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How to Prepare for Your First Pet
by Jessica Brody


Owning a pet is a dream for many people,
but it takes preparation before you are ready.
You need to consider how to prepare your
environment for them and how you can make
their lives as easy as possible. If you're ready
to learn more, keep reading to see how you
can prepare your life for a new pet.

How to Pick a Pet

Deciding what pet is right means more
than what you want. You need to consider
what will be best for your companion animal.
Cats and dogs both require you to have a
steady source of income, as there can be
many unforeseen expenses. Do you have
allergies? This does not rule out getting a
pet, but may limit your choices to hypoallergenic
options. If you live in a confined space, a cat
or small dog may be the best option. If you lead
an active lifestyle, you may want a dog that can
keep up with you, so look for high-energy
breeds. If you don't have a lot of spare time, or
work long hours, a cat may be the better option
as they are more independent than a dog.

How to Prepare Your Home

Getting a food bowl, while a great start, is not
all you need to do to prepare your home.
Make sure there is nothing your pet can choke
on such as small items like pen caps. Keep
cords taped down. Have a crate, not only for
transportation, but also as a safe area for your
pet to retreat to.

Make sure that any plants you have around the
home are non-toxic for your pet. If you have
something you do not want your new pet
potentially destroying, like shoes, purses,
coats, curtains, make sure they are not
accessible. If you are adopting, rather than
getting a baby animal, it's a good idea to
introduce your pet to your home one room at
a time.

Have toys, food bowl, water, and a
bed all set up in this room for your new
companion. If you are getting an older pet, you
may want to get extra litter boxes with lower
entrances, so they can easily use it without
missing. Put water throughout the home so
that your dog or cat does not have to travel far
to hydrate. If you have a set of small stairs, a
ramp may be a good idea to help their joints.

How to Help Your Pet Adjust

One of the first things you want to do with
your new pet is to introduce them to their
bathroom area. If you are rescuing an older
pet, it very well may be nervous. After all,
this is a big change, and pets do not like
change. Take things slowly and give your
new cat or dog space and time to adjust.
If you have multiple people in your household,
introduce each person one at a time, over the
span of a few days so that your new friend is
not overwhelmed. If you have adopted a
rescue, see if they have any toys you can
bring from the shelter. Having even one or
two familiar items can make all the difference
in the world for a new pet.

How to Bond with Your Pet

If your pet is nervous, it may not bond right
away. Make yourself available, and pet
your new companion as often as it allows.
Play with your pet and give them treats so
that they know you're the source of their
food. If you have a dog, take it outside
and play together in a green space.
Play chase the mouse with your cat.
It may take time, especially for an older
pet, but they will come around the more
time you spend with them. Pets offer love
and companionship, and in return, it is up
to you to give them a good home. If you
pick the right breed for your space, and
prepare your home appropriately, you
are on your way to being the best
owner possible.

Remember, this may only
be a few years for you,
but it is a lifetime
commitment for your pet.

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