Advice for the First-Time Fur Parent
Jessica, from our friends over at Our Best Friends, is here to help relieve the anxieties of those considering owning a pet for the first time by teaching us how to prepare for pet ownership. She would like to increase the amount of pet adoptions because still too many pets go unadopted every year. She's owned pets her whole life and knows what it's like when considering to get a pet for the first time.
There are a million reasons why you should own a pet. They make for great companions. They relieve stress, improve moods and can even lower your blood pressure. Few things compare to the joy and overall happiness that owning a pet can provide. However, if this is your first time housing a fur baby, there are a few things you will need to keep in mind. All pets require love, attention and most of the basic human needs. Here are a few ways to be sure that you are well equipped to give your new family member everything he needs to thrive. Be patient Bringing your pet home, may seem comforting to you, but keep in mind that your home, no matter how cozy it may be, is a new environment for them. In the beginning they may seem skittish or apprehensive, but over time with lots of love and guidance, this will pass. It is important at this time that you set boundaries with your pet as well as show them the areas that they are allowed to access. Have their food and water bowls in a designated area, as well as a space for their bed. If they are not yet housebroken, show them the areas where they can use the bathroom. Your pet will be extremely vulnerable in this phase of ownership, so be sure to praise them and reward them for every correct behavior. It is important that you affirm yourself as a leader, so when they do anything disapproving, show them by shaking your head along with a stern “no”. If you find yourself becoming frustrated during this process, remember that repetition is key in order for their success. If you are finding that your pet is having a hard time adjusting, you may want to consider an outside source for obedience training. Be prepared Before you bring your pet home, it’s important that you make a list of supplies they will need and check it twice. Visit your nearest pet store to purchase all the necessary items. You will need food bowls, pet food, treats and a chew toys. You will also want to invest in ID tags and a collar, as it is not uncommon that they stray away from you or your home. Microchips are also an option you may want to consider, for identification purposes. Make sure your home is a safe haven and remove anything that will be obstructive to your pet’s health. Place all chemicals up and out of reach, and remove all plugs from the floor area. Keeps shoes off the floor as well, as you will find that animals love to nibble and chew! Treat them like a family member Chances are your pet will rapidly become one of your best friends, and it is important you treat him as such. As their owner, they will depend on you and trust that you will take care of all their needs. Be sure to have a veterinarian available should they get sick and stay up to date on all their shots and vaccinations. Greet your pet daily with love and excitement as seeing you will always be the best part of their day! Make sure you are giving them adequate time and affection and that you are meeting their physical needs as well. If this isn’t your first rodeo, and you’re actually adding a pet to your fur family, be sure to choose wisely. Some pets mix better together than others and depending on your ownership history you may work better with certain types of pets than others. Owning a pet is a responsibility, but it is not a chore. Pets provide a ray of sunshine in any ones’ day and you provide that same light for them. Be gentle and kind with your pet and they will provide you with an unconditional love that is unmatched!