Your life changes when you have a pet. How much it changes depends on you and your pet. While caring for an animal can be hard work and inconvenient at times, the bond between you and your little friend can be incredibly rewarding.
If you’re prepared to learn to understand your pet, care for it, and protect it, you may have a loving, inspiring, and sometimes even hilarious companion.
There is much to consider before adopting a pet and much to do once it’s home. Check out these tips on adopting a pet to make the transition as successful as possible.
Buying a goldfish is a world apart from adopting a cat, which is far different than adopting a puppy. Each requires work, regular maintenance, and attention to detail, but don’t go into pet adoption thinking that all animals are identical.
Equally, it is critical to research different breeds of an animal before you commit. This includes learning about behavior, temperament, and energy levels.
For example, people often expect that greyhounds need a lot of exercises. They are sleek dogs known for their racing, but they will happily rest for 20 hours after a few minutes of sprinting.
Are you a cat person or a dog person? Not every pet works for every lifestyle.
Some research can go a long way here as well. For example, Nuwber used its expertise to uncover some surprising findings related to pets and your locations, hobbies, and professions.
Now is a great time to look at your situation and what your lifestyle would mean for an animal. Here are some things to be brutally honest about:
- How much time do you want to spend with your pet once the novelty wears off?
- Whether your home is large enough for your pet.
- Whether you and your pet have the same energy levels.
- Whether other people in the household also want a pet or this particular animal.
- Your neighbors’ ability to cope with your pet, such as a cat entering their property or a dog barking at night.
- Whether you are at home enough to give your pet adequate company and attention.
- Your willingness and ability to train your pet. Everyone loves a pet with manners.
- How much time you can spare to play with your pet to provide necessary mental stimulation?
If you are rescuing your pet, bravo to you. Understand that a pet that has been ill-treated or has lost its family for any reason may be traumatized. That trauma may manifest in some odd or antisocial behavior.
Above all, be patient with your pet. Be gentle and keep things simple. Sad as it is, you should understand that it may take a long time for the pet to trust that you will not leave them or hurt them. Don’t take this personally if your pet seems anxious or wary of you.
You can’t know everything a pet has been through, but try to empathize with its attempt to adapt to yet another new situation. Let your pet open up in its own time. In the meantime, provide love and a safe, reliable environment.
Traumatized or not, everyone needs their space from time to time. Make sure that your pet has theirs. This can help an animal feel safe, comfortable, and relaxed.
This is unlikely to be a challenge with a fish or a caged animal. For a larger animal, see if you can carve out a corner or an old chair uniquely for your pet.
In addition to food and gear, like collars, beds, and bowls, be realistic about whether you have enough money to pay for:
- Necessary grooming.
- Vet visits (you might need expensive callouts for a larger pet).
- Treatment plans, such as against mites or ticks.
While it’s not certain that your pet will become ill, it’s essential to have the financial resources to take care of an animal if it does. Therefore, pet insurance is the most important cost of having a pet. Don’t stint on this. Pet insurance can give you peace of mind and help you cover the cost should expensive vets bills arise or if your pet causes injury or damage to a third party.
A pet may technically belong to one person, but everyone in a household will be affected by the new arrival. Your family will be a core part of your support network and everyone must be on board with having the pet.
Make sure everyone knows their responsibilities. And while everyone can share chores, also define where the buck stops.
Make sure that cleaning products and other materials that may harm your pet are out of sight and reach. Harmful materials include things your pet could choke on and some innocuous materials like chocolate, which is toxic to dogs.
At the same time, you’ll also want to keep your place pet-proof. Keep your valuables safe from prying eyes and jaws. Valuables might include jewelry, cheesecake, and slippers.
As well as putting things away, you can create pet no-go areas with physical barriers, such as child gates or closed doors. Electronic fences and corresponding pet collars can also limit an animal to your chosen area. Repeated training and positive reinforcement can also have good results though this might take some time.
Adopting a pet is very rewarding as you give a domestic animal a home and hopefully a safer, more comfortable life than it might have elsewhere. In many cases, such as for retired greyhounds, you give the pet the gift of life.
Whether you’ve decided that you’re a cat person, a dog person, or something completely different, these tips should help you prepare yourself, your family, and your new pet for your life together.