First-Time Pet Owner? Unleash the Power of Unconditional Love
Written by: Cindy Aldridge
Photo Credit: Pexels
Deciding on your first pet may feel like a quick and easy decision, but some prudent research and careful consideration will go a long way in making sure you don’t have buyer’s remorse. Planning for a pet should be akin to planning for a child. In other words, you’re not making an emotional decision that you can easily give up; you’re making a loving commitment. Before you make any hard, fast decisions give this advice from Regarding Animals some thought.
Can I provide an ideal home?
As much as you might feel you’re able to provide a perfect home for any pet, that’s not always the case. For example, if you’re in love with a German Shepherd and you live in an apartment, you’re going to end up with one unhappy animal. German Shepherds are one of many popular breeds that need room to run. Does your home have a backyard for a pet that needs to roam, and are you willing to pay for a fence to keep them safe? Installing a fence isn’t even as simple as just hiring the work, since you need to complete a property survey first and then shop around for a good contractor, get bids and decide who’s best for the job.
And it’s not just bricks and mortar that make the home a good place for your pet. Some dogs will require a large bed, a crate, and a stroller; other pets might need a cage, an aquarium with lighting, and so on. Think about all of the extras that you’ll need to purchase to really give your pet the proper home.
Will all my family be okay with this pet?
Nothing ruins the joy of bringing home a pet only to have one of your children break out in hives after a few pets. Whatever companion you select, ensure nobody in your household is allergic. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation, three out of 10 people who have allergies will react to a dog or a cat, and cat allergies are twice as common as dog allergies.
You can try to cut down on the number of allergens in your home by changing your air filter on a regular basis — experts at ReddiHVAC suggest pet owners swap in a new filter every 60 days or so.
How will you get your pet acclimated to your home?
You can’t just bring a pet home one night, and go off to work the next morning and expect them to settle themselves in. As Animal Friends notes, changing homes is difficult for pets and they’ll need to be eased into the transition. Consider these tips:
Take time off work to establish a routine with your new animal.
Stick to a schedule for eating, exercising, bonding, and bed.
During the first few weeks, if you need to step away from the house for an extended length of time, hire someone to pet sit while you’re gone. That way, your new friend won’t spend too much time alone.
If you’re adopting a pet, be sure to bring something that they already own, such as a blanket or a favorite toy.
Give them plenty of attention.
How will you develop that special bond?
Once you get your new pet home, you’ll want to set aside quality time together where you can establish a great bond. Those first few weeks where you serve as their caregiver can make for a super-strong bond if you take some important steps.
Set aside several spaces of time each day where you share personal one on one time together.
Pet your animal.
Groom your new pet. Make sure you have the right equipment for the job.
Consider hand feeding.
Also, be quick to praise good choices.
Choosing and bringing home your first pet is a wonderful lifetime experience. But it can just as easily become a nightmare if you don’t properly prepare. Use these tips and make sure you’re ready to adopt just the right animal that you can love for a lifetime.
Looking to build trust with your pet and improve their behavior? For Trust Technique and Reiki services, book a consultation or session with Regarding Animals.
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<About the Author>
Cindy Aldridge is the creator of ourdogfriends.org, a website advocating for the love and ownership of dogs. She believes that dogs truly are our best friends and wants to see fewer dogs in shelters and more in loving homes.