The Best Tips for Bringing Home a New Furry (or not so furry!) Friend
- 19 February 2018
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Thinking of making an addition to the family? Choosing a new pet is a big deal. Your furry, feathered, or scaly friend will be a part of your life, so making a wise choice is important. Check out these tips to ensure your decision is a good one.
Pets and Wellness
Adding a pet to your home means more than just companionship or entertainment. Pets can actually improve your mental and physical well-being. Pets love us unconditionally, overlook our faults, and keep us more active. They provide structure to our days and encourage socialization. The benefits are so strong that some professionals advise including pets in addiction recovery programs. Pets provide powerful emotional support and healing, promoting wellness and recovery. They become key partners in the process. It’s no wonder so many of us choose to include pets in our lives!
The Right Pet for Your Lifestyle
Matching your pet with the way you live is vital. Make notes about what is important to you before selecting your friend. Do you mind doing some grooming? Will hair throughout the home bother you? Do you tend to be a night owl? Some animals, like ferrets and tree frogs, tend to be more active at night. If you or a member of your household has allergies, you’ll want to take that into account. There are low-dander choices like hairless cats and non-shedding dog breeds that might be appropriate if allergies are minimal. You may be best off with a scaled critter over one with hair. Do you have children? Some pets are sturdier and of a better temperament for small children than others. Do you want an indoor dog? If you’re not home enough to let a dog out to potty, chances are neither you nor the dog will enjoy the arrangement. Weigh these considerations when choosing your new friend.
So Many Breeds!
If you’re considering a dog, selecting the right one can be overwhelming. There are a tremendous number of breeds available. Do you want a dog that can go for a jog with you? Choose an athletic, working breed that will benefit from the exercise. Some dogs are better suited to life outside and enjoy a large fenced-in yard, and other dogs are couch potatoes that will be content to lounge inside with you. As some experts point out, there are dogs who become very lonely if they spend too much time by themselves. Do some research before taking the plunge. The AKC has a great matching tool for finding a breed to fit into your life. You also can go through a rescue organization that pairs pets with the right home.
Bringing Your Pet Home
Most pets will require some acclimation to your home. Pets through shelters or rescues may need additional help adjusting, as they can be nervous or fearful initially. According to Petfinder, providing your pet with structure and routine can help tremendously. Some professionals suggest your pet is probably feeling overwhelmed, so keep your interactions quiet at the beginning. First, introduce your pet to the area where he or she will spend the most time. Show your pet where important things are, such as bedding, bowls and the litter box or potty area. Add applicable belongings such as climbing items or chew toys. Remember there may be some mistakes at the beginning, and be patient. Show your pet where appropriate places are for scratching, chewing or going potty, add praise, and maintain a steady routine while your pet transitions. Rover notes that with time, a trust will grow and your pet will bond with you. In a few weeks, your pet should relax and Fido’s or Fifi’s personality will shine. If your pet will live in an aquarium or similar enclosure, establish the space with an appropriately simple and safe environment before bringing home your new friend.
Adding a pet to your life isn’t a light decision. You’re adding a family member. With some careful considerations, you’ll find a great match that will fit right in!
Image courtesy of Pixabay