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Saturday, April 7, 2018

First-Time Pet Owners: Tips on How to Make New Fur Babies Happy

Thanks to Jessica Brody from Ourbestfriends.pet for the following guest article to support ASPCA's Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month. Please consider adopting your next pet! 

First-Time Pet Owners: Tips on How to Make New Fur Babies Happy 
Getting a pet for the first time is an exciting, joyful experience -- but it comes with a lot of work, too. First-time pet owners need to put in extra effort. Find out everything you need to know to give your new fur baby a wonderful home. 
What Kind of Pet is Right for You? 
Which type of pet should you pick? Consider some other questions. Do you have a large yard for a dog? Do you have allergies? What kinds activities would you like to do with your animal? If you're an active person with yard space, a dog is a good choice. They're playful, and they can accompany you on walks or jogs. If not, consider a cat. They like to laze around and they're pretty independent, which makes them good for busy professionals. 
If you have allergies, look into a bird or fish instead. Animal hair of all types can aggravate allergies, and the pollens that dogs bring inside will only worsen symptoms. Fish can be very soothing and birds are active and fun to watch. 
Go on a Shopping Spree 
Be prepared to make an investment in your new companion. According to Forbes, the first year is probably going to be the most expensive. Your fur baby needs a place to sleep, whether it's a pet bed, an aquarium or a new cage. You'll also need a travel carrier for visits to the vet. Dogs will need training pads and cats need a litter box, litter and a scooper.  
Don't forget your collars, tags and leashes. Make your new pet happy with toys. Even birds and fish like stuff to play with, so outfit your cage or aquarium accordingly, get chew toys for dogs and something cats can chase. Cats will also need something to scratch on, so they don't turn your furniture into their claw-sharpening tools. Food and food bowls are a necessity, and pick up some treats as well so you can start training right away. 
Pet-Proofing Your Home 
Make your home safe for your pet. Dogs like to chew, so try to get cords off the floor. Cats like to scratch and climb, so consider replacing long window treatments with shorter curtains over floor-length styles. Move houseplants so that cats and dogs can't get to them. They will try to eat the leaves, which may be toxic. 
If you're adopting an older animal, take extra measures to make your new fur baby feel welcome. Adopted pets need to have their own private space. Pick out a spot or a corner of a room for your dog's toys and bed, and show them this area so they know it's theirs. Cats love boxes. Get a large one, tape the top and bottom and cut a hole in one side. This way, the cat can get privacy whenever they want. 
Bonding with Your Pet 
After you have everything ready for your new fur baby, it's time to welcome them home. The first rule is to be patient. You and your pet are still getting used to each other. Give your new companion time to get used to you and their new environment by spending lots of time with them. Play with them, groom them and talk to them so they can get to know your voice. Reinforce good behavior, and reprimand bad behavior by telling them "no." You can also snap your fingers when they misbehave, so they associate the sound with something they shouldn't do. 
If you have a busy schedule, get a dog walker. Dogs need to go outside, and can't always work within your schedule. Make sure someone is taking the dog out when you aren't home. 
Making Fur Babies Happy 
If you give your pet attention and affection, and see to their needs, they will love you. The two of you will develop a bond that you'll carry with you for the rest of your life. Give your pet your time, and they'll give you happiness in return. 
Jessica Brody 
Photo credit: Pexels.com