So you’ve decided to get your very first pet. It’s an exciting time, but you need to make sure you know what you’re getting into before you begin. Owning a pet is a good deal of work, so here is what you need to know to be successful.
Picking the Perfect Pet
When deciding what pet you’ll get, consider your lifestyle. If you’re too busy to devote much time daily to your pet, choose a low-maintenance animal, such as fish or reptiles. Dogs and cats need care and companionship each day. If you’re a night person, a dog may not be the best option. A cat, rabbit, or rodent of some kind might be a better option, as these creatures tend to be up later at night. If you live with other people, even if it’s your pet, the decision won’t be solely yours. See if they have allergies or preferences before getting your pet. You need to consider the home itself, too. If you have a yard and plenty of space and lead an active lifestyle, a dog may be great. If not, consider something else that is more independent.
Prepping Your Home
There is much you need to do to properly prepare for your new pet. First, make sure that there is nothing your pet can get chew and choke on. Next, ensure that all cupboards are locked soundly, so your pet can’t get into poisonous chemicals, and that the trash can seals completely so no mischief happens with the garbage. Set up their sleeping area before they arrive, and make sure they have plenty of toys to go with it. You’ll need food, dispensers, and a water dish as well. If you have carpet or rugs, you need to be familiar with how to remove pet odors ahead of time. Babies and nervous pets, which adopted rescue animals may be, are likely to have accidents. Luckily, you just need common household goods, like white vinegar and baking soda, to make a good solution to remove scents.
Form a Bond
Pets may be slow to show affection, especially if they are rescues. Don’t be discouraged. If your pet is showing destructive behavior or food aggression, there are ways to work around this. You can give them food separated from everyone else so they can eat alone until their behavior improves. If your pet is destroying furniture, they may be under-stimulated and need more playtime. Grooming and petting are two ways to help your pet relax. Give them plenty of treats, as food is a good way to earn their love. Giving them stability through rules and following a schedule can also be a great way to encourage your pet to bond to with you.
Help Your Pet Feel Safe
Sometimes, pets don’t acclimate immediately to a new home. You can help them feel safe in many ways. If you have a rescue, see if they have any favorite toys or security objects, and make sure that your pet has access to them throughout the day. Having a clean space to go to the bathroom at all times, even when you’re out, is a good way to keep them calm and help them adjust. Having their own space, such as the area you created for them to sleep in, or a crate, can make them feel secure. Contrary to popular belief, even dogs do well in confined spaces, as this mimics a den. Animals also crave stimulation, so make sure they have toys and that they enjoy them. When you leave, consider leaving the television on or using a podcast for sound, as it can help your animal feel like they are not alone.
It may be a good deal of work, but getting a pet is worth it. They give unconditional love and make life better overall. With the right planning, you and your new pet can embark on a long life of happiness and adventures together.
Nick Burton (Travel Planning Tips to Help You and Your Dog Have an Awesome Trip), Jessica Brody (How To Pick and Prepare For Your First Pet), Willa Seybolt (Why The Endangered Species Act Exists), Penny Martin (How To Make Sure Your Dog Has A Safe, Stress-Free Halloween)