You’ve made the decision to become a first-time pet owner. Congratulations! This is an exciting time but, to make the best experience for you and your pet, you’ll need to do some planning before your new friend comes home.
The Right Questions to Choose the Right Pet
There are several questions to help you choose the right pet. Apartment-Pets.com asks the first two: Are you really ready? If so, why do you want a pet? Being ready means that you can commit to your pet for the duration of his life, including caring for him daily, making arrangements when you’re away, and paying for all his medical needs and expenses. Determining why you want a pet helps you choose the right pet. Is it for companionship, security, or just for entertainment?
Next, consider your lifestyle. For those who have commitments outside the home, you’ll need to make arrangements for your pet’s day-to-day care, especially for dogs. For tips on raising a dog with a full-time job, read this advice from Pet Helpful.
Once you have decided, it’s time to plan for your pet’s needs.
- What is your budget? Dogs and cat involve a lot more care and costs than hamsters and goldfish. Be prepared for the investment.
- How big is your home? Will your pet need room to grow, a backyard, or a dedicated area of his own? A large backyard is great for dogs, but if you don’t have a fence, you may risk your pet running away.
- What about your housemates? Be they friends or family, you need to make sure that anyone you live with is ready to welcome your pet – and isn’t allergic to him!
If you are getting a dog, you’ll also need to carefully consider size, sex, and breed. Read these tips from Vet Babble on how to choose the right breed.
Bringing Home Your Pet: What to Do
After choosing your pet and breed, it’s time to prepare your home. Talk to the person you’re adopting or buying from to find out your pet’s needs. Be sure to stock all the right supplies beforehand, including food, treats, and bedding. You’ll also need to create rules and boundaries for both the people you live with and your pet. For example, HomeoAnimal recommends making it clear to your pet from the minute you bring him home what areas of your house are off-limits.
Speaking of your home, you should protect what you can and prepare for messes.
- Store shoes and other chewable items are put away.
- Ensure toxic items like chocolate, xylitol candy, and cleaning supplies are stored out of reach.
- To keep hair at bay, invest in a good vacuum with a pet brush and a top-quality filter to remove dander and allergens from the air.
- For an untrained pet, protect your floors and rugs with puppy pads and have some pet stain remover on hand for carpets. You may need to use hot water as well to get the urine smell off the floor and carpet.
- If you work long hours, consider purchasing an electronic dog door so your pup can get outside when he needs to go to the bathroom while you’re gone.
Wise pet owners will learn about their pet’s personality and temperament in order to properly advise friends and family how to treat them. Establish boundaries and make sure they know proper animal etiquette so no one gets harmed or scared when introductions are made.
Bonding with Your Pet
Bonding with your pet will again depend on your animal and the breed. For example, cats and dogs are different in terms of bonding. As this article in Psychology Today states, cats do bond with their owners, but not as intensely as dogs do. Cats can keep to themselves much of the day, but dogs are much more attached to their owners.
With dogs, it’s critical to know that he will respond more to what you do rather than your words or verbal commands.
What To Plan For
As mentioned, you need to make plans for your pet’s future. That includes:
- Finding a place to keep him when you travel.
- Enlisting a trustworthy vet. If you are getting a cat or a dog, spaying, neutering, and vaccinations are important.
- If you have a busy schedule away from home and will be working long hours, you may need to hire a dog walker to take care of your dog while you’re gone. Learn how to raise a puppy if you work full-time from the Labrador Site.
Bringing home a pet for the first time requires many decisions and a lot of preparation, but with careful planning, you can find the right pet to fit your lifestyle.