Getting a pet means adding a new family member, and entering into an incredibly rewarding relationship. While we all love our fur babies, owning any animal means that you will be undertaking a surprising amount of work as you take responsibility for your new best friend. While every situation is different, preparing yourself with some basic information can make the transition smoother and ensure the health, safety, and happiness of everyone in your household. On that note; the following are some dos and don’ts of pet ownership.
DO: Prepare Your Space
If there are animals already in your home, introducing a new family member can get off to a rocky start. Competition between animals may lead to behaviors such as spraying or marking, so be ready to spend time building positive relationships. Do some research on different methods you can use to introduce your new pet to your old one to limit tension. In areas accessible to your pet, make sure that any precious items are safe and be ready to clean up any messes that occur during the adjustment period. Lock away harmful chemicals so they’re not accessible to your pet, and get some pet-safe cleaners for pet urine stains. Think about toilet training and put a plan in place so you can get started on day one. This might mean cleaning up a corner of your hallway for a cat litter tray or sectioning off an area of your garden where your dog can go to do his/her business.
DO: Make Sure Your Pet Knows Basic Commands
It is very important to know that you have control over your pet, as it keeps you both safe and makes your lives easier. Thankfully, teaching your pet is a fun and rewarding experience! Even without obedience classes, most pets are smart and very responsive to training, which can be a great way to get the whole family involved in a productive and controlled environment.
DON’T: Be Impatient
It will take some time for your new pet to really feel at home. There will be lots of sniffing and maybe even some crying too. Be patient with your new furry friend and give him/her the time they need to suss out their surroundings and become comfortable in their new environment.
DO: Make Sure They Are Social
Like us humans, most dogs are social creatures. They love mixing with other dogs and people so it’s important to stimulate your dog’s social skills by taking him/her to dog parks and for long walks outside. Cats don’t need as much stimulation as they’re normally quite happy to be in their own company. That said; regardless of what kind of pet you have, it’s best to gradually bring visitors into your home early on to help stop territorial behavior in the long run.
DON’T: Overwhelm Your New Pet
Too many new experiences at once can overwhelm an animal, causing them to become nervous and making later interactions more difficult. Certain pets, such as rehomed animals, may find adjusting to new experiences more challenging and will need a slower pace. Remember, just like us, each animal is unique so listen to them and pay attention to their needs,
While it may seem like a lot of responsibility, with patience and the right preparation, owning a pet will stand out as one of the most exciting and rewarding chapters in your life. Are you up for the challenge?