They’re cute, they’re funny, and they keep you from feeling lonely. These are just some of the reasons why owning a pet is such a good idea, and there are even concrete health benefits such as lower blood pressure and reduced risk of anxiety and depression that go with them.
There’s no question you’re making the right decision by bringing a dog or cat into your household, but it could still backfire if you’re not prepared. Animals are, after all, a great responsibility, and that leads to a lot of stress and frustration as you struggle to understand your furry friend’s needs and provide a healthy home where they can thrive.
With that in mind, here is some advice that will ease you into pet parenthood and make the experience as wonderful as it can be.
Get the Right Breed
The Friendship Hospital for Animals encourages taking your lifestyle into consideration when choosing a dog or cat. The latter is likely the better option if you’re out of the home often, as felines can be left alone for longer periods of time. Then, there’s the question of your home itself. When it comes to dogs, some breeds need a yard where they can run about, while some smaller breeds often don’t. Are you allergic to cats or dogs? Find out now before it’s too late.
Learn Their Characteristics
You need to know what they’re like if you want to care for your pet properly, and that’s particularly important when it comes to dogs. Some are more active than others, and the same goes for tolerance to heat and cold, grooming requirements, and how easy they are to train.
Adapt Your Dwelling
You’ve already heard of child-proofing. Well, the same thing exists for cats and dogs. Both animals need to be kept away from poison by storing cleaning products, medications, and even some foods behind closed doors. You should also get rid of certain plants.
Equip Yourself for Cleaning
Along with your new pet come hair and dander that cover your furniture, rugs, and carpets. This problem can be solved with a quality vacuum cleaner that sucks up the results of even the most prolific shedding, and you’ll even find models with filters that remove allergens as well as attachments for reaching into crevices and clearing off upholstery. Read product reviews carefully to find one that’s efficient and maneuverable.
Make a Schedule
There are a lot of new chores to undertake once your new pet has taken up residence. Keeping the food and water bowls full is just the beginning as dogs need to be walked or litter boxes emptied. Living Life and Learning offers printable charts to ensure that all these tasks get done in a timely fashion. They’ll help you stay on top of the cleaning as well.
Find a Qualified Vet
Don’t put off finding a quality veterinarian until later, as there’s no telling when your beloved ball of fur will fall ill or get injured. The first step in that process is understanding your pet’s needs based on their breed and age, then getting recommendations, visiting the vet’s facilities, and asking them some important questions.
Introduce Your New Pet to Your Home
Introducing your new pet can be difficult if you’re adopting a rescue, as these animals tend to be anxious and frightened in new environments, though a little patience will see you through. Don’t go directly into the house but take your pooch around the yard where they’ll be doing their business, then continue on for a long walk in the neighborhood. Whether the newcomer is a dog or cat, keep things quiet for their first day.
Build a Healthy Bond
Your new dog or cat may not fall in love with you right away, so give them some time and space. Treats will speed up the process, as would some quality time playing together.
Yes, there’s work to be done, but the excitement of welcoming a dog or cat into your life should be all the motivation you need. Don’t let time go to waste; start your research now.