First-Time Pet Owner Tips

Considering getting a furry friend?

Pets make fantastic companions and bring tremendous joy to people’s lives. That said, having a living thing to take care of can be incredibly challenging and daunting. Bringing a pet home is a huge commitment, and it’s not a decision you should make lightly.

Here’s a word of advice: Don’t underestimate how hard having a pet in the house will be overall. From establishing routines to creating time for bonding, pet ownership takes work. So, here are a few things you should know as a first-time pet owner. 

1. Find a Vet

It’s essential to check out a few veterinarians even before you bring your pet home. Doing so allows you to establish a rapport with the vet and gives you a chance to evaluate their “pet handling” skills. You want a vet who’s both gentle and experienced.

What’s more, getting your pet a checkup is a great idea. This way, they can be evaluated for any health issues, and you can get information about common breed-related health problems to keep an eye on.

Still, on the issue of pet health services, find a vet who provides emergency services. Unfortunately, you’re bound to experience an emergency with your pet at some point.

2. Meet Your Pet’s Basic Needs

Animals don’t really need much – just food, water, exercise, and plenty of love. But providing for your pet’s basic needs is easier said than done. First, you’ll need to ensure that you’re giving them the right pet food and physical care. For instance, dogs and cats need different types of food at different developmental stages. 

Please do your research beforehand to find all the ways you can adequately care for your pet and enhance their quality of life. 

3. Dog Training Is Essential

Every dog needs training. And it’s recommended for training to start in puppyhood. Dog training helps control and bond with your pup. It’s also an excellent way to give your dog a sense of structure.

Consider the following if you’d like to take your dog to a professional training class:

  • Choose a friendly trainer who focuses on positively helping dogs. Some training techniques can traumatize dogs and even reinforce negative behavior.
  • Training methods should be positive and reward-based. Avoid any trainers that punish dogs or utilize equipment such as electric collars.

4. Prepare for Behavior Problems

Unfortunately, your pet will make you mad at some point. It may be excessive barking, destructive chewing, or tearing at your books. If you find yourself in these circumstances, focus on getting to the root cause of the unruly behavior. For instance, your pet could be experiencing separation anxiety, and they have no other way of communicating this issue. What’s more, cats that are usually calm may lash out and act aggressively when in pain.

It’s a good idea to stay informed about pet behavior problems before they become an issue for you and your pet.

Aim to Be a Responsible Pet Owner

It takes time, money, and a great deal of patience to take care of a pet. Part of being a responsible pet owner is educating yourself on what that means – as you’re doing at this very moment. It also means taking responsibility for your pet’s actions. 

All in all, welcome to the wonderful world of pet ownership. It’s a journey filled with love, joy, and plenty of cuddles.

Contact Hebron Veterinary Hospital 

Contact us at (860) 228-4324 or visit our contact page if you need help after you become a first-time pet owner. We may be able to help direct you to the right kinds of food, training, or anything else. Also, be sure to give us a call if it’s time for any of your other pet’s regular wellness or preventative care visit.