Your kids have been talking about getting a pet for what seems like an eternity. Now, it appears that it’s the right time. That means you can pack everyone up in the car and go buy a pet, right? Not so fast. Getting a new dog, cat, or other pet is a very important decision, and it should not be made lightly.
In fact, you need to do some research first to make sure you pick the perfect pet for your family. That starts with an open discussion about what your family wants from a pet.
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Different Pets For Different Families
Before you bring everyone to a pet store or adoption shelter, you need to have a family talk. Everyone probably has different ideas and expectations, so you need to discuss these before picking out a pet. Bestfriends.org lists some good questions, such as:
● Will you be able to live with pet hair and furniture wear-and-tear?
● Who will be responsible for taking care of the pet?
● How much space can the new pet enjoy within your home?
● Do you travel a lot or need a dog walker due to a busy schedule?
Once you have some answers, you can better pick the right pet for your family. For example, dogs are great — but they need plenty of training, walks, and exercise. Fish are great “starter” pets, but they don’t do a whole lot. And while cats are somewhere in between, many people are allergic to them. Talk to a professional at the adoption shelter for more information.
Preparing Your Home
After a good talk and some research, you’re picked out the exact pet for your family. But it’s not time to get your new friend just yet. You have to worry about pet-proofing your home.
Even fully domesticated animals like dogs are still that — animals. That’s why you need to take a few precautions at home to make sure they stay safe and happy. Homeoanimal.com recommends thinking of a pet like a toddler. That means:
● Putting up baby gates if there’s a part of your home the pet should not enter.
● Make sure nothing fragile is sitting on tables or stands that can easily be knocked over.
● Hiding anything that would be dangerous to chew on.
Besides just making the environment safe, you want to make your home comfortable for your new pet. That’s crucial in the first days. Decide where to place food bowls and litter boxes or toys, but make sure they are places your new pet can easily find.
Bonding With Your New Pet
You’ve pet-proofed your home, and now you have a cute little pet running around. Your pet is probably a bit scared and unsure since they’re living in a strange environment surrounded by humans. You can help by building a bond with your pet.
Rover.com explains that you should start by letting your new pet explore your home. Show them a lot of love and attention, but also give them time to explore on their own. This helps them settle in better.
If you have a pet dog, you’ll also need to take it on walks. This can be great exercise for both of you, but you can always hire a dog walker if you’re too busy some days. There are many great dog walking services available online.
A Pet Can Make Your Life Better
There are so many wonderful benefits from having a pet. In fact, studies have shown that people with pets tend to live longer. But before you rush out to get one, talk to your family about what kind of animal would fit best. Then make a few changes to your home before you bring the pet in and start bonding with it. This way, you can make sure your family and your pet get along for years to come.