Guest Writer: 5 Important Things That All First-Time Pet Owners Need to Know

 

“If you’re thinking about taking on the joy and responsibilities of pet ownership, congratulations! Pets bring endless happiness to their owners’ lives and are a sure way to liven up your home. But before you run off to the pet store to pick up your new little friend, make sure you’re fully prepared. Here are some of the most important things to consider before getting a pet.

 

1. Know What Kind of Pet You Want

 

As the Washington Post mentions, choosing the right pet for the right home is important since the wrong pet can lead to disaster. Ask yourself:

●     Which pet behaviors are important to you and your family?

●     Do you want a dog that can go on hikes and runs with you?

●     Does it need to spend a good portion of the day alone?

●     Do you want it to be calm and well-behaved around children?

●     Do you want a lap dog?

 

Knowing what you're looking for can help you narrow down the pet type of breed that will fit your lifestyle best. Adoption agencies know a lot about the pets in their care and can help you find the one that is best suited to your family.

 

2. Get Your Home Ready First

 

Before you bring your new pet home, gather all the supplies you need and do some pet proofing in your home. If you’re bringing home a cat, get a scratching post and move fragile things off of dressers and high cabinets. Check your houseplants and to make sure none are poisonous to cats or dogs. For new puppies, it can be beneficial to get a crate because this will make house training much easier. Make sure your floors are clean of debris, electrical cords are secured away and use baby gates to close off rooms that may be dangerous. Also make sure you’re prepared to clean up messes because they will happen on occasion.

 

3. Pets Should be Introduced Slowly and Gently

When it's time to bring your new pet home, introduce them to your home and family slowly. According to Raising Spot, you should minimize the number of abrupt changes and visitors your new pet experiences when you bring them home. Don't discipline your puppy right away as this will only create confusion and stress since they don't know what behavior you expect of them yet. Let your new animal explore on their own for a while and watch them so they stay safe.

 

4. Clear Communication Results in Bonding

 

Creating and improving your relationship with a dog or cat involves spending plenty of time together and communicating your desires clearly. Training your dog is a great way to build a bond. When you’re consistent and fair with your pet, they will respect you and know what kind of behavior you desire. Well-trained dogs are allowed more freedom. For example, if they listen when they're called then they can be trusted to go off their leash more often. Just remember to never yell or lose your temper with your pet.  Finally, make sure to play with them as often as you can!

 

5. Pets Are Beneficial to People in Addiction Recovery

 

There's a reason why many therapists and treatment centers often recommend pets to people in addiction . Having a pet gives you a reason to get up every morning and makes you accountable for another life, reducing your chance of relapse. Pets also help lower anxiety and loneliness. In fact, research shows that 40 percent of dog owners make friends more easily than people who don’t own a dog. Calm animals such as dogs and cats can trigger a relaxed mood in humans. Having a dog also helps recovering addicts get beneficial exercise, so be sure to take your pet along on hiking or camping trips. Make sure you spend time with your pet every day to receive all the mood-boosting benefits of your companionship.

 

Now that you’ve decided to welcome a wonderful little pet into your life and made the proper arrangements, all that’s left to do is play. Just remember, your new pet will need frequent naps throughout the day. Take advantage of this naptime to relax a bit yourself since handling a hyper new puppy can be tiring. Don't worry, they'll be ready to play again before you know it.

that will fit your lifestyle best. Adoption agencies know a lot about the pets in their care and can help you find the one that is best suited to your family.

 

2. Get Your Home Ready First

 

Before you bring your new pet home, gather all the supplies you need and do some pet proofing in your home. If you’re bringing home a cat, get a scratching post and move fragile things off of dressers and high cabinets. Check your houseplants and to make sure none are poisonous to cats or dogs. For new puppies, it can be beneficial to get a crate because this will make house training much easier. Make sure your floors are clean of debris, electrical cords are secured away and use baby gates to close off rooms that may be dangerous. Also make sure you’re prepared to clean up messes because they will happen on occasion.

 

3. Pets Should be Introduced Slowly and Gently

When it's time to bring your new pet home, introduce them to your home and family slowly. According to Raising Spot, you should minimize the number of abrupt changes and visitors your new pet experiences when you bring them home. Don't discipline your puppy right away as this will only create confusion and stress since they don't know what behavior you expect of them yet. Let your new animal explore on their own for a while and watch them so they stay safe.

 

4. Clear Communication Results in Bonding

 

Creating and improving your relationship with a dog or cat involves spending plenty of time together and communicating your desires clearly. Training your dog is a great way to build a bond. When you’re consistent and fair with your pet, they will respect you and know what kind of behavior you desire. Well-trained dogs are allowed more freedom. For example, if they listen when they're called then they can be trusted to go off their leash more often. Just remember to never yell or lose your temper with your pet.  Finally, make sure to play with them as often as you can!

 

5. Pets Are Beneficial to People in Addiction Recovery

There's a reason why many therapists and treatment centers often recommend pets to people in addiction recovery. Having a pet gives you a reason to get up every morning and makes you accountable for another life, reducing your chance of relapse. Pets also help lower anxiety and loneliness. In fact, research shows that 40 percent of dog owners make friends more easily than people who don’t own a dog. Calm animals such as dogs and cats can trigger a relaxed mood in humans. Having a dog also helps recovering addicts get beneficial exercise, so be sure to take your pet along on hiking or camping trips. Make sure you spend time with your pet every day to receive all the mood-boosting benefits of your companionship.

Now that you’ve decided to welcome a wonderful little pet into your life and made the proper arrangements, all that’s left to do is play. Just remember, your new pet will need frequent naps throughout the day. Take advantage of this nap time to relax a bit yourself since handling a hyper new puppy can be tiring. Don't worry, they'll be ready to play again before you know it.”

by Jessica Brody

A special Thank you to the talented Jessica for being a guest-writer on Bones and Blogs and for providing such insightful information.

Photography by Yazi Davis

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Amberly Lewis