Five Steps to Finding Your First Pet and Bringing Them Home

Written by Jessica Brody of

\"Dog\"Caring for a pet is a responsibility that cannot be taken lightly. When you are a first-time owner, it\’s easy to think only of the excitement that comes with getting a new pet. Fortunately, preparing for a new addition to the family is simple once you know where to start.

What Works for You?

Our needs can guide our choices, but we must also think about the needs of our pet. You may have children eager for a puppy, but that pooch could be overwhelmed by kids. If you live in an apartment, you may also find that certain breeds are too active for smaller spaces that lack yards. Also, your own lifestyle may preclude animals that need frequent exercise or attention, particularly if you work long hours or have health issues. Unfortunately, allergies may also exclude types that are not hypoallergenic. While there are medications, it may not be practical or enough to justify a pet that could not be fully enjoyed otherwise.

Make Your Home a Sanctuary

Home is not automatically a safe place for animals. They can be filled with dangers like cables, scary sounds, and overwhelming foot traffic. With this in mind, it\’s good to go over everything and make adjustments from the perspective of your new friend. If rooms have chemicals or toxic plants, or you just want to protect an area from exuberance, then gates will be wise. You should also make it a habit to put away food and choking hazards, as leaving them on tables can be a temptation. Don\’t worry, however, as childproof latches on cupboards should be sufficient to avoid accidents. Pet-proofing a home may sound involved, but it\’s worth it.

Have the Tools

Once your home is adapted, you should stockpile basic supplies to ease your experience. After all, animals can get into mishaps, so anticipate your cleaning needs. For instance, you will require products to address carpet odors and stains, though everyday ingredients like baking soda can work just as well. Depending on your animal, you will also need bedding, bowls, toys, and accessories. It\’s best to know what your plans will be, as this can help your preparations. If you intend on taking nature walks, you should invest in gear, such as LED lights and booties, to protect your pup. Conversely, felines will thrive with climbing towers and toys to stimulate their days indoors. Your choices can inspire your pet, and make them feel comfortable.

Nurture a Schedule

Familiarity reassures many animals, so ease your pet\’s transition with a predictable schedule for feeding and walks. If your buddy is a rescue, ask the shelter about their routines, and try to adapt to them. Of course, that is easier said than done, as work commitments may not be accommodating. Yet, you do have options, like hiring professional walkers to take your companion out when you are away. In fact, you could even bring in pet sitters to play with your friend when you cannot. Be vigilant, though, as they may need time before being introduced to strangers, and this is most true of rescues. If you are concerned, use their favorite belongings to help them ease into their new home and reduce stress.

Connect the Dots

Bonding can be encouraged through various techniques, from training and grooming to being seen as a provider of food and shelter. Indeed, just being close to our companions can be enough to plant the seeds of trust and affection. So, don\’t hold back with your love, and pet and play whenever your friend allows it. You do have to be patient, however, as bonding will take time, regardless of whether your pet is adopted. They may be full of nerves and anxiety, and forcing interactions can be counterproductive to earning trust. This means you will have to watch out for physical indicators that it\’s okay. Lastly, reward good behavior with treats and acknowledgment, and you\’ll be inseparable in no time.

It\’s understandable to want to focus only on the joy of having a pet. However, without proper planning, you and your companion can experience needless stress. So, make your journey together a happy and unforgettable one.

Image courtesy of Pixabay