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4 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Adopting Your First Pet
Few things are more exciting than welcoming a new pet into your home. However, being a pet parent isn’t all about fun -- it also comes with a lot of responsibility. Since your pet will be a big part of your life, it’s important to start things off on the right foot by asking yourself a few questions before you adopt. Le Pet Luxe offers up some questions that you should definitely think about asking.
What pet breed is right for me?
Each type of animal has its own personality. Cats tend to be independent, whereas dogs are all about people and crave attention. Many small animals, such as reptiles or hamsters, generally keep to themselves. But even small pets like ferrets and rats can be extremely social.
Once you’ve settled on a species of animal, it’s important to pick a breed carefully. With so many breeds of dogs, there is a huge range of personalities within this species. Some are easy for beginners to handle, but others are much more challenging, according to VetStreet. There are far fewer breeds of cats, and most aren’t pure-bred at all. However, there are still distinct cat personalities to consider.
If you suffer from allergies, you’ll want to think about this when choosing a pet. Some breeds naturally produce less hair and dander, which means they might not trigger your allergies like animals that shed profusely.
Breed might influence a pet’s personality and allergy risk, but you also have to think about age. Young animals are naturally more playful and require more patience and training. If you can’t keep up with a rambunctious puppy, for example, getting an older dog that’s already house trained might be more your speed.
Once you’ve decided on your pet, keep one important thing in mind: it’s more important to adopt than shop. There are many loving animals out there in desperate need of a home, and animal shelters work hard to connect them with people who will treat them with kindness and respect. And by adopting an animal from a shelter, you can feel good knowing that you’ve given a companion a new home.
What’s my budget?
Some pets are more expensive up front, such as pure breeds and exotic animals. Others might not cost much initially, but rack up quite a monthly bill when it comes to food, toys, and special needs. Make sure you consider all the costs — and make sure you spend some time researching different products — before diving in.
Even though your pet is probably healthy when you first adopt him, you have to plan on vet visits in the future. Purchasing pet insurance can give you peace of mind and make your vet bills more affordable. For instance, Embrace insurance covers everything from regular office visits to emergency care. Because not all plans are the same, be sure to compare deductibles, premiums, and optional coverages carefully.
Is my home pet-friendly?
If you love your all-white furniture and pristine carpeting, getting a high-energy puppy might bring those days to an end. Luckily, just about any home can be made more suitable with a little pet proofing. When you invite a pet into your home, remember that it’s a stressful time for him. Keeping your home quiet and introducing your pet to the new environment slowly is important. Rescue Dogs 101 says it’s also a good idea to establish a routine for your pet.
Keep in mind that if your new addition is a puppy or kitten, there will be periods of teething, which means furniture and other belongings are at risk of being chewed. Train them right by having plenty of chew toys and long-lasting treats from Le Pet Luxe to keep their little mouths busy. In addition to saving some of the things around the house, you can help your furry friend avoid getting into harmful habits like chewing through electrical cords.
Think about the yard, too. Getting a fence installed is a good idea, especially for dogs, as it will not only help prevent them running off while you’re not around, but it provides an element of privacy as well. Research and find fence installers near you by using an online service directory like Angi, which provides ratings and customer reviews for most professionals. Make sure the company you choose is insured and licensed, and get a detailed estimate upfront to avoid surprise expenses.
Can I provide everything my pet needs?
Having a good home environment is crucial for a pet, but you also have to be there for your new companion. Think about your work schedule and travel preferences before you take the plunge into adoption. Some animals need a lot of hands-on care and will suffer emotionally if you’re not around enough. Even a pet that seems low-key, like a fish, can require a lot of upkeep when it comes to tank cleaning and maintenance.
Even if you’re there for your pet on a regular basis, you’ll need to have a plan in place for any trips you take out of town. Hiring a good pet sitter is a great way to provide for your pet’s needs when you’re not around. Pet sitters are available to provide care in your home or in their own homes on various schedules. Be sure to do your research in advance so you can find someone who’s a good match for your pet.
Getting a pet for the first time is a responsibility you shouldn’t take lightly. By preparing your home, making sure your pet fits into your budget and choosing a breed wisely, you’ll be on your way to becoming the best pet parent you can be.
Article: Cindy Aldrige