First-Time Pet Owners’ Guide to Adopting an Animal

Guest Blog written by: Jessica Brody of Our Best Friends 

Have you decided to adopt your first pet? Adopting a pet can be very exciting, especially if it is your first time as a pet owner. But, it can also bring up a whole bunch of questions that you didn’t even know you had. Because of this, it is very important that you enter pet parenthood well-informed. After all, you don’t want to ask the question “Is my guinea pig supposed to be making that noise?” in the middle of the night after you bring it home. Instead, you should educate yourself before you decide what animal to get. This article will walk you through the process of adopting a pet and help you make key decisions along the way.

Picking Your Pet
Before you adopt a pet, you must, of course, decide what pet you want to adopt. This can be easier said than done. After all, there are a lot of different pet breeds out there. Most first-time pet owners will settle on a dog or a cat, but they are not by far the only pets suitable for first-time owners. According to The Telegraph, low-maintenance lizards, fish, and even rabbits can be
great first-time pets under the right conditions. The main factors you should consider when deciding on a pet are your current lifestyle and the pet’s care requirements. If you have a busy lifestyle, a cat may fit well into your routine. If you are generally not busy, you can probably deal with a pet that has a higher level of maintenance.

Make Appropriate Preparations
After you decide what pet to get, it is time to prepare your house for them. You can’t exactly bring a fish home without setting up a fish tank, and you should probably explain to your 4-year- old what a guinea pig is before you walk through the door with one. If you’re getting a puppy, you’ll probably want to puppy-proof your house, while a cat is going to need a litter box and a
scratching post.

And don’t forget the food! What you feed your pet should keep him full in the short term and healthy in the long term. Look for all-natural ingredients, like real meat, fruit, and vegetables. Some food brands even include probiotics to aid in digestion. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask your veterinarian. To make it easier on you and your pet, take care of as many of
these things as possible before bringing your pet home.

Give Your Pet Some Breathing Room
When you first bring your pet home, it is likely that they will be nervous or fearful. After all, their whole life and surroundings have suddenly been changed, and they might not completely feel comfortable around you just yet. While it might be tempting to smother them with your love, it is best to give them space if they appear nervous or anxious. Forcing yourself into their personal space can cause more issues than it helps. Rescue animals might be particularly nervous and could require extra time to adjust to their environment.

Spend Time with Your Pet
This is the best part of pet adoption! Spending time with your new friend not only gives your pet the companionship and love they deserve, but it can also vastly improve your mental state and help with some mental diseases. In fact, animals are commonly used to help those in addiction recovery. If you have a dog, consider taking them on a walk or even on a longer hike. Cats are great companions for a relaxing day indoors, though some cats take quite well to harnesses and love romping around in the park. Even spending time with animals like fish are good for your health. When the newness and excitement of having a new pet wear off, it is common for us to spend less time with them. However, it is very important that you spend time with your pet every day to ensure that your relationship continues to grow and thrive.

Who doesn’t like adopting a new pet? It is an extremely fun and exciting time. By following these simple steps, you can rest assured that your pet adoption will go as smoothly as possible.

Photo Credit: Pexels