It’s no secret that we love our pets. A study done by The American Pet Products Association (APPA) found that 68% of households in the United States owned at least one pet. These furry family members not only keep us company, but they are also linked to many other health benefits like bringing happiness, lowering stress, and even increasing fitness levels.
So, when you decide it is time for you to get a pet of your own, it’s important to do your research on what to do before you bring a new four-legged (or 2 legged) friend into your life.
Whether this is your first pet or your 4th, follow these tips to make sure you and your family are ready for your new arrival.
Check Your Budget
American’s spend about $52 billion annually on their pets and that number continues to rise by the billion every year. Broken down the costs include pet fees, food, supplies, medicine, vet care, and other services like grooming and boarding. That’s not even including all of the extra toys and accessories you might buy or the cost of pet insurance.
Before you get a pet, make sure you factor all of the associated costs into your budget and make sure you will be able to keep and financially supporting it long-term.
Do the Research
Many municipalities, HOA’s, and rentals have strict rules regarding pets and different breeds of pets. Before you go out and search for a pet, get the proper approval first.
It is also a good idea to research the different breeds of an animal that will best suit you. For example, if you are active and want a pet to exercise with, you might want a larger dog that has a lot of energy, like a Border Collie or an English Setter.
Lastly, research highly-rated veterinarians or animal hospitals in your area. If your pet is extremely young, numerous vet visits are likely in your future, so find a vet that is close by and highly trusted. If you can’t find one reach out to an animal shelter near you, and they should be able to assist.
Make Sure It Will Fit Into Your Lifestyle
If the lifestyle you live has no room for a pet, do not get a pet. We cannot stress this enough. If your life is extremely busy and you are not home enough to take care of an animal or properly train them, do not get one. Animals need time and attention, just like humans, and it will take them a while to develop good habits; so if you don’t have the time or money, save getting a pet for the future.
Before you adopt or purchase a new pet, go together as a family to meet it and see if it would be a good fit. You can even bring older pets to see if they get along. If a meet and greet is not possible, introduce new pets to other pets slowly, and teach children how to properly interact with the new animal.
If you really want a pet but aren’t sure which one would fit into your family you could always reach out to your local shelter and ask staff members what kind of animal would fit your needs.
Pet-Proof Your Home
When you get a new pet, it’s safety becomes your responsibility. That means you will need to pet-proof your home. Get down to your pet’s eye-level and move objects that could cause them harm like, wires, cords, cleaning supplies, hazardous plants, food, plastic or glass décor, trashcans, etc.
If you are getting an animal with sharp claws, like a cat, make sure you have scratching posts available and use the right protection for your furniture.
You should also pet-proof the outside of your home. Make sure your fence is sturdy and no poles need to be replaced, check window screens, and pick up all trash and debris.
Find A Pet!
Go find your new best friend!
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