Very little compares to the joys of adopting your first pet. There is the excitement of choosing your new companion, but also the fun of bringing your new pet home. However, there is a lot to learn for a first-time pet owner. Here is what you need to know before you get your new pet.

Pick Your Pet

One of the deciding factors on which pet to get is to determine if anyone in your household has allergies. If someone already has them, they may be more prone to developing animal-based allergies, so make sure you go to a doctor and get tested.

You also need to consider the size of your home for your potential pet. If you live in a small apartment, with little or no green space in the surrounding area, a dog may not have the quality of life it deserves. That does not mean you should abandon your quest for a pet. Instead, focus on things that do well in more confined spaces such as cats, fish, birds or reptiles. Do your research and make sure you can commit to the lifestyle your pet needs. Dogs need lots of exercise, and birds need cages cleaned twice daily. 

Prep Your Home

Different animals need various needs to feel at home in their new environment. For instance, cats need litter boxes, whereas dogs will need waste removal bags or a scoop to remove waste. As many choose not to declaw their cats these days, it’s a good idea to have a scratching post and plenty of toys to keep them from becoming destructive to furniture or curtains. Animals may require a bit of space when first adjusting to their new homes, so don’t crowd them. You may want to be around them all the time, but they need some time to themselves. Get the cleaning materials you’ll need before you need them.

Dogs, especially puppies, will require chew toys, so get several. Your couch and chair legs will thank you. Have a space for your animal to sleep like a crate or a bed specific to them. You may want to sleep with them, but they may need a bit of space to feel safe, especially at first. No matter what animal you choose, make sure to remove hazards such as chemicals and electrical wires from their reach.

Bond Together

Your new pet may be hesitant around you at first, and that’s not only OK, but also normal. They may need help acclimating to their new home, especially if you’ve adopted an older animal. By keeping their diet the same, and providing a predictable routine for your new pet, you can quickly build trust and help them adjust. Consistency for every breed is a must. A vet should examine all animals soon after you bring them home. Feeding and grooming your companion are two excellent ways to bond. Again, don’t force yourself on them. If they need space, let them have it. Try using their toys to coax them into having playtime if you are really struggling.

Addiction Recovery Companion

Pets make excellent companions, bring joy to our lives and can also help us when we find ourselves going through rough periods. Addiction recovery takes a heavy toll on the body, mind and spirit. Stress may induce relapse, so it’s a good idea to keep those stress levels as low as possible.

Pets can help restore us. They actively reduce our stress and release oxytocin in our brains, which helps us to feel good physically and emotionally. Pets calm us, help us relax, and can lower our blood pressure. They teach us responsibility, and they don’t judge us, no matter what. When combined with therapy, pets can help us all down the road of recovery.

There are many wonderful aspects of being a pet owner. They give us love, teach us to have fun and provide the sort of companionship many of us want. Yet, we want to be just as good of owners as they are pets. Prepare your home properly, get them checked regularly by the vet, and spend time with them. They will become a treasured friend.

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