Tips to Make Owning a Pet For The First Time a Safe and Happy Experience
Having a pet, especially for the first time, is just as intimidating as it is exciting. There is a lot to learn and even more to do before you bring your new pet home. Author and dog lover Susan Wilson hopes the following information gives you the right guidance as you plan for this new and fun chapter!
Deciding on Your Pet
It’s easy to decide you want a dog, but know that your lifestyle isn’t always in a pooch’s best interests. According to The Happy Puppy Site, dogs need plenty of exercise and space. If your home is too small or you have no yard to play in, a dog might not be the best fit for you. If such is the case, don’t despair, as you can still get a furry pet. Instead, consider a rabbit or cat, as both are social animals that you can enjoy without risking the welfare of your new pet. Also, take into account any allergies your household may have. It isn’t fair to adopt a pet and end up returning it because you didn’t plan ahead.
Gather the Right Gear
Once you determine which pet is right for you, it’s time to start gathering all the necessary gear, just be sure to check out reviews before you buy! For dogs, you’ll want a comfortable collar, a sturdy leash, food and water dishes, a bed, toys, and possibly a crate or baby gate. For a cat, you’ll need a collar, bowls for food and water, toys, a bed and a litter box. Beyond the typical four-legged friends, certain pets will require an enclosure, specialty food, and a safe place where you can keep them.
Make a Safe Environment
As with children, we need to ensure that our houses are a safe environment for our pets before we bring them home. Animals can be mischievous, and they often get into all sorts of trouble. That’s why you should preemptively block off areas of the home that are too dangerous, such as where you store chemical cleaners or other toxic items. The home office can also prove to be hazardous, as inadvertently dropped items like push pins, staples, and paper clips can easily end up in your pet’s mouth, so, in the name of safety, be sure that area is inaccessible as well.
They may chew through electrical cords, particularly if they don’t have enough enrichment, so ensure that those are out of reach as well. Lastly, learn about any allergies your chosen breed may have to help avoid accidentally poisoning your new companion.
Help Your Pet Feel at Home
Animals, especially rescues that have been adopted, may be fearful or nervous in a new environment and need time to relax. There are ways you can help your pet acclimate to their new home. Your furry friend may feel overwhelmed if you allow them to explore your house all at once, so introduce them to sections at a time to keep them from being over-stimulated. Give them a place they can retreat to let them feel safe when they have had enough for one day. Keep to a schedule as much as you can, with feeding and outdoor times for dogs, so they learn to trust that their needs will be met.
Be Ready to Clean
Pets make messes. Even the best-trained animal may sometimes cause a bit of chaos, so it’s important to prepare. To help eliminate stains and odors, have carpet cleaners on hand to quickly remove accidents as they happen so your pet won’t associate your favorite rug with potty time.
If you’re planning on putting your home on the market in the near future, you should be especially concerned with cleaning up after your pet. Before you show your home, make sure you have a place where your pet can stay and put away his or her things so you don’t distract potential buyers.
Consider also having your furniture cleaned to ensure there isn’t any offensive pet odor that could turn off a buyer. A local furniture cleaning company can tackle the job quickly, and they have access to stronger enzyme cleaners and deodorizers. Check out local pros through review sites to find the right company, but be sure to ask what chemicals they’re using and if they’re bonded and insured.
Keep Your Pet Happy
Take time each day to groom your pet with a bit of classical music to encourage your new companion to trust you. I Heart Dogs notes that classical music can calm anxious dogs down and make it easier for you to bond with them. Give your pet lots of love and play with them regularly, and be sure to have plenty of enrichment items as well as treats at the ready. There is no magical science behind bonding other than time and unconditional affection.
There is more that goes into being a good pet owner than simply playtime. It takes dedication, work, and more patience than you probably know you have. However, it can be one of the most rewarding things you will ever accomplish.
Image courtesy of Pixabay
Susan Wilson has authored 11 novels including ONE GOOD DOG, which enjoyed six weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and THE DOG WHO DANCED which received the coveted Maxwell Medal for Fiction from the Dog Writer’s Association of America. Contact her today and ask about her newest creation, WHAT A DOG KNOWS.
Back in the previous century when I was an aspiring writer, I had the plain dumb luck to meet Holly Nadler. Holly, a former television comedy writer and certainly the most upbeat human I know, read something of mine and offered up the name of her former agent. The rest, as they say, is history.
A few weeks ago Holly, on assignment with our local paper, wrote the following article. As ever, her voice is distinct and her charm is amazing. It was our joy and privilege to have her be the first in our home dinner guest in…well, a long long time. Couldn’t have chosen better. And a shout out to Jeremey Driessen for the photos.
It has been my pleasure to be included among Stay Thirsty’s wonderful cadre of guest writers. As such, I’ve explored a number of topics including dogs, birdwatching, car ownership, horses, and music.
For those of you unfamiliar with this exemplary on-line magazine, I suggest clicking on the link below. This will lead you to the most recent issue and my guest column on my life with horses. Enjoy! (more…)