with floors that are easy to clean, such as the kitchen or any room with hard floors. Also, buying a new vacuum can make cleaning easier. Some vacuums are better than others for removing pet fur and dander, so do some research to help you choose the right one.
Help Your Pet Adjust
The acclimation process takes time, so be patient. If you’re bringing home a puppy or kitten, expect some crying. For rescue animals, don’t be surprised if they seem on edge for a while. No matter what kind of pet you get, it will take time for them to get used to their new surroundings.
Establishing a daily routine with the family will help your pet settle in. One way to set a routine for your pet — and to help things go smoothly for you — is to distribute responsibilities to each family member (feedings, pottying, walks, playtime). Along with having a solid and reliable routine in place, training your pet, spending time with them, and getting to know their needs and desires can all help you form a priceless bond.
Owning a pet requires responsibility, but the unconditional love and affection will make it all worthwhile. Make sure to prepare by picking a pet that fits your lifestyle, getting your home ready, and helping your pet acclimate. Once preparations are made and you get in a good routine, you and your furry companion can fully enjoy your new adventures together!
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