What to Expect When Getting a New Pet
If you’re thinking about welcoming a new pet into your family, you’ve probably realized that there’s a lot of preparation involved in making sure the transition from store or shelter to home goes smoothly. You’ll have to make sure that you’ll be able to safely and confidently assess, handle, and overcome any obstacles or bumps in the road that may arise when bringing the pet into your life. Whether you’re adopting or rescuing a dog, cat, hamster, bird, turtle, or anything in between, it’s important to do plenty of research beforehand so that you know exactly what to expect.
Before taking a trip to the pet store, shelter, or even browsing online, you’ll want to consider things like climate, cost, and care. These three C’s are what can help you to be more prepared, so that when the time comes, there are no surprises.
Climate is the most commonly overlooked aspect of owning a pet, and unfortunately, many pet owners don’t consider it before buying an animal and placing it in their home. Placing an animal in an environment not suited for its specific needs can put the animal at risk for short and long term health complications, depression, or even death.
Climate includes everything from the temperature of the space it will be living in, to the noise level of the household it will be a part of, to the size of the space necessary for the animal to get proper exercise. All of these factors will have to be considered and honestly assessed in order to avoid a situation wherein the pet is not getting enough attention, space, or sunlight. And just like welcoming a new baby into a home, getting a new pet may require that you “baby-proof” your house or yard to ensure the safety of the pet, as well.
It is extremely important to be honest with the current living conditions to avoid harming the pet. For example, if you find that you cannot provide a heat lamp that will keep the temperature of the space for your iguana at reasonable warmth, then you’ll have to consider what other small pet you could keep in the space you do have. Similarly, you wouldn’t want to adopt a high-energy dog if you don’t have a large outdoor space for it to run around in.
The next factor you’ll need to consider before getting a new pet are all of the expected (and unexpected) costs that are involved with training, owning, and caring for it. Of course, there are the obvious costs like food, toys, and shelter, but what about the costs of unforeseen vet bills, kennel costs for when you go on vacation, necessary behavioral training, or grooming sessions? Are you financially prepared to fork out hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars to go towards these expenses? If you’re not in the position to be able to comfortably afford maintaining and caring for your pet, then you should hold off until you have a more stable and reasonable budget.
The third most important thing you’ll need to prepare for is the care that will be involved with owning your new pet. Making sure your pet is comfortable, happy, and fulfilled goes far beyond simply keeping it fed. Caring for a pet takes time, patience, and energy, and may cause you to sacrifice free time, personal needs, or social obligations. It wouldn’t be fair to your pet if you spent most of the year travelling, or were frequently away from home for long periods of time. If you own multiple other pets and don’t have the time to adequately care for your pet, then accepting another into your home would seem irresponsible. Many times, young pets like puppies and kittens require extra care to be adequately trained and “broken in.” If you fear that time commitments, social obligations, and other responsibilities might take away from the attention needed to make your pet happy, then it’s probably best to hold off. Caring for a pet is all about prioritizing and sometimes putting the pet’s needs ahead of your own.
If you find yourself in need of a companion, with the proper space, equipment, financial means, and time necessary to own one, then this may be the perfect time to get a pet. Preparing to bring a new pet into your home will require time, energy, and care, and being a responsible pet owner will help your pet live a happy, fulfilled life. Doing research on the climate, costs, and care ahead of time will prepare you for anything you might expect, and will prevent any surprises down the road. Happy pet hunting!