Add Four Paws to Your Family with Ease
Add Four Paws to Your Family with Ease
They’re gentle and affectionate, lovable and loyal, and they’re waiting for you to take them home. However, before you head down to the pet store or shelter, there are some things that you need to do to ensure you get nothing but pleasure out of the experience. This is, after all, a big responsibility, so be sure to take the proper steps beforehand.
Do you know what you’re getting into beyond taking the dog for a walk or cleaning the kitty litter? There are allergy shots, visits to the vet, and a whole assortment of other responsibilities involved with having a pet. These will take up a lot of your spare time, so be mentally prepared for any emergencies that may come up.
Oh, and there are some expenses as well. They add up to an average of $1,270 in the first year for a dog and $1,070 for a cat. You’ll have to shell out for spaying and neutering, as well as food, supplies, and regular check-ups. This shouldn’t dissuade you, but remember to budget. Otherwise, your furry friend could end up being a liability.
Choose the Right Breed
First off, are you allergic to cats or dogs? If so, that narrows the choice down to one animal or the other. There are also other health conditions that have an impact on what breed you choose. Asthma, for example, means staying away from ones that produce a lot of dander. These include chow chows and great Pyrenees for the canines and Persians for the felines.
Space is another limiting factor. You’ll need a lot of it for Siberian huskies or German shepherds, but don’t despair if you live in an apartment. The experts at Dogtime.com suggest almost 30 breeds that would be happy in your modest dwelling.
Prepare Your Home
Once you’ve chosen which breed of animal to add to the family, it’s time to get your home ready, and that includes deciding who does what. Don’t forget that the dog needs to be fed and walked every day, so divide up these tasks with your loved ones based on who’s free at what time of the day. Everyone must be on board so the critter doesn’t feel neglected.
Next up on the to-do list: proofing. This is crucial for both the safety of your cat or dog as well as your valuables. Remove anything from the floor that a kitten or puppy might put in its mouth, such as cords, cables, and shoes. A scratching post would make a wonderful addition to your home if you don’t fancy having your furniture torn to shreds by a frisky feline.
Finally, get ready to clean. There’s no way around it — pets make it more difficult to keep your home spic and span. From hair on the carpet and furniture to bathroom accidents to their distinctive smells, pet messes are easiest to manage if you have the right, pet-specific equipment. Invest in an air purifier to combat the smells, pet-friendly cleaning products for everyday messes, and a water filtration vacuum cleaner to tackle pet hairand dander.
Learn How to Treat Them
This is a huge life change for the animal, so be patient and caring when introducing them to their new home. This is especially true for a rescue, who is likely to be anxious and fearful after a hard-knock life in the streets and shelters. In fact, you may want to set aside a room or a quiet corner in your home complete with bedding where your dog can retreat when feeling stressed.
Once your pet is acclimated, you can begin the joyful process of bonding, which is a great excuse for playing, cuddling, and doling out treats — the very reasons you’re adding the furball to your family to begin with. Don’t forget the importance of training during this endeavor. For cats, remember to take it slow, as they need their space and independence.
Look Into Help
As much as you love your new pet, you can’t be there for them all the time. You’ve got a career and other obligations that are going to keep you away. Look into local dog-walking services in your area to make sure your canine companion gets ample time outdoors. You can also go ahead and research boarding services or pet resorts for when you decide to go on vacation.
If you’ve done everything right, you’ll come home to lots of love and a wagging tail. Just remember to plan ahead so you and your pet can benefit from this new relationship!
- Loudoun Pet Expo
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