All new pet owners must be aware that owning a pet is a big responsibility especially if you don’t have any experience. You must ask yourself if you can commit to taking care of another living being. Pets require love, care and attention. If you can provide this, then you are halfway there already!
If you live in a large household, it would be best to sit down with your family and discuss whether you are going to share the responsibilities. Pets are high maintenance and different animals can require more or less of your time and attention. Playtimes, feeding and exercise must be discussed beforehand so that your family and new pet can adjust to a routine as soon as possible.
We recommend asking the breeder what food they are currently feeding your pet so that you can stock up on the same kind. If you want to change the brand or product, make sure that you slowly introduce the new food. You can do this by gradually adding your desired choice to their meals and over time increasing the amount bit by bit.
Give It Time
Once your new pet arrives, you need to allow time to acclimate to the new change. This is extremely important as it will put you into a habit of taking care of your pet and giving it proper attention. For new additions such as dogs, we recommend taking at least a week off work to help them settle in and adjust to the new environment.
The most important part is making sure that your pet feels like it has a safe place to retreat to at any time. This is usually a bed with its favourite toys, kept in the same place.
It’s best to make your home as pet friendly as you can which means that you need to clean it regularly and remove edibles off the floor. Furthermore, you should keep in mind that your pet may bite or scratch items that are in reach so make sure all wires and electrical appliances are safely covered. With this in mind, make sure that your pet cannot damage anything of value - it is your responsibility to safety proof your home. Keep harmful and hazardous items (such as bleach) locked away at all times and ascertain a safe area that your pet can call home and can spend most of its time.
Responsible pet owners will always make sure that their animal has efficient identification. This could be in the form of a microchip or a collar with your contact details provided. It is extremely important to make your pet identifiable and locatable which will prevent it from getting lost. If the worst was to happen and an accident occurred, having proper identification ensures that you can be linked to your pet and be contacted immediately. Modern collars come with trackers which is an extra precaution.
A safe environment for your new pet is the best way to ensure its health and your sanity. We would recommend making sure that any accessible exits in your home are limited and do not lead to any dangers such as a main road. Make sure that you check your garden for hidden escape routes!
You should set boundaries and train your pet in order to avoid behaviour that you do not like - it is also a great way to let them understand you. The bond between an owner and their pet is only strong when there is a mutual respect so be kind and gentle with your new friend to get the most out of the friendship.
House training will go a long way - whether it’s litter training or basic discipline, teaching your pet the rights and wrongs of your home from the beginning will ensure a healthy relationship where both of you understand each other. We recommend starting things off on a light tone with a simple walk outside. Show your pet its new neighborhood and surroundings. Best of luck with your new best friend!
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