Are you finally ready to bring a pet home? Adopting your first furry friend can be a big decision. It’s estimated that two-thirds of Americans own pets, with cats and dogs dominating the list. Playing with these cuddling little animals can make you feel happier and healthier; your blood pressure decreases while you overcome your depression.
However, most people with pets don’t know how to care for them. Hence, you must consider some factors before getting your first pet to ensure its comfort and safety. This blog discusses these factors so you and your new companion start this adventure on the right paw.
- Can your lifestyle be inclusive of a pet?
It’s a bad idea to adopt a certain animal breed/species because it’s fashionable right now. Many people adopt pets because of their looks, only to discover the pet is either too clingy or too distant. That’s why you must consider different species and breeds before determining which animal matches your lifestyle. Maybe, you’re into high-energy animals who crave attention or heavy-set dogs whom people can mistake as guard dogs. Also, ensure you adopt a pet that isn’t intolerant of children.
- Why do you need to adopt a pet?
Many people adopt pets because of medical reasons. A pet can help uplift its owner’s mood, reduce stress, and make them feel less lonely. Emotional support animals (ESAs) accompany their owners and help them battle certain phobias. Service animals are trained to perform certain duties for people with disabilities. If you wish to own a service animal, you’ll need an ESA letter issued by professionals. There are different types of service pets available, so be sure to do your research before getting one.
- Can you afford to adopt a pet?
Owning a pet isn’t cheap; it’ll cost you anywhere between a few hundred to a few thousand bucks to take care of your new pal. A CNET survey shows that, while cats cost around $600 a year, dog owners spend $500 to $1,000 each year on their pet animals. If you adopt puppies, taking care of them may be even costlier.
For this reason, you should calculate the potential expenses associated with pet ownership and determine if it’s affordable. Are you willing to make some sacrifices to be able to own one? Think about it.
- Is your house safe for an animal?
Just as the arrival of a new child means parents will have to kid-proof the house, bringing a pet home requires pet-proofing the entire place. Do you know that many things we consider 100% safe are very deadly for animals? For instance, ibuprofen, chocolate, medications, and even chewing gum can kill a cat or dog. You must ensure your first pet does not get access to these animal hazards.
Check your home for toxic plants. Secure electrical outlets in the house. Cover your trash cans. Place chemicals and cleaners on high shelves. Now, you’re ready to welcome a pet to your home.
- Do you know how to train a pet?
Training your pet is essential for bonding with the animal and making it accustomed to living with you. If you have a dog, you will need to put a leash around its neck and take it out for a walk to make it familiar with the neighborhood and pooping outside the house. As for cats, they also need to be “potty trained”; introduce them to the litterbox so they won’t make a mess in the house. Select appropriate pet treats and toys to give your new pet a sense of ownership.
- How will you keep your pet healthy?
Getting health insurance for your pet is a smart way to afford any unexpected medical bills. Two types of pet insurance are available, i.e., comprehensive and accident-only. For additional fees, you may add dental and other benefits too.
Pet insurance costs depend on many factors, such as your animal’s age, breed, and species. So, after getting pet insurance, you won’t have to worry about any major treatment. Pet insurance ensures your pet’s wellness and disease prevention.
- Will you consider spraying the pet?
In the United States, dogs typically live for 10 to 13 years. However, you can extend the life expectancy of a male dog by almost 14% through a simple procedure, i.e., neutering the animal. Female dogs may live 26% longer when sprayed. This process will keep your furry little friend healthy as it’ll lose interest in mating with the opposite gender.
Spraying a female animal makes it less prone to ovarian cancer as well as other diseases. In males, castration will reduce the animal’s aggression significantly.
- How will you ensure the pet’s safety?
Ensure the pet’s safety by outfitting it with some ID. That’s how you won’t risk losing your pet animal if that little creature ever gets loose. Many species are notorious for forgetting their way home, chasing after their prey into uncharted territories, or simply getting lost when strolling with their owners.
You can also consider microchipping your dog. This chip costs around $60 and prevents your pet from getting lost if it loses the ID tag. This microchip has your contact information; if anyone finds it, they can contact you. Microchipping your pet ensures it gets returned to you successfully.
- Do you have time to attend to a pet?
Owning an animal may not seem like a chore at first glance. However, animals need your attention and caregiving. Only adopt a pet if you can give it the time of day and cherish it like it’s your kid. Some animals require more attention than others; as their owner, you need to attend to their needs properly.
If you’re committed to the idea of pet ownership, then get ready to make some sacrifices for your new family members. Love it faithfully, and the pet will love you back with unconditional devotion.
One of the most joyous moments in our lives is when we get to meet our first pet. However, you should consider some factors before taking that animal home. This blog covers some major factors, such as the cost of adopting a pet, ensuring its well-being, and giving it the attention it deserves. Consider why you’re getting the pet in the first place so you can safely parent a pet animal of your choice.