Photo Credit: kate_mockery, Pixabay
From cats to dogs to birds to fish, there are many different types of pets you can adopt. Choosing the right pet is an important first step in becoming a first-time pet owner. You’ll also need to be aware of how to prepare your home and cater to your specific pet’s needs and wants. Having a pet has many benefits, and being a well-prepared and responsible pet owner helps increase the chances of your pet being happy and healthy.
Choose the Pet that’s Right for You
Arguably, the most important aspect of pet ownership is choosing the right pet. You’ll need to make a lot of considerations when determining the type of animal and breed to bring home. The age of the pet will also be an important consideration.
Are you okay with pet hair being on your clothes or furniture? If not, a dog or cat may not be the best choice. Does cleaning a cage or litter box bother you? You’ll also need to consider what kind of pets will work if your home has children or if anyone has an allergy. Consider your activity level and make sure your pet aligns with it.
The space you have available inside and outside your home is an important factor. If you rent, ensure you’re able to have a pet and whether or not there are restrictions on type, breed, and size. Ensure that you have the financial resources to care for a pet and any pet emergencies. Also, determine the time you have available to spend with a pet. If you work long hours or travel frequently, you may need someone to care for your pet while you’re gone.
Bringing a New Pet Home
Your new pet will need time to adjust and may be shy and apprehensive at first. When you bring him home, don’t have a crowd of people over. Only the people who will be living with the pet should be present. Some house members may need special introductions, such as introducing a dog to a baby.
Boundaries should be set from day one. “What we are trying to say here is that if there are certain things you don’t want the animal to get into, that should be clear from the very first time the animal tries to get to it,” says HomeoAnimal. Also, keep in mind that training actually begins the moment you let the pet into your home. Be aware of common behavioral issues that can arise for your pet and how to handle them.
Benefits of Pet Ownership
One of the best parts of being a pet owner is enjoying the many health benefits. People experience less stress when their pets are near, and pets can improve overall mood. Pets can even ease pain, especially in people with chronic pain like migraines or arthritis. They can also reduce the chance of stroke, lower cholesterol levels, and lower blood pressure.
Dogs in particular offer the health benefit of physical activity. A dog requires exercise, and most dog owners incorporate dog walking as part of their own fitness routine, which improves heart health, lung capacity, muscle tone, bone health, and flexibility. Dog owners who regularly walk their dogs get more exercise per week than those without dogs.
Activities to Do with Your Pet
Walking isn’t the only activity you can do with your pet, and any activity you partake in is a way to bond with your pet. The kinds of activities will depend on the type of pet you choose. If you have a rodent, spend the day building tunnels throughout your home for your pet to enjoy. Cats enjoy a game of hide and seek in which you hide treats throughout your home.
No matter which type of animal you choose to adopt, be sure that you properly prepare. Do your research so that you select the best pet for your home and lifestyle. To help your new pet acclimate easier, properly prepare your home and know what type of activities you and your pet can do together. Taking the time to research and plan makes you a responsible pet owner and pays off by giving you a strong relationship with your new pet.