The Simple Advice Every New Pet Parent Needs to Hear
by Jessica Brody
Are you a first-time pet parent or thinking about becoming one? Committing to caring for an animal is a big responsibility, but it comes with even bigger benefits. Having a pet means unlimited love, lots of warm couch snuggles, and a listening ear when you need it most. Here are a few things to consider when making the leap to pet parenthood.
Searching for Your Soulmate
Becoming a pet parent is a big decision. From puppies to parrots, there are quite a few types of pets available. Even if you decide what kind of animal you’d like to love, you’ll need to pick out a breed as well. Factor your home, habits, and health into your decision. Smaller pets may be more suitable for smaller homes or busy lifestyles. If you have space and more time to commit, you can consider larger pets, like a dog or pot-bellied pig. There are even hypoallergenic animals to choose from if you don’t want allergies to keep you from pet parenthood.
Caring for Your Pet
It goes without saying that part of pet ownership involves caring for your furry companion. You’ll want to have the right pet food, bedding, and, of course, plenty of toys. Prior to bringing your pet home, you’ll want to find a trustworthy local veterinarian to ensure your pet is healthy. It’s also important to plan for how you’ll clean up after your pet. Pets can shed and bring dander and odors into your home but. Luckily, there are numerous products available these days to help keep things clean and odor-free. Cleaners and pet odor removers are readily available in most stores and many contain enzymes to help eliminate smells. You can also rely on baking soda for inexpensive deodorizing. Make sure you have a sturdy vacuum that’s made for sucking up pet hair.
Pet-Proofing Your Home
If you’ve solved the problem of picking out the right pet, it’s time to get your home ready. From bunnies to bull dogs, pets need their own space to really feel at home. Designate a corner of your home as your new pet’s very own domain. Use crates or cages to keep your animal secure when you’re not able to supervise them. If your pet will be roaming around your rooms, be sure to pick up plants, food, and objects that could be a hazard to their health. Even something as innocent as chewing gum can cause life-threatening issues for dogs, cats, and other pets. Do a sweep of the inside and outside of your house and remove potential pet problems so you don’t have to worry about your new friend getting into trouble.
Loving Your New Friend
Bringing a new animal friend home can be exciting. But some pets, especially rescues, may need time to feel comfortable with you and their new home. Don’t be alarmed if your new pal spends a lot of their time sleeping or takes a while to warm up to you. Provide plenty of attention and positive interactions to help your pet relax. Treats and playtime are great ways to build trust and love. If you notice any behavior issues, schedule a check-up with your vet to rule out any health problems. Then, consult training guides and tips to put an end to issues. If you find yourself overwhelmed or unable to care for your pet, know that responsible re-homing is a way to show true affection for an animal.
Benefitting From Your Bond
When you get through the adjustment period with your new pet, you’ll begin to see all of the wonderful benefits of animal companionship. Pets can provide comfort, stress relief and positive activity, which can be especially beneficial for those recovering from addiction. In fact, pet therapy and therapy pets have become a more common part of treating addiction, health issues, and mental illness. When you’re feeling anxious or upset, take a few minutes to pet your pal. Is boredom getting you down? Go on a walk with your dog or play with your cat. Animals are an endless source of happiness and calm, so be sure to enjoy all the perks pet parenthood has to offer.
Maintaining People and Pet Health
As a pet parent, you need to take certain steps to keep your companion, and yourself, healthy. Keep your animal clean and well-groomed to avoid skin and allergy issues. Schedule regular check-ups with a veterinarian, and make sure your vet can handle your particular pet. Many animals need to stay on monthly medications to prevent parasites and pests from causing them harm, and most pets will need vaccinations to keep illness at bay. Talk to your vet and do some research to determine the best health care plan for your pet. Maintaining your animal’s health will keep them happy and can keep people from getting sick as well.
Being a first-time pet owner is fun and rewarding. Just be sure you, your home and your life are all prepared for your new best friend. Happy tails to you and your new pal!
Photo Credit: João Victor Xavier @joaovictorxavier