Welcoming a new pet home is sure to be one of the happiest times for your family. Choosing a family pet is a big decision and shouldn’t be made lightly; after all, this choice will impact the life of your family and the life of the animal that becomes part of your household.
Tips for choosing the right pet for your family.
These are some helpful tips to keep in mind when thinking about what life with a new pet might be like. With a little careful thought and research, you are sure to find pet that fits in perfectly with your loving family.
1. How involved will members of your family be in care?
Kids love the idea of pets but might be unprepared for the reality of day-to-day animal care. Dogs must be walked multiple times a day, kitty litter boxes have to be scooped each day, bird cages need cleaned frequently – these are the less glamorous sides of caring for our favorite companions. Parents enjoy giving kids what they want but may not be happy with shouldering all animal care responsibilities. Consider how mature your kids are and how much time they have available for pet-related chores.
2. Are you ready for the expense of regular pet care?
Even relatively low-maintenance pets will require annual vet visits for vaccinations and checkups. As pets age they may require medication. Many pet owners choose to invest in pet insurance to help address these concerns. This can be an affordable way to cover routine expenses like annual veterinarian wellness checks.
3. What kind of space do you have available?
Different animals have different space demands. Even small birds require surprisingly large cages to be happy and healthy; the small cages they are kept in for display in pet stores are frequently inadequate. Take your time to research the space needs of the different pets you are considering. For instance, cats like to have trees and cubbies for climbing, scratching, and hiding.
4. Does everyone want a pet?
All members of the family should agree about wanting a pet. For instance, if a younger member of the family is afraid of dogs, it would be unfair for older family members to insist on getting one. This would cause a distressing and stressful household environment and put the dog in a confusing situation where they couldn’t be friends with everyone.
5. How will a pet’s needs change as it ages?
Some pets, such as gerbils and hamsters, have needs that change relatively little over the course of their life. On the other hand, pets such as dogs and cats will need different types of food at different times of life. Understanding how age affects the family pet will help you consider how to anticipate an animal’s long-term, changing needs.
6. Do you have everything you need to welcome home a new pet?
New pets will need lots of special items before they can come home successfully, so you have to be prepared to spend some money. Food, care items, and toys are the minimum required for most new pets. These items will need to come home with your pet or be ready for them when they arrive.
7. Which pets suit which lifestyle the best?
Some pets need lots of close attention while others are safe and happy being left alone for several hours at a time. For instance, puppies and kittens need to be fed and cared for every few hours; families where everyone is at work or school for 6 – 10 hours a day are not well-suited for young animals. Consider your lifestyle honestly and then see what kind of animal would fit into it most naturally.
How to welcome your new pet into your new home
New pets need a little help before they feel totally comfortable in a new place. First, take them on a tour to each room; let them explore at their own pace. Make a space for your pet that belongs to them. This can be a kennel, a cat tree, or some other place where they won’t be disturbed. Let them get to know each family member one by one so they don’t get overwhelmed or frightened. As your pet adjusts to your home, create a routine of feeding, play, and care. This will help build trust and familiarity. Finally, be willing to take things slowly. Gentleness and patience are important tools to use when getting to know a new animal.
Welcome Home! With some careful planning and thought, welcoming home a new pet will be an exciting moment. Your new family member will be happy you chose them.
By Brittany Cotton
Brittany Cotton is a writer who focuses on pets, health, and science among other subjects. In her free time, you can find her playing with her dog, reading, or trying a new recipe.