Buying a pet is a major commitment and represents a significant lifestyle shift for many people. If you have never owned a pet before, here’s what you need to do to prepare yourself and your home for the rigours of pet ownership.
Pet-Proof Your Home
The first thing that you need to do is to make sure that your home is safe for your new pet. In some cases, there isn’t really anything you need to do in this regard; small pets that live in enclosed habitats shouldn’t need many or any adjustments. However, if you are going to be bringing back a new cat or dog, then when you want to make sure that there is a barrier between them and any hazardous ornaments or fixtures in your home, at least until they are familiar with the rules.
Some homes also have hazardous plants or poisonous substances present. You need to ensure that anything like this is kept sealed in a container that your pet is not going to be able to access. Finally, if your home has lots of toys with small pieces that are easy to swallow, such as LEGO, then you need to make sure that there’s no chance of a curious puppy gobbling some of the pieces up.
Prepare a Personal Space for Your Pet
You will need to decide whether your pet is going to be free to roam around your home as they please or whether you are going to restrict them to certain areas. If you are going to keep them in a certain area, then you need to find a way of cordoning that area off. You will also need to decide whether your pet is going to be free to come and go as it pleases or whether you will attempt to restrict it to either mostly indoors or mostly outdoors.
In any case, your pet is going to need some kind of personal space within your home. Set aside an area for your pet to sleep, and somewhere where your pet can hang out with the rest of the family. It is best to set up these spaces within your home before you bring your pets back for the first time.
Get Them Lots of Toys
Pets are like people in that they need to have some kind of entertainment. As your pet grows older, they will become more docile. However, during the earliest periods of their life, it is important that they are active and stimulated. That means that you need to provide suitable toys for them.
These don’t have to be expensive toys. In fact, many pets will be satisfied with improvised toys such as balls of yarn. When pets are young, they will want to explore and interact with their environment just like young children will. This often involves a lot of licking and chewing, and it is your responsibility to let your pet know what they can and can’t interact with in this way.
Read Up on What to Expect
The more research that you do beforehand, the better prepared you will be for your pet coming home. The more prepared you are, the smoother everything will go. Do as much reading up as you can beforehand about what it is like to own the kind of pets that you will be buying.
You will find plenty of information online, of course. You might even want to look on social media sites for any groups of pet owners who own the same pet as you. These groups can be a fantastic source of advice and are also just a good way of meeting new people.
Consider Pet Insurance
No one wants to think about their pet becoming ill, but just like with people, there is always a chance that illness or injury will occur. If your pet does become sick or injured, then the associated vet bills can rapidly accumulate. Getting medical treatment for an animal is not cheap, but if you have an insurance policy, then you can reclaim at least some of the costs.
You can buy pet insurance through an insurance intermediary like Everypaw. They offer different types of insurance for cats and dogs, and even offer a multi-pet discount if you are insuring multiple pets.
Stock Up on Supplies
Whether it’s food or bedding, every pet requires supplies of some kind. It makes sense to stock up on these as much as possible beforehand, rather than waiting until they run out to buy more. Sometimes you can also secure some impressive discounts for bulk buying pet supplies. If you have the space to store a lot of supplies, and they are not likely to perish, consider going wholesale with your purchases.
Preparing for the arrival of your new pet ahead of time will ensure that their first months in your home go as smoothly as possible – for both of you. Owning a pet can be a major adjustment, but it is also a rewarding experience. If this is your first pet, then make sure that you read up on what to expect.
To read more on topics like this, check out the pets category.
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