The decision to get a pet is exciting. However, choosing a pet is more complicated than it appears. Before you bring home the first friendly face you see, make sure you do your research. You need to make sure that you and your pet are a good fit for each other.
1. Assess Your Lifestyle
Different types of pets require different types of care. Take a good look at your lifestyle and see what level of responsibility you are able to handle. If you work long hours and are not home often, a cat can be a great fit for you. Or, if you are set on getting a dog, look into breeds that are OK being left alone for long hours such as Basset Hound. If you have an active lifestyle, breeds such as Dalmatians or Labradors make excellent running partners.
2. Take Environment into Account
Keep in mind that certain pets and breeds fare better in different environments. Large dog breeds require plenty of space to stretch their legs and generally require a lot of exercise. Make sure you have a large enough yard to accommodate them or are close to a park where they will be able to run. Smaller cats and dogs can do well in apartment like settings.
Do not neglect to take local climate into account. You may love Chihuahuas, but if you live in an area that gets a lot of snow, you should probably think twice about it. They tend to suffer in cold weather just as pugs sometimes have respiratory problems in warm weather.
3. Pet-Proof the Home
Once you’ve decided on your ideal pet, it’s time to pet-proof your home. Pet Safe says goal here is to minimize any potential harm and hazards that your new pet may get into when you are not there to supervise. This includes taping wires to the baseboards, moving heavy and breakable objects out of their reach, locking away trash, securing any human food that could be poisonous to them.
4. Start Training
Training starts the moment you bring your pet home. Do not be afraid to go heavy on the treats to encourage behavior you like. Puppy Leaks recommends sticking strictly to an eating and walking schedule during your first few weeks together. This will help him learn what to expect from you and will help you to bond.
A routine can be helpful for those in addiction recovery, too. Having a pet not only forces them to stick to a schedule, but also helps them take on responsibility. Not only that, the healthy bond that comes from training and caring for a dog creates the same positive stimulation in the brain as their substance used to.
5. Spend Quality Time Together
If your new pet is shy when you first bring them home, that is OK. Moving can be stressful for animals. Do not be surprised if it takes a couple of weeks for their true personality to emerge. Try to coax them out of their shell by getting down on the floor with them and engaging with play — you may have to show them how to play fetch. If they are feeling worn out, let them cuddle with you on the couch or indulge them with plenty of pets.
Even after your pet has adjusted to their new home and you, spending time with them every day is important. As they get older and become better trained, you can take them out into the world with you. Hiking and camping are great way to have fun and give them lots of exercise. However, just like humans, make sure your dog is in good physical condition to handle strenuous activity.
Your New Pet
You want your pet to fit seamlessly into your lifestyle. The only way to get there is to take your time, do your research and prepare for their coming. This way, both you and your pet can live happily ever after.
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