Unleash the Love: 5 Tips for New Pet Owners
Our pets bring so much joy and love to our lives. Hey, don’t just take my word for it; any pet parent will proudly tell you that our “fur babies” become our constant companions, bringing us an indescribable amount of happiness. And, yes, they also bring us an unbelievable number of reasons to snap smartphone photos. (No, really, my dog’s sweet face is my iPhone wallpaper right now.)
Of course, it also goes without saying that our pets are a huge commitment. If you’re thinking of becoming a new pet owner, you can probably already guess that you’ll need to devote a great deal of time, effort, and money into ensuring the wellbeing of your new pet.
First time pet owners, listen up! Here are some tips and tricks to make the transition easier for both yourself and your new “fur baby.”
- What type of pet do you want?
From typical pets like dogs and cats to more exotic pets like flying squirrels, you’ll want to take time to consider which type of pet is best for your unique needs. It can be helpful to visit a local pet store, ask questions, learn about different types of pets, and read a guide to pet ownership. You’ll want to get brutally honest with yourself and take your time determining which pet is right for you.
- Which breed is right for you?
Now that you’ve narrowed it down to a specific type of pet, such as a rabbit or a fish, you’ll want to narrow it down even further to a specific breed. Consider whether you rent or own your home. Does your city (or your landlord) have any pet restrictions? How much space do you have in your home? Do you have a yard? If so, how big? Do you have pet allergies?
Millions of pets are put up for adoption each year (and possibly even euthanized) because their previous owners were either unfamiliar with the breed, unprepared to care for the pet, or unaware that a member of the household had allergies to pet dander. Always do your research before adopting a pet.
- How will you bond with your new pet?
Consider the types of activities the two of you can do together. Will you take your dog to the local coffee shop with you? Will you walk your pig down the street on a leash? Even cats, which are stereotypically independent, can still be trained to perform certain tricks.
- Should you hire a dog walker or boarder?
Before adopting a pet, take a look at your schedule. Can you really handle the amount of time and responsibility a new pet would require? Should you hire a dog walker or a boarder? If so, will this be a one-time service (for instance, while you’re on business travel or vacation) or will you need someone to assist with ongoing care (such as walking your dog while you’re at work during the week)?
- How will you help your pet acclimate?
After you’ve answered the questions above and chosen your ideal pet and breed, you’ll also want to consider how you’ll help your pet acclimate to his or her new home. For best results, bring your pet home during a day or (preferably) a weekend when you will be home the majority of the time. This ensures your pet gets plenty of quality time. Bonding with your pet over those first few days and nights allows you to monitor your pet’s safety, and keeps your pet from feeling lonely or neglected. Most importantly, be sure you’ve done a bit of pet proofing before you bring your new pet home.
As you can see, there are many things you should consider before bringing a pet home. If you do decide to adopt a pet, it can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. With a little proactive planning, you can make the adjustment period easier and prepare yourself and your pet for a long, happy life together.