Bringing a new, furry friend into your life and home is a big decision. And it’s one that takes quite a bit of preparation! Before you sign the paperwork and make everything official, there are a few things that need to be in place. If you’re a first-time pet owner and unsure of what you need to get done, here’s a list of a few things you should look at ASAP.
Find a Trusted Vet
First of all, start looking for recommendations for a reputable vet in your area. You’ll likely need to get your new pet checked out as soon as you pick them up. So having a vet in mind beforehand will help.
Make sure you know what you’re looking for in a doctor. For example, Erin Downes, owner of Paoli Vet, is careful to ensure the emotional well-being of your pet, as well as their physical health. Looking for qualities like this in your vet is crucial.
Invest in Pet Insurance
Another important consideration to make when it comes to your pet’s health is investing in pet insurance. Many people skip this step because they assume that vet bills won’t be too much of a financial worry.
However, if your pet falls unexpectedly ill, the tests and medication can come at a hefty cost. So insurance is a good backup plan.
Buy All the Essentials
One of the fun and exciting parts of the prep is getting to go shopping!
You’ll need to grab all of the essentials — food bowls, a comfy bed, collars and tags, litter boxes for cats, some toys, leads, a jacket in the colder months, and basics like food, too.
Seek Out a Trainer or School
Especially for new dog owners, finding a good trainer is important unless you have the time and know-how to train your puppy at home.
Remember that choosing a dog trainer is a serious decision, and you’ll need to make sure that whoever you choose is compatible with your pup’s personality and that their training style is something you agree with.
Pet-Proof Your Home
If you’ve never owned a pet before, you’ll need to take special care to look out for dangerous areas of your home, as well as anything that you might want to protect from gnawing teeth and scratching claws.
Be sure to pet-proof your home before you bring any animals in there. Move electrical wires out of reach and block off any areas of your house where your animals might get hurt.
Do Your Research
Finally, make sure you do a bit of reading before you become a pet parent. Learn what it takes in terms of time, finances, and effort to take care of an animal.
Researching the specific breed you’re looking to adopt is another good idea. Make sure to take a look at a dog breed guide (either before or after choosing your new friend), to get a better understanding of their specific needs. Each type of dog and cat is different and will need different amounts of exercise, grooming, attention, and more!