Photo via Pixabay by Josche13
Becoming a first-time pet owner is a big deal. Animals make us happy, they bring comfort, and they even lower stress, depression, anxiety, and blood pressure in many people. Yet pet ownership is a lot harder than it may seem at first, and it’s important to be prepared before you decide to bring a new pet into your home.
There are many things to think about, including making sure the animal is taken care of when you’re away from the house, how to acclimate the animal to your home and schedule, and how to take care of vet expenses should he become ill or injured. It’s imperative to think about all these things and more before choosing an animal so that you’re absolutely positive that you’re ready.
Here are some of the most important things to think about--and take care of--when you’re thinking of getting a pet.
Think about the what-ifs
While many animals are easy to take care of, some have medical issues or have trouble fitting into a family that already has pets. Before you adopt a dog or pick out a cat from the shelter, think about all the what-ifs. What if he gets really sick and you don’t have the funds to take him to the vet? What if you have to work mandatory overtime now and then and can’t get home to let him out? What if he destroys your couch or bites a child? Do you have time to play with him, love him, and take care of him? Do you have the patience it requires to deal with housetraining?
If the answer to any of those questions is “No” or “I don’t know,” you’ve got a problem. Think seriously about these what-ifs and be honest about the answers.
Do some research
Not only do you want to be educated about your ideal breed and age, you also need to make sure your landlord and family will be okay with a new pet. If you live in an apartment, find out if there is a breed restriction or weight limit, and ask about a pet deposit. Talk with your family to make sure everyone is on board with the idea of a new pet, and designate jobs for everyone, such as walking, cleaning out the litter box, feeding, and playtime.
Have the right tools on hand
Before you bring a new pet home, it’s important to make sure you have all the right tools all ready to go. This includes puppy pads, a litter box, a leash or harness, toys, a scratching post, a crate, a bed, and any training supplies, as well as food and water bowls. Have everything set up before you bring the pet home so that he can become familiar with the routine and where his things are.
It’s also a good idea to walk through your home first and make sure there are no hazards that could harm your pet.
Make out a schedule
If you’re super busy, it might be advantageous for you to make out a schedule that’s easy to follow when it comes to feeding and playing with your pet. Working long hours can mean you won’t have time to get home and let him out or feed him, so consider hiring a dog walking service to ensure your pet won’t have to be stuck inside for several hours at a time.
Take time to get to know him
If your animal was rescued, he may be shy, nervous, anxious, or unsure about new people/places. Try to be patient and make an effort to get to know his likes and dislikes and what makes him the most comfortable. You might want to hold off on introducing him to new people for a little while and just let him figure out his new environment first.
Remember, pet ownership is a big job , and it will take a little while for the both of you to become acclimated to one another. With a good plan and some patience, you and your new pet will grow to love each other unconditionally.