Owning a pet means adding a new member to your family; it’s an amazing experience. However, it’s far from a heartwarming experience for many first-time pet owners. People may have problems handling their pets or understanding what their furry little friend wants from them. Avoiding a few rookie mistakes can make you a better pet parent, so you should learn how to care for a pet before getting one.
If you feel uneasy about owning a pet, you are not alone. Many Americans became first-time pet owners in 2020 because of the pandemic. It’s normal for first-time pet owners to worry about their pet’s diet and exercise, but you can overcome this anxiety with the help of a few simple tips. Here’s what you need to know:
Clean up properly
Taking care of your pet includes cleaning up after them. Unfortunately, 40% of Americans don’t bother to scoop the poop. If you feel disgusted by the idea of picking up your pet’s excrement, a local scoop service can eliminate this downside of pet ownership for you. Contact a dog poop company in your neighborhood and get the area around your home scooped clean every week. This way, you can enjoy playing with your dog without worrying about a reeking backyard. If you prefer to clean after the dogs yourself, you’ll find this article from Bernies on how to make your dog’s poop easier to pick up to be very helpful.
Get essential supplies
You’ll need a handful of essentials to make the furry newcomer feel happy in your home. Differentiate between the things you want and the things your pet needs. It’s better if you avoid spending money on unnecessary objects and head to a nearby pet supply shop to get just the following:
- Pet’s bed
- Pet’s ID tags
- Chewable toys
- Food/water bowls
- Leashes and collars
- Ready-made first-aid kit
- Toothbrush, grooming brush, and nail cutter
Find a vet
One of the first things to do after getting ownership of your pet is to find a capable veterinarian. It’s important for your pet’s well-being that it develops a bond of trust with its vet. A vet can walk you through the vaccination process and recommend effective flea/tick preventives. You can also talk to your vet about spraying or neutering your pet.
Socialize the pet
Socializing your pet can turn it into a friendly, well-mannered, and non-aggressive creature. Introduce your pet to as many positive experiences as possible, engage in different activities with it, and familiarize it with different sights, sounds, and people. The process of socialization is even more important when you own a puppy. Pups grow up to become more peaceful when they are trained to behave well in different situations and with different people.
Treat behavioral issues
Never overlook the telltale signs of behavioral issues in your pet. Neglecting these signs and symptoms can harm your pet’s well-being and also make it difficult for you to adjust to them. For instance, research suggests that 76% of canines suffer from separation anxiety, i.e., they grow too attached to the owner. This disorder can make it difficult for you to go to your job. The dog may start to urinate or defecate all over the house out of sheer stress. As a first-time pet owner, you need to brace yourself to face such issues. You may have to get a dog sitter to look after the poor thing when you’re out of the house.
Prepare your house
Whether you have adopted a younger animal or a senior one, it’s important to pet-proof the house. Pet-proofing the house prevents the pet from making a mess in your absence or ruining your stuff. You can use child-proofing techniques to make the house pet-friendly too, for instance:
- Put up a dog door
- Secure your trash properly
- Remove dangerous objects
- Make electrical cords out of its reach
- Find and block all small nooks and spaces
Feed it responsibly
When buying nutritious food for your pet, always consider quality. A pet’s diet can change as per its age and size. You should consult the vet to find the best quality food available for your pet. Don’t overfeed your pet; doing so may lead to serious health issues. For instance, overfeeding dogs can hurt their cardiovascular health, give them diabetes, and may even reduce their lifespan too.
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Train the pet
Transitioning into someone else’s ownership can also be an uncomfortable experience for a pet. You need to continuously train the newly-acquired pet so it can adjust to the new lifestyle. This may take a dog two to four weeks to start behaving properly. During this time, be patient with it and train the animal consistently. This means creating a routine for a pet, tolerating its bad behavior, and giving it the space it needs to adjust. With constant training, your pet can learn to be a good boy.
Know the cost
Owning pets is costly, so you must consider your monthly expenses and budget before getting one. Invest in a cost-effective animal companion if your budget doesn’t permit expensive pets. As pet supplies become expensive, 30% of pet owners say they can no longer afford to keep their pets. For this reason, many Americans are switching to non-traditional and easily affordable pets such as geckos, hamsters, or even canaries.
Microchip your pet
Your pet’s safety and well-being should be a priority. That’s why first-time pet owners should invest in microchipping their pets. Getting a pet microchipped prevents you from losing it forever. The pet will be a chip painlessly inserted between its shoulders containing its unique identification number. If the animal gets lost, this ID tag will help finders track you down and return the pet to you easily.
Decided you want to own a pet? Wonderful! A few simple tips will make you an excellent first-time pet owner. Know the cost of owning a pet, pet-proof the house, purchase essential supplies, and learn how to train your new friend. Make it social, watch out for behavioral issues, and schedule appointments with a vet regularly. Clean up after the pet by hiring a poop-scooping company. These simple tips make a person a better pet owner. All that’s left is to give your pet the love and attention it needs from you.