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For many people, pets are like another family member. Some individuals can’t imagine going anywhere without their dog, or a life without the joy their sweet cat brings. For first-time pet owners, however, it can be difficult to prepare for having an animal; even choosing the right pet can be overwhelming, as you have to take so many things into consideration. Your schedule, the size of your home, whether you have young children, and the temperament of the animal are all factors you need to look at.
If you think you’re ready for a pet, however, there are several simple things you can do to get ready. Do a little homework first to make sure you’re able to choose the right animal for your family, especially if you’re going to adopt, and talk to friends and loved ones who have gone through the pet ownership experience so you can get valuable advice and tips. Furthermore, if you’re bringing home a companion animal that will support a condition like epilepsy, a physical disability, or even addiction, you’ll want to make sure you speak with someone who can give you an idea of what to look for in a pet, and what to expect when your furry friend comes home with you.
In the meantime, here are a few of the best ways to get started.
Do some research on the type of animal you want to get. Look at different breeds and find out how much they eat in a day, what sort of health issues they typically face, how well they interact with children, what their temperament is, and some history on what the breed is known for. Finding the right animal for your needs is important; for instance, if you’re a hunter or outdoorsman and want a dog that can accompany you on trips, labradors and golden retrievers are a great choice.
Know the expense
Even if your pet is healthy, there will likely still be expenses to face in the form of vaccinations and supplies. Pets need much more than just food and water; they also require a comfortable bed, toys, a collar, a leash, and hygiene items. Large animals will obviously need more food and water than others, which will be an expense you’ll need to prepare for monthly.
Work on your patience
Young animals need lots of care and attention much like human babies do, so if you choose a puppy or kitten, be prepared for lots of messes and mischief. Remember that animals are simply curious about their surroundings and are still getting used to being able to run around, so they may be a little clumsy. Give your new pet plenty of space and be patient when he has an accident; he’s just learning the ropes.
Carve time out of your schedule
It can be difficult to take time away from work or your social life to care for your pet, but it’s absolutely necessary, especially during the first few weeks. Make time to play with him, snuggle, and work on training techniques so that the two of you can begin to bond and learn one another’s cues. This is an important part of forming your relationship with your pet, because it’s where you’ll both learn how to interact with each other. Communication is key, just like it is with any other relationship.
If you have a very busy schedule and know you can’t make it home during the day to let your dog out and give him a little love, consider hiring a dog walker. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that your animal is well taken care of when you can’t be there with him.
Pet ownership is a big responsibility, but if you’re prepared and are ready to face the challenges along with the rewards, your new pet will be a part of your family in no time.
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