06 Aug All You Need to Know as a First Time Pet Parent
Remember the first time when you topped in school? That first childhood love? And that first-ever job, how about that?
Anything that happens for the very first time holds a special place in our lives. Then how can ‘becoming a pet parent for the first time’ be less of an exciting or a significant event!!
Adopting a pet for the very first time brings tremendous joy. And with this joy comes a great deal of ownership and responsibility. The pet parent might experience mixed emotions of happiness and intimidation which is natural.
This feeling might be dominant initially in both the pet and the new pet parent, however keeping a few things in mind, a level of unending affection, strong bond, loyalty, and harmonious co-existence can be achieved soon!!
Research everything that you need to know about your potential pet in terms of their dietary requirements, grooming, training, behavioral pattern, exercise requirements, space required for comfort, time, and attention required from the pet parent.
Understand the basic needs of your pet for a healthy and happy co-existence.
Create an annual budget and monthly expense sheet for what to buy for your pet.
Pet-proof your home by fencing the open spaces and removing all that is toxic, sharp, or harmful.
Look for a good veterinary before you get the pet home.
Choose the right kind of pet food.
Invest in cleaning supplies for the house and accessories to protect your furniture.
Get your pet trained in potty training, using the litter box, cage training, noise training, obedience, and socialize them with other humans and pets in the neighborhood.
Look out for any indoor accidents, mishaps, or any unpleasant situations that might hurt your pet, and get pet insurance for their safety and health concerns.
Give your pet a lot of time, attention, love, and care. It is recommended to not adopt a pet unless you are sure of providing emotional care to them.
All the dos and don’ts that a new pet parent needs to know
- Before your pet comes home
Understand the basic needs of the pet and research about the particular breed, their requirements, and habits – Discuss your pet knowledge with friends and family. Visit the animal shelter or the pet shop to make that first interaction with your potential pet. Speaking to the experts and concerned professionals can help in finding a suitable pet for your home and lifestyle.
There are many commitments while adopting a pet and financials are one of them – Generally, the first-year expenses can be a little higher as compared to the later years, since everything is required to be arranged initially to set up a comfortable space for your pet. The initial costs involve a few less frequent and some monthly and annual expenditures like a pet carrier, food supplies, grooming products, training sessions, vaccinations, pet accessories, and household items that are a must after your pet’s arrival like a vacuum cleaner, waste bags, and odor eliminator.
It is like having a baby of your own – Right from their food, treats, food bowls, pet first aid kit, collar with ID tags, leash, harness, kennel/crate/carrier, grooming products, toys for teething and playing, comfortable bed, vaccination, and preventive treatments, etc. needs to be in order before your pet comes home.
Before buying all these mandatory items, look for a good veterinary – Discuss the pet with your vet and plan accordingly. Whether it is pet food, exercise, or vaccines, your vet is the best person to consult. Consider factors like checkup costs, location, working hours, and method of treatment while choosing a vet. Also, ensure you have the details of the nearest vet clinic handy, maybe write down on a note and stick it to the fridge or any place where it is easily visible in case of a pet emergency.
Prepare your home before the arrival of your pet – Start by setting up the food and water bowls, comfortable bed space for your pet to sleep, and their play area. In case you are adopting a pup or a cat/kitten, place the crate or the litter box respectively at the required place for potty training and litter box training. Ensure that you place them away from their bed. Seek a professional’s support to pet-proof your house especially if you are adopting a pup and cat/kitten.
- After your pet comes home
Be patient and caring towards your pet- Know what to and not to expect after getting the pet home. Be patient with the pet since they are scared or overwhelmed when they first go to their new home. However, the initial adjustment duration might vary depending upon the type of pet and its breed. While younger pets might require more time for training, older one generally requires more time to adjust to the new place especially since they have already stayed somewhere else before. Stay calm while bonding with your pet and give them time to settle in.
Set up continuous training sessions either with professional trainers or yourself-Make your pet undergo training asap once they come home. Some of the important training for your pet can be cage training, house training, obedience, behavior modification, positive reinforcement against excessive noise, potty training for a pup, and training to use a litter tray for a cat/kitten. Pet parents should take training tips and cues from friendly trainers as consistency is the key to successful training. Avoid classes where pets are punished during the training process.
Limit their initial access at home- Since the pet is new to the surroundings, they can end up in accidents in the house or accidentally chew up or tear things lying around. Hence, it is always better to limit their access to the crates or confined spaces in the house like their own room. The confinement area can be used for their relaxation and unwinding and reduce their anxiety in the new place.
Microchipping your pet is a necessary step- A Pet microchip is the size of a rice grain that is inserted under the pet’s skin near the shoulder blades and is usually done by a vet. This chip has your pet’s unique ID number and can be scanned at a vet clinic or animal shelter through a scanner. Once the chip is scanned, it is easier to contact the pet parent. Microchipping should be done to reduce the risk of your pet getting lost and increase the probability of reuniting with your pet.
Choose the right kind of food for your pet- Consult the vet on the dietary needs of your pet or the addition of supplements in food, based on their age, health conditions, size, and activity levels. Younger pets require foods that are easily digestible whereas senior pets should have more enriched foods. If you are adopting from a shelter, consult the vet while transitioning your pet from the food that they have been eating previously to a new diet. Some foods can cause allergies and hence it is important to discuss any unusual symptoms that your pet might experience.
Make a routine and stick to it- Your pet is already anxious about the new surroundings and new people. Creating a routine can help them settle and adjust to the new environment. You can start with an early morning walk in the park before breakfast, after which let them play, get trained, take a quick nap, stroll around in the house, another walk before dinner, and before sleeping sits in the living room with the entire family. Ensure you and your pet stick to the schedule for better understanding.
Communicate and understand your pet’s needs- Be responsible and attentive to your pet’s requirements and observe their body language, positions of head, neck, ears, tail, activities they do, or sounds they make. Pet parents should not leave their pets alone for long durations as it can stress them out. Understand their language when they want to communicate, if they feel sad, excited, hungry, or want something. Be there for them especially in their growing days like you would be there for your growing infant.
Prepare for health issues and behavioral problems- Everyone hopes for a healthy life without any serious health concerns and the same stands true for your pet as well. Ensure taking all necessary measures in terms of exercise and diet to prevent your pet from getting unwell in the first place. In case of a pet health emergency, necessary steps should be taken to avoid any serious illness. For this, it is advised to not ignore any unusual symptoms that the pet might show and visit the vet asap. In such circumstances additional expenditure is inevitable and hence investing in pet insurance policy helps a great deal.
Look for a pet sitter in case of your unavailability- Take time off from work and spend it playing with your pet as it is going to help you understand them and create that everlasting bond. However, in case you are keeping out for long durations due to any reason, make sure you have a trusted and reliable pet sitter that can play with your pet, feed them, look after them till the time you are back.
Get cleaning supplies and house accessories- Buy a good vacuum cleaner, air fresheners, and waste bags to keep your house clean. New pets might litter everywhere before their potty or litter box training; shedding is common in both cats and dogs naturally and while brushing. After walks in the park, your pet dog might get dirt inside the house on the floor or sofas and beds. An odor eliminator is required to neutralize the odor in the house. Pet parents might also want to buy furniture covers to prevent their furniture from getting spoiled.
Congratulations!! Since now you have been promoted from a first-time pet parent to a successful experienced pet parent, you can continue to enjoy the beautiful long-lasting companionship of your pet which was worth the wait!!