Finding The Right Pet
Tips For First-Time Pet Owners
Finding the right pet for you can be overwhelming, as there are so many things to think about. If you have children or a small home, you might want to take the size and breed of animal into consideration. If you’re looking for a companion who will bring comfort to a stressful situation, a dog or cat who has been trained for such things is the best way to go.
You’ll also need to think about whether you want a rescue animal--which might need a little more love and attention than another kind--as well as the logistics of taking care of a pet. If you work during the day, you may need to hire a dog walker, or have a setup that allows your pet to go outside when you can’t get home.
Here are a few tips on how to find the perfect pet for you, and how to ensure that both of you stay happy.
Do some research
No matter where your pet comes from, it’s important to do some research first. Think about the type of animal you want, as well as the breed, and look up details about their care and requirements. It’s also a good idea to check out a basic history behind the type of animal, such as whether they are typically good with kids, or whether they are prone to certain health conditions. For instance, dog breeds with pushed-in faces, like pugs, often have respiratory problems that prevents them from getting on an airplane or traveling to high altitudes.
Once you know what type of animal you want, prepare your home. Look for any hazards, such as cords or wires that might be tempting for a puppy to chew on, and eliminate them. Buy everything your pet will need--food, bowls, bedding, toys, and anything potty-related--and have it all set up and ready to go so that when you bring your pet home, he’ll be comfortable.
If you are rescuing an animal, consider buying a large crate or kennel to keep at home. Many rescue animals feel safe and secure in a containment system because they were raised in one; some even prefer to sleep in a kennel at night.
While some pets prefer to be in a cage--such as hamsters or birds--others need exercise every day. Think about how you’ll accomplish this with your new animal, especially if you work long hours. If it’s too difficult to get home in the middle of the day, consider hiring a local dog walker who can come over, walk your dog, and give him some attention while you’re away. This is crucial interaction that a pet needs, especially if he was rescued.
Help him settle in
Your pet may be a little nervous at first, especially if he was rescued, so it’s important to get him settled in a calm way. Make sure only family members are home when he arrives; if you have young children, it might be best to introduce them slowly, one at a time, to your new pet. Talk to them about the rules concerning the animal, such as how to properly touch and feed him, and allow him to explore your home at his leisure. Take him outside so he can get a feel for the way everything looks; take him on a walk to let him get acclimated to the new neighborhood. Set out his toys and start a game with him; let him dictate how to play so that he’ll feel comfortable with you.
Remember that getting a new pet is a major life change, especially if it’s young or was rescued. Animals need lots of love and attention, especially at first, so it’s imperative that you change your schedule a bit to accommodate for that. With a good plan and some care, your pet will feel at home in no time.
Article by Bernie the Boxer