Tips For Bringing Your First Pet Home
If you know you’re ready for a companion, but you aren’t sure which type of pet is best for you, there are a few things to keep in mind. Consider the size of your home, your work schedule, and the cost of caring for a pet. Once you choose a pet, you’ll need to properly prepare your home for his or her arrival to ensure a smooth transition for both of you.
Consider Your Home
When deciding which type of pet to adopt, consider how much room you have in your home and yard. Dogs need to go outside for exercise and to use the bathroom. If you don’t have a yard, find a nearby dog park or another dog-friendly outdoor area. Also, if you rent, ensure your landlord allows pets and find out if there are any limitations on pet type, size, or breed. Even if you own your home, some homeowner associations have pet restrictions.
Consider the atmosphere of your home. If you like things neat and tidy, keep in mind that puppies and kittens like to explore and sometimes chew or claw furniture and other items. You’ll need to think of ways to keep your pet away from off-limit areas.
If you’re planning on selling your home in the near future, you should also have a plan for where your pet can stay when the house is being shown to potential buyers. Having a pet in your home can distract homebuyers. You’ll also need to clean up after your pet and put his or her items out of view.
Consider Your Needs
Different animals and breeds have different needs. Consider whether those needs fit into your lifestyle. Leaving a dog for an eight-hour work shift may be okay, but if your workdays frequently last 12 hours, this can be stressful for your pet. Does your job require you to travel frequently? This can be stressful for some animals and you’ll need to find a sitter, so take that into consideration.
You should also think about the size of the pet and whether you can physically manage it. A bigger dog can be hard to handle on a leash. Some animals need cages that you may need to lift to clean. If you have allergies, choose a pet that is allergy-friendly. Having children means you’ll need to choose a kid-friendly pet as well.
Just like many additions to your lifestyle, taking on a pet means adjusting your budget. Thoughtful planning helps to ensure that you don’t run into any unexpected expenses. Statistics indicate that large dogs are some of the most expensive pets to own, costing about $1,040 per year. Cats aren’t far behind at $809 per year, and even a guinea pig costs around $304 per year to care for.
You might also need to budget for related expenses, like adding a fence to your property. Angi notes that homeowners pay $4,500 on average for installation; a quick search will reveal fence companies near you to get estimates. Make sure you look for professionals with stellar reviews and get quotes in writing before you select a contractor.
Helping Your Pet Adjust
When you bring your pet home, you’ll want her to be comfortable, but she’ll sense the home is already established. The smells are new and everything looks different. It’s a lot to take in, and your pet will need time to adjust. Some pets just need a few days, while others need weeks or months.
Establish a safe place for your pet to be alone and rest. Your pet should be able to access the space without help. Before picking up your pet, purchase some basic comfort items like toys and a blanket.
Some pets require a little extra attention and preparation. For example, an elderly pet will appreciate plenty of space and quiet time to adjust. You may need to elevate the food and water bowls and provide access to food and water in several locations. A ramp can help your elderly pet easily conquer stairs.
Adding a new pet to your life is exciting. Take the time to carefully choose the best pet based on your living situation, needs, and finances. And take the time to help your pet adjust and be comfortable in your new home. By following these steps, you’re building the foundation for a fulfilling, long-lasting relationship with your pet.
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