8 Things First-Time Pet Owners Need to Consider
Pets are excellent companions that make us smile on a gloomy day and give us unconditional love all the time. If you don’t have a pet, consider adopting one from a shelter to give a deserving animal a loving home. Before you adopt though, take a good look at your life and determine what your needs are as well as the needs of the pet. Here are some tips for finding the right companion.
Look at your home. Is the home big enough to accommodate an animal? The larger the animal, the more space it will need. Cats and hamsters are great for smaller apartments and can fit in well. Large dogs are better for larger homes with a bigger yard.
Consider your lifestyle. Are you active, or do you prefer to sit and watch TV? Do you travel a lot, or are you home most of the time? If you’re a runner, consider getting an active dog such as a labrador retriever or Rhodesian ridgeback. These dogs love to run and will gladly be your sporty companion. If you prefer to spend your weekends at home, consider a toy breed of dog or even a larger, slower breed such as a St. Bernard or English mastiff. Cats are big fans of cuddling and sleeping all day, so you can enjoy a good snuggle.
Do some research. Before you take in any animal, always research its needs online. Rodents can be kept in cages in your home, but their cages need to be cleaned regularly. They can be left alone if you go on vacation, but will need either a timed feeder or a pet sitter. Know what you will be able to do and not do for the animal.
Take note of allergies. If you or anyone in your home has an allergy to a pet, be very careful of that person’s needs. Allergies aren’t something people can just “get over.” Make sure you aren’t making someone’s life miserable or risking their health.
Is your home ready? Pick up things from the floor, such as cords, small toys, or anything that can endanger the animal. Batteries are especially dangerous if swallowed, and you never know what your new pet will want to eat. Pick up a couple of inexpensive baby gates to keep your new pet from roaming freely until you are sure he is potty trained and won’t tear up your home. Eventually, you can let him loose, but make sure he’s trustworthy in the home first.
If you have carpets, even the best-trained pets have accidents. Young pets as well as older ones can occasionally struggle with their bladders. The best way to remove urine is to work on it right away. Once it dries, the smell will stay in the carpet and will be much more difficult to get out. Put a towel or paper towel on the spot and stand on it so that it will absorb the urine. Add a solution of two cups of vinegar, two cups of warm water, and four tablespoons of baking soda, then blot with a soft cloth. When you vacuum, use a carpet deodorizer to absorb odors.
Be understanding. Pets don’t chew or have potty accidents on purpose. Work with your pet and help him understand what’s acceptable and what isn’t. Yelling at or hurting your pet won’t help and might actually cause harm. Allow him time to get used to you and the home so that he’ll feel safe and comfortable. If he’s not willing to cuddle with you, give him time. The more safe he feels, the more he’ll relax and accept you.
Take him to the vet. Soon after you adopt your new pet, take him in and make sure he’s healthy. If you’re unsure about his care and feeding, ask the veterinarian. Your vet will be able to help you by making recommendations for his care.
Your new pet will adjust to his new life fairly quickly, and before long, it will be like you were never apart. You’ll spend countless hours playing with and getting to know your new little buddy. Take him on adventures, if you can, and show him your world.