Which Pet Is Right for You?
Take some time to really think about your answer to this one. Consider your home, your lifestyle, and your new pet’s comfort when making your decision. Love getting outside and have a big backyard? A dog could be your perfect companion. Don’t like walking that much and live in a small apartment? Then a cat may be a better option for you. Once you’ve picked your pet, think about which breed will be best as well. Some breeds are more active than others, and some may require more grooming and upkeep. You can even get a hypoallergenic pet (see www.babble.com/home/12-great-pets-for-people-with-allergies) if you suffer from allergies.
How Should You Prepare Your Home?
Help your new pet feel right at home by taking some time to really prepare your home. If you have houseplants around, check to see if they are safe for animals and remove or reposition those that may be toxic. If you plan on letting your dog out in your yard, check for poisonous plants (see www.thespruce.com/plants-poisonous-to-dogs-2132451) there as well. Be careful when using pesticides and lawn treatments and think about switching out cleaning products for more natural products that won’t cause harm to dogs or cats.
What Supplies Will You Need?
If you’re getting a new pet, you’ll need a few necessities. If you’re leaning toward a large dog, you’ll want to make sure they have a large bed of their own, a leash that’s easy on your hands, and maybe raised food and water bowls. A cat will likely need a good brush that will keep excess hair away, and a couple of scratching posts will save your furniture from scratches. Pick up some basics, like food and litter boxes, as well. Getting the right gear will keep your pet comfortable and you stress free.
How Will You Keep Your Pet Safe?
Your new pet will depend on you for their safety, so take steps to keep them out of harm’s way. Keep dogs on a secure leash and be careful when opening doors if you have a cat. Microchipping is a smart idea for any pet and can improve the chances for a reunion if they do get lost. Be mindful of foods that can be hazardous to your pet’s health. Keep an eye out for these toxic foods in trash and out in public and make sure to keep them out of reach in your own home.
What Kind of Schedule Will Your New Pet Have?
Dogs and cats thrive on routines, so set up a schedule for your new pal. Most vets recommend feedings twice a day and daily time for play. Dogs need walks twice a day and a few trips outside for potty breaks in between. Puppies may need more frequent trips outside. You may need to spend time teaching a new kitten how to use the litter box. Keep time commitments in mind when picking out your pet and then establish their new routine as quickly as possible to help them settle in safely.
How Will You Bond With Your New Pal?
Connecting with your new pet may take some time and effort, so be patient when building the bonds between you and your new buddy. Training and play are wonderful ways to connect with your pet, so set aside a few minutes each day to hang out together. Using positive reinforcement can also help foster a healthy relationship. Rescued animals can be especially nervous in a new home, and you may need to take extra steps to establish trust and encourage affection. Patience and positivity can go a long way in welcoming a new pet into your world.
You should be excited to become a pet owner! It’s quite the commitment, but a little planning and knowledge will keep your new pal healthy and help you enjoy your new life together.
By Jessica Brody