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There are a few things that you need to consider before getting a new little furry friend. You need to take into consideration every aspect that will come with that new friend. From what your schedule is to how much time you’re going to spend interacting with that pet. Every type of animal require different level of care and interaction. And none of this should be done on an impulse as often you’ll make the wrong decision or think you’re over your head. For instance, on Easter a lot of children are given bunnies without the parent thinking about everything that will go into taken after of it. Or their kid might not be into their new little friend once it becomes a full grown rabbit. So what are all the things you need to consider before getting yourself a furry little friend?
How Much Time Can You Commit to Your New Friend?
Will you have time to walk your dog multiple times a day? Will you remember to exercise your cat or rabbit every evening? If the answer is no, and you have no one who can do these essential tasks then you should consider a low-demand animal companion like a fish.
Will Your Pet Fit Into Your Lifestyle?
A lot of people choose pets based off their popularity or how cute they are rather than if it will fit into their lifestyle. Which often leads to pets being dropped off at the shelter or abandoned on a street or park. ‘Cause they have too much energy or are too needy or too intolerant… the list goes on. Different breeds of each animal have a different temperament. My dog Pixie is super energetic, she is like a energizer bunny that doesn’t know how to stop. Versus the family dog, Winnie, is mellow but is dog reactive on walks. You just have to know the breed, and what you can handle. Do you have children? Then a Chihuahua isn’t going to be for you as they often bite children. Want a Golden Doodle or a Yorkie, note you’re going to have to take it into grooming often for brush outs and fur trims. Same goes with cats, some want more attention while others are mostly independent and want nothing to do with you. Do your research and choose wisely.
Make Sure you Have a Veterinarian Lined Up
This doesn’t just go for cats and dogs. Rabbits, Rodents, Turtles, or any other exotic animal also may need a veterinarian at some point in their life. And not all vet clinics will see those animals. You need to do your research and find one that will work with the animal you’re adopting. This will be a lifelong relationship and as such, the choice is very important. Again, do your research. Read online reviews of the vets in your community (with a grain of salt), ask groomers in your area who they recommend, and make interview appointments with them. I personally take my dogs to Banfield which is located inside of the PetSmart down the street, which works great for me because they offer a plan you pay monthly so you don’t have the giant vet bill twice a year during their regular check-ups.
Is Your Home Pet-Friendly?
This is not usually something you think about right away. There are a lot of things that are safe for humans but toxic to animals. For instance, certain plants can be very dangerous to cats. Also do you have somewhere they can’t get to where you can store chemicals and medicines? Can you place your purse somewhere where the pets can’t get inside? Since most likely you have a pack of gum in there which is extremely deadly to dogs. Same with that chocolate bar you may have forgotten about. If you leave it out, they will get into it. And it will be heartbreaking especially if you don’t get them to the vet immediately. And if you’re not home when this happens, it might be too late by the time you get home.
All pets require some level of training. Whether that’s learning where their food and designated bathroom is to learning boundaries of the home. If you don’t start early or repeat certain commands with rewards, the pet will not learn its place. And you’ll have issues for years to come. Such as your pet going all over your place rather than outside where you want them to go if they’re a dog. Or in their litterbox if they are a cat.
Outfit Your Pet with Proper ID
Finally, ensure that your puppy or kitten is properly outfitted with ID so that if he should ever get loose — and it does happen to most everyone eventually — you will have him returned safely to you. Have your contact information on your pet’s collar, either on a tag or printed directly onto the collar (the latter can be custom ordered or made by you). Also, keep photos on hand. This is a good reason to track your pet’s growth, but you may need those images when it comes time to post them around town or to leave with the local shelter in case your pet is delivered to them. A GPS device that attaches to the collar is a clever way to track your pet, but it loses its efficacy when the collar gets lost.
Microchips are the best assurance for identification and need to be used in combination with a collar for the best chance of finding a lost pet. Make a point now of remembering to update your contact information with the company that keeps records for the microchip every time there is a change in your contact information. It can make the difference between your pet being returned to you or staying lost to you forever.
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