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Important Tips for First-Time Pet Owners

February 27, 2019

PetSafe® Expert

PetSafe® Guest

Important Tips for First-Time Pet Owners

Are you considering an addition to the family?  Bringing a pet into your home is a big step, and it’s important to do some thinking before making the leap. You need to be prepared so it’s a smooth transition and everyone is happy.  Here’s how to make good choices and ensure your life and home are ready for your new friend.

Choosing a type of pet

There are several factors to take into account when selecting a pet. Think through how much time and money you can dedicate to a new family member, and what type of pet will best suit your household and lifestyle.  For instance, if anyone in your home has allergies, a pet with minimal dander is a smart choice. Bedlington Terriers, the Bichon Frise, and the Poodle are just a few hypoallergenic dog breeds that have a non- shedding coat, making them great for those that have allergies.

You should also take into account how much space you have.  There are dogs that need ample room to run, such as Bloodhounds, Siberian Huskies, and German Shepherds.  Those dogs are often best suited to active owners, or at least homes with large yards.  Some breeds of dogs are low-energy and are more along the lines of couch potatoes, like Bulldogs, Shih Tzus, and Basset Hounds. 

Deciding between a cat or dog?  Dogs need you for leadership and companionship more than cats, which tend to lead more independent lives.

Home sweet home

Whatever pet you decide on, you should outfit your home in advance of bringing him or her home, so you and your new friend enjoy the easiest transition possible.  Invest in a quality vacuum so you can keep up with any messes your pet creates, like fur, dander, kitty litter, wood shavings, and such.  Also consider picking up some cleansers designed for pet messes.  Bear in mind even housebroken pets have accidents sometimes and there will be stress in the transition, and the last thing you want is to have to run to the store for cleaning products. 

American Humane also suggests pet-proofing your home before getting your companion.  Check to ensure there are no cords that could be chewed, poisonous items to ingest, or breakables within easy reach.

Prepare a soft, comforting space

If this is your first furry friend, you should prepare a space in your home for your new friend. Consider purchasing a pet bed, toys, blanket, and other necessities. We also recommend purchasing a dog or cat harness, pet fountain, and their current food. To help avoid overwhelming a cat or dog, consider confinement in a small area initially where they can still see you. This will help alleviate anxiety. If your new furry friend is a pup, we also recommend calming dog toys such as the Busy Buddy® Chamomile-Scented Calming Toys.

Caring and sharing

When your new pet arrives, chances are he will need a little time to adjust to your home and schedule.  Resist the temptation to introduce your new family member to all your neighbors, friends and relatives right away.  Instead, try to keep things quiet and low-key, especially if your pet came to your family through a shelter or rescue.  Those animals often have been through a lot of changes in a short period, so they might experience fear or anxiety.  Spend time getting to know each other and bonding.  Most pets like the structure of a routine, so make it a point to try to keep feedings, walks and other interactions at around the same time each day. 

Are you ready for a new friend?  Adding a pet to the household is a big step, but with planning and preparation, you and your home can be properly outfitted for the new arrival.  Making good choices is how to assure a happy future for you and your pet.

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