There are few things as amazing as becoming a pet owner for the first time. It’s the start of a journey that includes love, friendship, and care. However, you can’t rush into pet ownership. To make sure that both you and your new pet are happy, you need first to understand what’s right for your situation, whether you can adequately provide for an animal and be honest with yourself about whether you’re ready for the multi-year commitment that comes with adopting a pet. The following are a few key tips for first-time pet owners.
Choose the pet that fits your lifestyle
It’s crucial that you choose an animal that fits with your way of life. Mismatched pet/owner circumstances can cause dissatisfied family pets along with unhappy owners, and this can mean an increased likelihood that the pet will have to be rehomed. Make sure to do your research before adopting a pet on a whim.
First, consider your exercise level. If you’re relatively inactive or merely don’t have much time for exercising outdoors, you might want to avoid a dog breed that requires a great deal of exercise like a German Shepard or Husky. Instead, you may want to consider a dog that doesn’t need as much exercise or opt for a cat instead.
Next, be aware of how much space you have. Larger breeds of dogs like Great Danes and Retrievers require larger living spaces and might only be appropriate for those with their own home and backyard. If you live in a smaller area – like an apartment in the city, maybe – you ought to think about a smaller pet that will be comfortable in these types of homes.
Lastly, if you plan on adopting a long-haired dog or cat, be prepared for extra cleaning. If you’ve never had an animal in your home before you may want to first put yourself into an environment with a lot of pet dander to ensure you don’t have any allergies. If you love the idea of a clean home but aren’t quite ready to commit to cleaning up pet hair every day, you may want to consider a robot vacuum. Some models like the Roomba 960, will adapt to your home and help keep your floors clean even with the addition of extra pet hair. This isn’t essential but is something to consider down the road.
Make sure your home is prepared before you bring your pet home
If you prepare before you bring your pet home, you can save yourself a lot of headaches. You want to be prepared for your new pet before they arrive, not after.
The first step is to make a list of all of the supplies and pick up the essentials before you decide to adopt. For both dogs and cats, proper food (puppy/kitten or adult) is important. Beyond that, you need to buy things like water bowls, toys, scratching posts, pee pads, and travel crates because vet trips are common when you first adopt a new pet.
If you’re taking home a puppy, you’re going to want to make sure your home is puppy-proof before the new dog comes home. Make sure you put up anything you don’t want your puppy getting into or anything that can make them sick. With a puppy, you need to be ready for them to run around, chew just about everything, and pee wherever they like. Keep this in mind when readying your home for your new furry bundle of joy.
Its recommended that you set up an area specifically for your puppy where they can roam freely, but can’t get into too much trouble. Make sure to tape up any loose electrical cables, cover the floors in pee pads, and make sure there no plants or anything they can easily choke on within reach.
How to handle a fearful pet
Young puppies can be afraid of a new environment, and rescue dogs can be fearful, especially if they have been abused in the past. Any dog in a new living environment can be anxious for a while.
The primary step is to radiate calm yourself. If you’re nervous, your dog will pick up on that as well. If you radiate an aura of calm, your dog will pick up on that too.
If you’re thinking about adopting a new dog or cat, you’re in for a treat. However, owning a pet comes with unconditional love as well as its fair share of commitment and responsibility. With the right mindset, you and your new pet will be off on the right foot and headed towards a wonderful loving relationship.