Bringing a pet into one's life comes with responsibility.
There's much to navigate, even more so when this is your first experience as a pet owner.
Here are some steps you can take to ease your transition.
Table of Contents
Choose Your Pet
A pet is an investment. You have to factor in a new companion's impact on your home, finances, allergies, and lifestyle. Crucially, you need an environment that is suitable to your preferred choice. If you want a dog, your selection of breeds will depend on the size of your home and family. After all, larger animals are unlikely to thrive in apartments. Some pets may also be too demanding if you work long hours or cannot commit to giving them sustained physical activity. Lower-maintenance pets, like guinea pigs or rabbits, may also be ideal if you have young children. They are great starter pets and can be handled without much worry.
Have the Right Supplies
Before bringing your friend home, you should have the right supplies stocked. You don't need to go all out, but you should have essentials, such as food and treats. Other basics will depend on your chosen pet. A bowl, toys, bedding, and grooming gear are essential for canines and felines. But you may also have specific needs, especially if you are getting a dog. For instance, work can interfere with healthy routines, like eating and exercise. That's where automated feeders and electronic doors come in. The latter can give you peace of mind while allowing your pup to securely take breaks outdoors. Check reviews online before making a purchase.
Prep Your Life
Your home needs to be a safe place for your family and the new addition. Even nervous pets are curious enough that they could be exposed to avoidable dangers. Pet-proofing may require some areas to be gated off or made inaccessible. Replace open trash cans with securable alternatives because these can be harmful temptations. You should also deal with choking and toxic hazards. These range from chemical products and children's toys to exposed wires. Lastly, if your household has allergy sufferers, look online for appliances that could help. Vacuums, for example, are effective against pet hair, which can easily accumulate. An air purifier can also be a valuable tool in clearing allergens from the air.
Ease Their Stress
For some pets, a new home can be overwhelming to their senses. Dogs, for instance, are sensitive to smells. That can actually be used to your advantage. Should you adopt a rescue, they may have blankets or toys. If so, bring them home and place them where your pup will sleep. These items will have familiar scents that can reassure them when anxiety spikes. Stress can also be alleviated through routine. A structured environment calms nervous pets by nurturing stability and reducing stress. Try to keep to consistent times for play, eating, and exercise. Do what it takes to make things predictable.
Pets are wonderful companions, but they can be reserved with new owners. It takes effort to bond, especially if they are a shelter animal. Don't force things early as this can be overwhelming. Let them get comfortable on their terms. However, just caring for your new charge can build trust and affection. Take them for walks and go exploring together. Use treats to gain their trust gradually and reward them for good behavior. Get close through grooming and remember to show physical affection whenever possible. Earning a pet's love is a process, but it is worth it.
Your new companion may be full of nerves. They may take time to adapt, but your efforts can smooth the experience for everyone. You are both embarking on a wonderful journey together.