Caring For Your First Pet

Now that you’ve decided to get your first pet, it’s time to start planning. To make this an enjoyable relationship, you’ll need to make sure you choose the right pet and help your pet get acclimated to your home and family so you can bond. 

Selecting The Right Pet And Breed

Choosing the right pet is the first and most important decision for you to make. 

  • Allergies: Do you or anyone you live with have pet allergies? You might want to get tested if you are not sure.
  • House and Yard Size: How much space does your pet need? For larger animals, you may need a bigger home. However, some smaller breeds flourish even in apartments. Consider giving your dog or cat their own space in your home as well. 
  • Temperament: If you are considering a rescue pet, here are five dog temperament tests from HuffPost to help you choose the right one.
  • Time Commitment: Some animals require a much heavier time commitment. Puppies need to be trained and rescue pets often need to be handled with special care. 
  • Budget: Maintenance will be required for any pet, including medication, pest prevention, vet visits, food, toys, cleaning, etc. 

If you are choosing a dog, find the right breed with help from VetStreet.

Getting Your Pet Acclimated

Before you bring home your new pet, remember that he or she will be a part of the family. Make sure your home is safe; for example, keep chemicals out of the reach of puppies and kittens. Decide in advance if there are any rooms that are off-limits for your pet in advance too. If your pet will be in the yard, find out if you should have a fence. Also, stock up on cleaning supplies in the event of a mess (bodily or otherwise). And if you have a cat, remember to pick up a litter box. If that idea of cleaning the litter every day sounds horrible, pick up a self-cleaning litter box, though check out reviews online to ensure you’re getting one that does the job well.

In addition, prepare your family by creating rules and boundaries for both them and your pet. Teach them how to handle and care for your pet as well as what not to do. This is especially important for children! 

Once the day is here, it’s time to make the final preparations. Make sure you have everything you need as well as plenty of food, toys, and treats. Wise pet owners will have located a nearby vet as well. PetSmart has a list with five ways to make your new pet feel welcome once they arrive.

As mentioned if you’ve decided to adopt a rescue pet, the animal may need a little extra TLC if he is skittish. The first few days may be stressful so you should consider staying with him. 

Bonding With Your Pet

You’ll begin to bond with your pet on day one, by feeding him. Trust is established once he knows he’ll be fed daily by the same person. Regular care will let your pet know he can trust you and helps to reinforce those bonds. 

Dog owners, here are 11 ways to strengthen your bond with your pet.

Companion Animals

Companion animals can be beneficial to many people with stress and other problems, such as people in addiction recovery. Puppy Education explains that pets can reduce stress and provide a sense of calm, which can aid people on their journey to sobriety. 

Getting your first pet is a big commitment but can be the beginning of a rewarding relationship that may be among the best ones in your life.