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Welcoming Your New Addition: Advice for a First-Time Pet Parent

Welcoming Your New Addition: Advice for a First-Time Pet Parent


Congratulations! You’ve decided to enhance your life by sharing your home, and your love with a furry friend. The rewards of responsible pet ownership are numerous: companionship and affection, better health and a happier quality of daily life. But pets come with a lot of responsibilities and obligations as well. Forewarned is forearmed; here are some helpful hints on how to have a long-lasting, mutually rewarding relationship with your new pet.


Do Your Homework

Before you choose a pet, decide what kind of animal best suits your lifestyle because you’re going to be making a commitment to care for this animal for the rest of its life. Equally important is considering your environment. Does your lease allow pets? Is your yard fenced? Do you have small children in the home? Do you know if any of them have any allergies? Can you afford a pet? The average family spends about $1,000 per year on veterinary care, to say nothing of the costs of pet food, toys and grooming.


Be Prepared

Once you’ve made your decision, you’ll need to investigate the differences in breeds and temperament. Consider volunteering at an animal rescue shelter to see how well you take to different temperaments and energy levels. This can be a great way to get to know potential adoptees, too. Make sure to talk to the shelter or breeder to learn as much as you can about your pet’s medical background and history. If you’re buying from a breeder, you want to ensure they are reputable and honest, so check their references. If you go with a rescue, you’ll want to know as much as you can about your pets’ prior home life. This will enable you to help integrate your pet into your home well, with as little trauma as possible.


The next step is to pet-proof your house. The first days are likely to be a challenge. You can ease this transition by making the proper preparations. Select a veterinarian, and create a list of supplies. At the most basic level, you’ll need to purchase a bed, some pet food and a few toys. Unless you want him to make toys out of your belongings! If you’re buying a cat, you’ll need a litter box and cat litter.  Both dogs and cats will need a carrier for transportation, but a dog may need a crate for at home, as well.


If you’re buying a puppy, consider buying a crate with dividers so you can expand the space as he grows. Dogs can be crate trained, so that they aren’t loose in the house when you’re out for a bit. But remember, your pet should regard this space as a haven, not a punishment. Think of it as buying him is very own “den.” It should be large enough for several inches of free space above his head when your dog is standing and spacious enough to allow different “zones” for sleeping and feeding.  This is your canine companion’s “safe space” and it may be especially useful if your pet is coming to you from a difficult situation like a rescue. Find reviews on the best dog crates at Pet Life Today.


You may also want to consider a pet stroller. These are great for small or older pets. You can get them out and about, while keeping them safe from larger animals and inquisitive strangers. Pet strollers are becoming more popular with all segment of society. They let less active pets and people enjoy more activities together.


Remember to be patient with your new pet and give him time to adjust to his new home and family. Keep your expectations realistic: Your schedule is about to get an overhaul. Allow plenty of time together to learn each other’s habits and personalities. This is also the time to start training and setting a schedule. It may take several months to really develop a bond. Patience is key. Your pet is probably going to make a few mistakes along the way, and that’s OK, because you’ll probably make a few as well. It’s part and parcel of getting to know each other and becoming a family.


Article provided by Medina James,

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