While you might dream about the fun of owning an animal, you need to consider the various aspects of pet care before heading out to your local pet shelter and be wooed by your next best friend. This way, you are sure to be well prepared when you bring it home your new animal, easing the transition and bonding process for both of you.
The type of care that your pet will require depends somewhat on the animal itself. However, there are broad categories that need to be addressed in most instances. You can use these to determine the specific needs of your intended pet.
Nutrition: You will need to provide an appropriate diet for any animal you bring home. In many cases, the market has several choices that provide varying degrees of nutritional benefit to your animal. For instance, the dog food market has everything from highly processed foods that barely resemble anything edible to organic fresh meats and produce in a specific blend designed for a particular breed of animal.
Of course, you will usually want to find something between these extremes for your pet. Research the best foods to provide, including the changing dietary needs from youth into adulthood. Find out what snacks are appropriate and which foods should be avoided.
Vaccinations and Wellness Exams
Most pets should be taken to the veterinarian for a wellness exam when you first bring the animal home. The vet can determine if the animal needs any additional medical treatment, including vaccinations.
You will have to get a rabies shot at a minimum for dogs, cats and some other furry species. You might discover other shots that are required or highly recommended based on your location. Research the medications available, including adverse reactions, to make sure that you understand how to best care for your new pet.
In many cases, you will need to provide booster shots for vaccinations. These can be done during an annual examination. You can also provide some types of medication yourself. For instance, the use of well-reputed over-the-counter flea or worm medications.
If your new pet has fur, you will likely need to groom it regularly. The frequency will depend on the species, length of hair, time of year and other factors. In some cases, you will need to take the pet to a professional groomer and/or spend time daily grooming the animal.
While cats clean themselves, regular petting and brushing can be a great way to bond with the animal and remove loose fur. Your pet will enjoy this interaction and it will reduce the amount of fur you find throughout the house.
In addition to caring for the fur, you will also need to pay attention to oral hygiene for dogs and cats. It is best to start as soon as you bring the animal home and to integrate oral care into your regular grooming routine.
You can find great instructions that will guide you with introducing the special animal toothbrush to your pet. If you are patient and consistent, you can teach your dog or cat to appreciate this aspect of grooming.
Because your pet cannot tell you if their paws hurt, you will need to inspect them regularly. Unless your animal is outside a lot and wears down their claws in nature, you will need to trim the nails. Find out more about the species you intend to purchase and your living conditions to determine how often you will need to address this grooming process.
No matter what age your new pet, you can work on training to make sure the animal understands the rules of your home and how to communicate their own needs. By working with your dog or cat, you can teach the animal a wide range of abilities. Of course, this will depend on the temperament of the animal, your training techniques and much more.
You might be satisfied to keep the training to the basics or take additional classes to enhance the skills your dog will have. Look into the time and expense associated with dog training courses in your area. Are these feasible for you?
You are assuming a great responsibility when you bring an animal into your life. You owe it to yourself, the pet and the others in your household to ensure that the animal will be safe. While small animals simply need a secure habitat with the appropriate accessories, pets that are free to roam need your entire home looked at in regards to pet safety.
Secure the cords to your electronics to prevent animal access. Dogs especially chew through things when bored or anxious. You will need to provide appropriate toys to satisfy these needs.
There are many gorgeous house plants that are safe for humans but toxic to pets. Not only should you find out about the plants in and around your home, you should have the unsafe list accessible. This way, when shopping for new plants, you can easily make sure that you will not bring home anything toxic to your beloved animal.
Just as you have health insurance for yourself and the other members of your family, you can also obtain pet insurance for your dogs, cats and some other species. The rates on many of these policies are very affordable and will provide you with peace of mind. Should your pet become ill or injured, the insurance coverage will help to cover the expenses.
By considering these aspects of pet care, you can make sure you have the equipment and funds necessary to provide a safe and secure home for your new pet. Make sure that you have the time to devote to the animal, and that others in the household are going to be a good fit for the animal as well.
When you bring home a new pet, you are providing the animal with a loving and caring home to enjoy. Going over these considerations beforehand will allow you both to focus on bonding and getting to know each other! Have fun with your new pet!