Guest Post by Jessica Brody
Having a pet for the first time is an adventure. In many ways, pets can improve the quality of our lives. However, without the right planning, we may make critical mistakes along the way. If you’re considering a pet for the first time, keep these tips in mind.
Pick Your Pet
Unfortunately, our lives are not always compatible with our ideal animal friend, so it’s important to select the right one. First, think of any allergies people in your household may have. Then, consider your unique lifestyle. If you don't enjoy physical activity or don't have a yard, a dog may not be your best choice; instead, rodents, fish, or reptiles might be a better choice. A cat can be a good companion, but they need plenty of affection, which means you need to be home enough to show them some love. Rabbits are another potential pet but require delicate care; if you have children, they may be too rough. Should you want a dog, research individual breeds as well. Big dogs can struggle in compact homes, while small dogs are often very energetic.
Prep for Your Pet
Our homes should be a safe place for animals, not a danger. Pets that live in a cage or tank need less adjustment, but animals that roam — even if only for an hour or two — need protection. Look for anything that could entice curious animals. For example, wrap cords with electrical tape, and put only lightweight items on shelves. Things that dangle, like curtain ties, can strangle an unsuspecting dog or cat. Keep toxins out of reach, not just behind a cabinet but in a cabinet with a lock. You also need to stock up on supplies. This means food, treats, toys, and any other gear specific to your chosen breed.
Clean Up After Your Pet
You and your pet deserve a clean home; however, that can be tricky. You'll need the right tools in your arsenal, like a vacuum that picks up pet hair. Get to stains as quickly as possible, and air out your house for a few minutes every day. If you notice your furry friend likes to sit in one particular location, put down an old blanket or towel. This will keep that area from generating a smell. Getting a professional upholstery cleaner periodically is always a good idea. According to HomeAdvisor, homeowners in Austin, Texas, spend around $171 on carpet cleaning. While an expense, getting your carpet and furniture cleaned will make your home look and smell fresh.
Bond with Your Pet
We all want our pets to love us, but developing a close bond takes time. Start by giving your new friend affection and consistency. Show them that you are someone who can be trusted and that you're not going to hurt them. If they retreat, let them have space. However, try to include them in family fun; this way, they know that they are part of the unit and belong with everyone who lives in your home. Be there for them when they need you, especially when they are new to your house. It will take some hard work, but it pays off in the long run.
Help Your Pet
If you have rescued an animal, it may be nervous. The first thing you should do when you bring them home is to let them sleep and rest. They are probably exhausted and need to recover, so give them their own place they can retreat to when stressed. This could be a kennel or a pet bed. Let them look around on their own, rather than forcing them to see each room immediately. Understand that your new friend may cause some chaos at first. They may have accidents or be destructive out of nerves, so give them the love they need to open up to you.
Often, we keep pets for their entire lives, and we want those lives to be full of love and care. Without the right preparation, we are doing our pets a disservice. Thankfully, you can make sure that your new friend will be cared for and lead a long, healthy life.