Pets are more than just animals; they are an integral part of families all over the world. In fact, American’s love their furry friends so much, it’s estimated that they will spend $69.3 billion this year on pet-related expenses, according to the American Pet Products Association).
If you’re planning on adding a pet to your family for the first time, there are a few tips to keep in mind. Here’s a list of five first time pet owner tips that should help you prepare for your new role as pet owner.
1. Ensure that you are adequately prepared for pet ownership
While adding a dog, cat, rabbit or other new friend to your household may seem like a novel idea, many people forget about the time, money and preparation needed when acquiring a new animal. Here are some questions you may want to consider:
- Am I able to handle the costs associated with this new pet?
- Can I provide the appropriate care for the animal?
- Is my house/yard a safe environment?
- Do I have enough space inside my house to accommodate?
2. Purchase the appropriate supplies ahead of time
With every animal comes a unique set of toys, equipment and food. Be mindful of the supplies needed to keep your new pet happy and healthy going forward. Some of the more common supplies include:
- ID tags
- Quality food and snacks
- Pet safe toys
- Food and water bowls
- Litter/litterbox for cats
3. Set aside time to spend with your new pet
This may seem obvious, but it’s often one of the most overlooked aspects of pet ownership, particularly individuals who may not have owned an animal before. Make sure your new friend is well acclimated to his or her surroundings. Slowly introduce them to family and friends and ensure that they are comfortable when taking them out of the house.
4. Set boundaries and make rules
It is important as a new owner to create a set of rules and parameters regarding where your new pet can go and what he or she can do. This could mean installing fencing around certain areas of your yard and gates around various rooms in your house. It could also mean formulating a set of standard operating procedures surrounding when and how often the pet is fed, taken for a walk or taken to the vet.
5. Reach out to other pet owners
Lots of people have been through the trials and tribulations of first-time pet ownership, so reach out to friends, family and coworkers who may have already been through the same experience. These conversations can be the most helpful, as you are receiving advice from trustworthy sources who can tell you what some of the do’s and don’ts as you move along the journey of pet ownership.