Thinking about bringing home a new four-legged friend? Check out these expert tips to make sure you’re ready for everything pet parenthood entails.
Reflect and research
It’s an unfortunate fact, but not everybody is cut out for pet parenthood. Before bringing home a new cat or dog, it’s important to make sure you’re prepared for everything owning a pet will entail. Take time to consider the emotional, physical, and financial toll of pet ownership before you make a decision. If possible, learn about your new pet’s breed and specific needs. Certain types of cats and dogs are more susceptible to specific health problems and will require a more hands-on approach than others. Flat-faced dogs and cats, for example, may be especially susceptible to certain respiratory issues.
The American Veterinary Medical Association asks prospective pet owners to consider the following:
- Do you have the time to take care of a pet?
- Are you financially capable of caring for a pet?
- Will you be able to help your pet get regular exercise?
- Who will take care of your pet in the event of an emergency?
Pet-proof your home
In all likelihood, your home is full of potential pet hazards. Before bringing home a dog or cat, take time to scour every room in search of anything that might inspire jumping, batting, chewing, or clawing. Many owners dog-proof their home before getting a new puppy, but don’t realize it’s equally as important to pet-proof for cats as well! Cover sockets, wrap vulnerable wires, and hide other fragile items. In general, new pet parents should treat their homes the way any new parent would. If it looks like a potential hazard, consider it a potential hazard. When in doubt, invest in gates to block off any rooms you’d like to keep off-limits to your new pet.
Establish your pet’s personal space
While some rooms should be off-limits to your pet, others should feel far more welcoming. Creating a personal space for your dog or cat will not only boost their mood, but could also keep them out of your hair throughout the day. As you introduce them to your home, make sure to imbue their personal spaces with special significance.
Talk to your vet
Your pet’s relationship with their vet is nearly as important as their relationship with you. Choosing the right vet will not only ensure your pet gets the appropriate care, but can also make sure they’re as comfortable as possible during key milestones. The right vet will guarantee your pet is microchipped, vaccinated, and given the appropriate level of care at each stage of their life. Make sure to schedule regular visits with your veterinarian to begin building an effective pet care plan. PetPartners can help you keep your pet healthy with wellness coverage that will reimburse towards your pet’s annual exam, vaccinations/titers, flea and tick preventatives, and much more!
Ask about insurance
According to the 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association, a third of all pets will require emergency care this year. Additionally, every six seconds a pet owner is saddled with a vet bill of over $1,000. To ensure you can put your pet’s treatment and recovery first, take time to learn more about pet insurance.