If you’re thinking about owning a pet for the first time, it’s very important to be prepared. After all, your new pet isn’t a toy — it’s going to need training, food, supplies, veterinary care, and most importantly, endless love and affection.

Taking care of a pet is a lot of work, so you don’t want to rush into it without doing your research first. Here’s how to choose the right pet for your lifestyle, pay for everything they need, and help them feel comfortable in their new home. 

Which Pet? 

To decide which pet is right for you, consider how much space you have first. Cats, rodents, and small dogs are better suited for small apartments, but if you have a sizable backyard, you might be able to provide a good home for a larger, active dog. No matter which animal you choose, do some research on the temperaments of different breeds to see which one will be the best fit. 

Save Up

You might be surprised by how much it costs to take care of a pet! For example, the American Kennel Club estimates owning a small dog can cost you about $15,051 over an average 15-year life expectancy. Taking out a pet insurance policy can help you handle the high costs of veterinary care. Before enrolling in a plan, however, think about which services your pet will need coverage for and how much you could realistically handle spending before reaching your deductible.

Prepare Your Home 

Your new pet will want to explore your house, so before you take them in, you need to pet-proof every room! Make sure that all of your shoes are stored in a place where your pet can’t reach them, pick up anything they might be tempted to eat, and secure any objects that could be easily knocked over. Additionally, you can also try using baby gates to close off certain rooms to your pet when you’re away from home.

Get Ready to Clean

While you will eventually be able to settle into a comfortable routine with your pet, there will be a house training adjustment period for you both. Accidents are to be expected, so prepare yourself for that mentally. You can also arm yourself with nontoxic cleaning agents that contain enzymes which get to the root of stains and odors. There’s also a chance you’ll have a little damage here and there, so it can’t hurt to have a professional carpet cleaner or furniture restoration service on speed dial.

 Socializing 

Chances are, your new pet will be a little bit nervous in this unfamiliar environment. For the first month or so, you’ll need to go out of your way to help them get used to everything. For example, you might be excited about your loved ones meeting your four-legged friend, but too much stimulation can be overwhelming, especially for older animals. If appropriate, take your pet outside so that they can pick up on the sounds and smells of your neighborhood.

 Bonding Time 

As your pet settles in, make plenty of time to bond! How can you form a strong, loving relationship with your new pet? Spend some time training them and teaching them new skills and tricks — just stick to positive and encouraging methods! Give your pet some fun new toys and enjoy playing together. And don’t forget to spoil them a little; it’s okay to give your pet extra treats for good behavior while they learn the ropes. Your pet will be a little stressed during their first couple of weeks in your home, so do your best to make them feel comfortable and relaxed.

 Pet ownership is a big step. Before you buy, you need to make sure that you’re ready to meet the needs of your new animal companion. You’ll have to adjust your budget, ensure that your home is safe, and change some of your routines. But as you get used to life with your pet around, you’ll be happy that you brought them home!

Author: Aurora James

Picture Source: Pexels