Are you considering adding a four-legged friend to your family? You may feel a great deal of excitement, but also some anxiety. There is no reason to worry. Pets provide love, warmth, and comfort to your home. First-time pet owners simply need to be prepared for the wonderful changes that lie ahead. Follow these eight pieces of advice for a great start as a pet parent.
- Prepare an Area in Your Home for Your Pet
First-time pet owners must make sure their homes are ready for a new dog or cat. It is simpler than you might think. The best option is to prepare a small area of your house for your new pet to explore. Using doors, gates or pet enclosures, you can ensure that a dog is kept safely in one area until he or she becomes more accustomed to the environment. You may want to keep a cat in a room that has a closing door for the first few days. Don’t forget to keep water and a litter box handy!
- Safety Proof Your Home
Animals can easily explore areas that aren’t safe for them through no fault of their own. Remove wires and cables from low lying spaces. Store medicines and cleaners in cabinets that cannot be reached. Remove breakables from spots that can be easily knocked over and broken.
- Research Veterinarians
One of the first trips you will take with your new pet is to the veterinarian. Do your research first. Find a veterinarian that is near your home, is accepting new patients and has the patience to work with a first-time pet owner.
- Schedule Training Lessons
It is simply not true that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks. Obedience and training schools are vital for dogs of all ages. These classes help your dog learn how to behave. They also help you learn how to interact with your new best friend.
- Find a Boarder and Groomer
You will not always be able to be there for your pet. When you go on vacations or business trips, make sure you have an existing relationship with a boarding facility. Learn how far in advance you need to make arrangements for boarding and what to expect when you arrive. Likewise, you will want to have a groomer handy for dogs and long-haired cats.
- Get Samples of Food, Treats, and Toys
Food and treat samples are important for pets and their owners alike. Some animals are picky and will not eat any food or treat that is given to them. Instead of stocking up on a specific food or treat for your pet, look for samples. These are often available through your veterinarian or local pet store. Likewise, you may want a selection of toys to begin with. You will be able to tell fairly quickly what your dog or cat prefers.
- Inform Friends and Family
Friends and extended family members will need to be made aware of the changes to your household. You might find that your best friend is allergic to cats or that your great aunt has a dog phobia. Let everyone know right away that you are welcoming a new pet into your life. You may also wish to ask for some time off from work. The first few days of pet ownership are vital to developing a bond. Being close to your pet can help to ease the transition.
- Be Ready for Anything
Pets, like people, have different personalities. No two dogs or cats behave in exactly the same way. You are guaranteed love and companionship, but what that looks and feels like will be unique to you and your new pet.
Pet ownership isn’t always easy, but it is always rewarding. Follow this advice and you are certain to have a wonderful new relationship with your four-legged friend!