Five Steps to a Wonderful Journey with Your First Pet - Guest blog by Tyler Evans
Pick Your Breed
We may want a large dog, but that isn’t always in the animal’s best interest, especially if we don’t have a proper yard and house space or aren’t thrilled about leading an active lifestyle. After all, dogs need to be walked at least twice a day, typically for a half-hour at the minimum. If you don’t have time to invest in outdoor activity, it’s better to get an indoor pet, like a cat. However, if allergies prevent you from enjoying felines, there are other options to consider. Just be sure to do your research so you know what your new pet needs in a home.
Ready Your Home
Pet behavior can resemble that of young children. Often, they understand simple commands and can get into mischief if unsupervised. Therefore, you need to ensure your home is a safe environment for them. You may think that storing food in a cupboard is enough, but they may figure out how to open it and binge eat to the point of being sick. Or, worse, they may find their way into the cleaning chemicals and accidentally poison themselves. Thankfully, putting child safety locks onto your cabinets can solve your problems before they happen. You also need to check any houseplants you have, as some can be fatal to your new furry (or scaly) friends.
Prepare for Cleaning
Like children, pets can cause messes that may necessitate a new arsenal of cleaning supplies to tackle. You’ll need carpet cleaners that have odor removers, but you might also need a new vacuum that can handle fur and dander. Before selecting a new vacuum, read reviews online to find the best models for your specific breed, as pet hair can differ between animals, and some could require different options and strategies to clean.
The Best Enrichment
Animals are intelligent and deserve to have mental stimulation, not only for their own well-being but to discourage destructive acting out in your home. Each breed will need something different, so do some reading on what is best for your chosen pet. For instance, cats will enjoy looking out the window at the world, which can be achieved with a cat condo in front of one or even a table they can climb to gaze out. For added stimulation, hang a bird feeder near the window. Dogs, as mentioned, are an active species, and they benefit from stimulation like puzzles and hide-and-seek to keep them engaged even when you’re away from home.
Help Your Pet Acclimate
If you decide to adopt a rescue, they will take extra patience and love as many have been taught to fear people through bad experiences. They may be stubborn, scared, or standoffish, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to love you. Help them learn by showering them with affection, but also giving them the space they need to adjust to new surroundings and people. Keep to a routine to instill in them that you are dependable, and never teach them or reinforce lessons with punishments. If you do, you guarantee that they will not trust you. By giving them support and love and playing with them on their terms, you’ll be bonding in no time.
We want our pets to thrive in their new homes and to feel as loved as they deserve to be. You will quickly find how our animal friends become an integral part of our families. This is an adventure, so be sure you prepare for this momentous undertaking.
Image courtesy of Pixabay
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