By Brittany Cotton
Welcoming a furry, feathery, or scaly new member of the family into your home can be both exciting, and a little frightening, especially if you are a first-time pet owner. Having a pet offers a number of invaluable benefits. The friendship and companionship that a pet can provide is simply unmatched and is an extremely enriching experience. At the same time, owning a pet comes with new responsibilities, and it can take time to really get to know the new member of the family. Depending on the age and background of the pet, additional training may be necessary to ensure a peaceful life at home. This article will help provide all first-time pet owners the tools they need to welcome a new pet into their home.
o Tips for first-time pet owners.
The first step in deciding to adopt a pet is to decide what type of pet is best for your and your family. For busy families who are traveling or on the go a lot, a low-maintenance pet may be best. A pet like a fish, reptile, or hamster can be left for many hours, or even a day or two, without needing additional care. Cats are known for being fairly independent as well, though they do require more attention and care. Dogs require daily walks and should not be left alone overnight, so make sure your lifestyle and work responsibilities will allow you to have the time to properly care for your new pet.
o How to ensure that the pet is always happy and healthy.
If you do decide to adopt a dog, it is still important to select a dog that matches your lifestyle. Adopting a puppy, especially an older puppy that may have not been properly trained, can require a lot of time and patience to be able to break bad habits. An older dog may not require further training but may not be as playful and energetic as a younger dog. Are you looking for a hiking and running partner, or a fellow couch potato? Pay close attention to the behavior, temperament, and energy level of different breeds of dogs to make sure you are a perfect match.
Getting a new pet does come with added expenses. Besides things like food, toys, treats, and other basic needs, regular vet visits will also be a significant added cost every year. Regular vet visits are absolutely vital to ensure your pet is happy and health. It is important to carefully consider your budget before making the commitment to a new pet. In addition to annual checkups, unfortunately it is always possible for some kind of emergency or unexpected medical issue to arise, bringing in more unanticipated costs. Pet insurance is a very important option to consider helping protect yourself against unforeseen medical costs for your furry family member. Because an emergency vet bill can often be several thousand dollars, pet insurance can drastically offset these costs and ensure the best possible treatment for your pet in the event of an emergency. Pet insurance companies offer a variety of different types of plans to meet a variety of budgets and needs.
How to bond/build a connection with the pet.
Once you’ve brought your new friend home, it is important to spend a lot of time, especially in the first few days and weeks, building a relationship with your new pet. They’ll likely want to spend time exploring and getting to know their new surroundings which will be full of many interesting smells. Give your pet space but stay nearby so they know they are safe. Dedicate time to playing, petting, and going over basic training commands. Make sure dogs are taken out to go to the bathroom regularly and ensure that food or other items they may like to chew are out of reach.
There are many different considerations to think about prior to adopting a new pet, but the love a pet can provide is simply unmatched. By doing some initial research, carefully considering the added costs of a pet, and dedicating significant time making the new pet feel at home once adopted, new pet owners can ensure a wonderful relationship with the new member of the family for many years to come.