Getting a pet for the first time can be extremely exciting. After all, your pet is going to be a whole new member of your family! However, becoming a first-time pet owner is full of responsibility, and there are a number of decisions you must make before taking the leap and becoming a pet owner. To help guide you through the process of adopting a pet for the very first time, ask yourself these simple questions.
What are Your Pet Ownership Goals?
We recommend starting your search for a new pet by looking at your pet ownership goals. In other words, what do you want to get out of owning a pet? Why are you looking at adopting a pet in the first place? If you want a pet that can go hiking with you, you should probably consider adopting a dog. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a low-maintenance pet to provide you with companionship, Real Simple suggests choosing a bird or guinea pig instead.
If you’re looking for a pet to improve your mental health, a dog or cat might be the best option for you. Companion animals can greatly enhance the recovery of those experience a slew of disorders, including drug addiction. Pets can be helpful to those in addiction recovery because they provide companionship, can encourage exercise and self-care, and can add to a person’s support system. Choosing a pet that is in line with your pet ownership goals will allow you to enjoy your new friend in the long run and provide him or her with the best home possible.
What Can You Provide to Your Pet?
Now that you know what you want to get out of owning your pet, it is time to figure out what you can provide your new pal with. If you currently live in an apartment, you probably are not going to be able to provide a large dog with the room they need to be happy and healthy. Instead, Apartments.com suggests adopting a smaller dog, cat, or even a fish. All pets are also going to need a certain amount of maintenance. If your pet lives in a cage, that cage is going to need to be cleaned. Your dog is going to need to be walked, and your cat’s litter box is going to need to be cleaned. Certain pets require higher maintenance needs than others, however. So, choose a pet that fits how much time you have to give.
Have You Prepared Your Home for a Pet?
Much like bringing home a baby, your house must be prepared before bringing home a new pet. Depending on what species you pick, some pets are going to need more preparation than others. For example, fish only need their tank set up, while a puppy will require that you puppy-proof the whole house and even the yard. If you have small children, you will also need to prepare them in advance for your new furry family member. If your child has never been around pets, there is a good chance that they might be scared of it. Look for opportunities to let your child interact with pets. If your child is old enough, make sure to explain to them that you’re getting a new pet, and be prepared to answer questions.
How Much Time Can You Spend with Your Pet?
For the first week or so, you are probably going to need to spend more time with your pet to help them acclimate to their new home. If you have a business trip next week, now is not the time to adopt a new pet. After that, you should preferably still spend time with your pet at least once a day, and perhaps even consider taking them on hikes and camping trips if they are able.
Adopting a pet is exciting, but some decisions and forethought must be made before you bring your furry friend home. Take as much time as you need to answer these question to ensure that you are picking the right pet for your family.
About the Author:
Lucy Reed has been starting businesses since she was a kid, from the lemonade stand she opened in her parent’s driveway at age 10 to the dog walking business she started while in college. She created GigMine because she was inspired by the growth of the sharing economy and wanted to make it easier for entrepreneurial individuals like herself to find the gig opportunities in their areas.
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