Having pets is one of the most rewarding experiences in life, but it can also be challenging, especially if you don’t know what to expect. A good pet-parent relationship should be positive, and a huge part of making that happen comes from what you do before welcoming a pet into your life. You can get ready for the challenge by reading up on everything you need to know, from the type of care they need to choosing the perfect pet and making a smooth transition.
Lining Up Pet-Care Services
In addition to stocking up on necessities, it’s important to find trusted sources for pet services, such as a good vet clinic, a groomer, and options for pet care whenever you’re away. If you don’t love the idea of boarding your pet in a kennel, a great alternative is to use a pet sitter. It’s easy to search for pet sitters online — just be sure to research your options by interviewing candidates and observing how they interact with your pet.
Along with finding a vet you like, another thing to think about is whether you need pet insurance. First-time pet owners often find out — after the fact — that vet care adds up, but pet insurance helps make those costs more manageable. Similar to health insurance for people, different plans cover different services, and the costs also vary from one plan to another. In addition to considering these factors, make sure you choose a reputable company. One pet insurance company we recommend is Embrace because they have comprehensive coverage that includes preventative care, in addition to treatment when your pet gets sick or injured.
When you want to provide the best care for your new pet, we also recommend looking into holistic animal care like the practices we feature at Holistic Animal Studies. There are simple things you can do to give your pet a healthier, more balanced life, such as providing whole foods and getting treatments like mental stimulation and bodywork.
Finding the Perfect Pet
The most common household pets are cats and dogs, and you may already have an idea of which one fits your family’s lifestyle. If you’re still on the fence, it’s smart to do further research into how to be a responsible dog owner or what to expect from having a cat at home. Once you’ve narrowed down your decision to a feline or canine (or something else entirely!), the next questions to consider are whether you want a specific breed, the best age, and where to search.
Some first-time pet parents feel more comfortable getting a dog from a breeder so they can be sure they’re getting an animal with the temperament and traits they’re looking for. However, most responsible shelters do a great job of screening for an animal’s behavior and traits. If you’re thinking about adopting a shelter animal, the shelter’s staff can usually match you with a pet that meets your needs and lifestyle.
Along with personality, other factors, such as an animal’s age and activity level, can be just as important. Cesar’s Way explains that many people make the mistake of assuming it’s best to adopt a puppy. Puppies can be amazing fun, but they also require more time and energy than adult dogs. Dog Time also recommends thinking about the amount of exercise you can provide an animal. All animals need exercise, but cats are content for you to play with them inside, whereas energetic dogs need longer walks in addition to playtime.
Making a Happy Transition
When you’re ready to bring your new pet home, the way you handle this initial transition can make an enormous difference in how well they adjust. It helps if you have already gotten your home ready for your new dog or cat so they’ll feel safe and welcome.
It usually takes both humans and animals a little time to adjust to their new relationship. This is normal, so be patient! Bringing a pet into your life is a beautiful thing, and pretty soon you will both wonder what you ever did without each other.
Photo Credit: Pixabay
Article Written by: Penny Martin
Dr. Angelique Barbara is the founder of Angel's Animals LLC, a company that has developed online animal bodywork courses for both owners and professionals. Dr. Barbara's unique teaching style along with the dynamic layout of the courses allows people of different educational backgrounds from all over the world to benefit from her knowledge.