How First-Time Pet Owners Can Make the Right Match for a Happy Pet-Parent Relationship
How First-Time Pet Owners Can Make the Right Match
for a Happy Pet-Parent Relationship
When you’re getting a pet for the first time, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement. You’re eager to find your new companion, bring them home, and start enjoying your life together. This is definitely a thrilling time! However, many first-time pet owners let their excitement take over to the point where they rush the process. However, with a little research and preparation beforehand, any prospective pet parent can ensure they find the pup that’s perfect for them.
Know What to Expect
Life with pets is incredibly rewarding, but it also takes a big commitment from you. Of course, life with a cat is much different than with dogs, and even certain dog breeds will have entirely different needs and personalities. That’s why it’s smart to think about your lifestyle, how much time you have for your pet, and even the type of activities you want to do with them. Do you want a lap dog (or cat), a family-friendly pet, or a dog with enough energy to take on runs or outdoor adventures?
It’s also important to look at your family’s budget and make sure you can afford a pet. Take a look at cost estimates for dog or cat care. This should include food, dog walking services, toys, grooming, and of course, all pets need quality vet care. In addition to finding a vet, you may want to think about getting pet insurance because it can help make vet care much more affordable. Take some time to research reputable companies, and pay close attention to the services a plan covers, in addition to cost.
Make an Educated Decision
Once you know what to expect as a new pet parent, the next step is to narrow down your options. Whether you’re thinking about getting a certain breed or a mix, the main traits to consider are a dog’s size, personality, and activity level.
There isn’t a right or wrong breed, but breed characteristics do make a difference in terms of what your new pup will require. According to K9 of Mine, some of the best breeds for first-time pet owners are smaller dogs like shih tzus and pugs. Also on the list are labs and golden retrievers, two breeds that are often considered the quintessential family pets. Keep in mind, though, that retrievers and shepherds require more exercise than smaller dogs.
No matter which breed you’re considering, don’t discount rescue animals, even those that are mixes! Rescue organizations and the pet foster parents they work with do a lot of work to assess a dog’s personality, so you can usually get a good idea of whether an available dog is a good fit for you.
Prepare a Warm Welcome
When you’ve picked out your new best friend and you’re ready to bring them home, the way you introduce them into your life can make a big difference in how they respond. You’ll want to get your home ready ahead of time, including setting up supplies and dog-proofing (or cat-proofing) for safety. It’s also a good idea to have a plan to address any house training accidents. This includes purchasing the right kind of cleaning products as well as having a plan for having carpets and furniture cleaned or repaired. When move-in day arrives, Rescue Dogs 101 recommends giving your new dog a chance to explore outside your house first before bringing them in, and introducing them to one room at a time.
Starting off slow will make the adjustment feel less overwhelming, which is especially important if your pooch is a rescue. Remember that change can be hard for people, too, so don’t expect everything to fall into place overnight. The best thing you can do is give your new pet plenty of time and patience, and of course love, to make the perfect transition with your perfect new companion.
Photo credit: Pixabay
Written by Aurora James