Advice and Tips for First Time Owners

by Penny Martin

How to Keep Your First Pet Healthy and Safe, and Your Life Stress-Free

Pets - Photo Credit: Pexels

Welcoming a new pet into your world is a joy like no other. Properly caring for a companion animal, however, takes a little bit of planning, patience and work. If becoming a first-time pet parent is in your future, use these tips to make the process easier for you and more comfortable for your new family member.        

Pick Up Supplies to Keep You and Your Pet Happy 

If you are adopting your first pet, you’re probably super excited to bring your new best friend home. Before you welcome your furry family member into your life, however, it’s a good idea to pick up some basics that will keep everyone comfy and stress-free. For cats, that may mean investing in a self-cleaning litter box. It’s also a good idea to pick up a bed so your cat can rest comfortably. There are many beds available, including heated, self-warming, and cave-style ones.  

It’s also important to have some cleaning supplies on hand, no matter what pet you get. Accidents are bound to happen when you have a pet in your home. At the very least, you should have an arsenal of lint rollers and a vacuum that can tackle messes. Before purchasing a vacuum, make sure to check reviews so you can get the best model for your home.  

Make Sure You Choose a Pet that Truly Fits Your Lifestyle

When you go to pick out your new pet, it can be easy to let emotions be your guide. Feeling a connection to an animal is important for helping you to build a tight bond later on, but you also need to stay objective when it comes to how a pet will fit into your life. Dogs, cats and even guinea pigs require various levels of care to keep them safe and happy, and that care needs to be given for a lifetime. Keep this in mind, and any special breed needs, as you select a pet you think will be best for you. 

Some of the most beautiful and popular breeds, like huskies, border collies and Bengal cats, also tend to be pets with the most energy. To give these animals the exercise they need, you’ll need to have a large space to play and plenty of time to provide adequate training. If you work full time or live in a smaller home, you may still be able to make a larger, more energetic pet work with your lifestyle. You just need to have a little room in your budget to hire a dog walker or pay for daycare to keep your new pet out of trouble while you are away. 

Have Patience as Your New Family Member Settles In

A pet is a major commitment, but you don’t necessarily need any special skills to be a successful pet parent. What you do need, however, is a lot of patience when it comes to helping your new pet feel secure and safe. Animals can be oh so sensitive to change, so it may take some time before your new buddy really warms up to you. This especially applies to rescue animals, who may have experienced abuse or neglect in their past lives. 

Ease the transition for any animal by providing a regular routine and setting up a secure space for them to spend their time. Dogs especially can take their anxiety out on your furniture, carpets and other personal items, so you may need to work on crate training or use baby gates to limit opportunities for bad behavior. Pets love having an area of their own, so a crate can actually provide comfort to your pup. 

Pets do such a good job of relieving stress, so don’t let the responsibilities of being a first-time pet owner cause you tension. Use the tips above to be prepared for life with your new BFF, and just enjoy the endless love you have to look forward to!