Getting a new pet can be an exciting experience, whether this is your first pet or you are an avid pet owner. All the excitement can cause us to forget that we should get the home ready to welcome our new pet.
No matter the pet, whether an exotic animal like a snake or a less exotic pet like a dog, you are bringing home, there are 4 simple rules to welcoming yours or your kids new best friend.
Make Sure Everyone Knows Their Roles
If you live by yourself, then this advice may not pertain to you as much as it would for those with kids.
Before bringing your pet home, be sure that every child or partner knows their roles. Who will feed the pet or clean the pet? Will anyone be watching your pet while you are gone? It is important that your pet is taken care of from day one. Do not let your pet get neglected because roles have not been clearly defined.
When I first got a dog, my wife and I knew who was going to be walking the dog, who was going to train the dog, who was going to clean-up after the dog, and more. We made sure our dog was taken care of from the beginning.
There are a lot of responsibilities to owning a pet, so make sure everyone knows whose responsibility it is exactly.
Make Sure Everyone Knows The Rules
Luckily most people know how to treat pets when playing with them and taking care of them, but kids, especially the young ones, do not always understand how to play with a pet.
When my niece was young, she did not know how to pet the dog and it would often be her hitting the dog or pulling on her tail. This resulted in the dog not liking her at all. Thankfully, she eventually learned because they were going to have to give their dog away if the two could not get along.
Be sure to teach your children how to properly care for the pet, touch the pet, and play with the pet. If they cause harm to the pet it could cause them to become very timid or they may become aggressive to whoever hurt them. Stories about dogs biting children are all too often. Most of the time it can be prevented by making sure children know the rules for treating their pet.
Pet Proof the House and Designate a Location for the Pet
If you are bringing home a pet that moves around on a regular basis, like a dog or cat, then it will be important for you to make sure you pet proof the house.
Gather any items that you think your new pet may chew on, or cause harm, and place the item out of reach from your pet. Items to consider picking up are socks, papers, garbage, clothes, or anything else small.
If you have a more relaxed pet like a rabbit or an Iguana, then be sure to have a designated location for your pet. Make sure the cage provides adequate room and make sure the cage is near optimal temperature for the pet. If bunnies tend to get really hot in the summer, then be sure to be careful when placing them near a window that gets a lot of sun.
Relax and Have Fun
Bringing a new pet home can sometimes be a hassle. No matter how long you prepare for bringing a pet home, it is never the same as actually bringing a pet home. Bringing a new pet home is meant to be an exciting experience so be sure to enjoy it because it only happens once.
You do not have to be a perfect pet owner, but you do have to be a loving one. Be sure to welcome your pet home the right way.
Learn more about how we love pets.