What to Know Before Choosing and Welcoming a New Pet

April 26

For many Americans, pets are crucial members of the family unit, bringing us humor, companionship, and devotion. In return, we provide shelter, food, stimulation, and a place where they can belong. Understanding these responsibilities is crucial when it comes to choosing and welcoming your first pet into the household. So here are some tips and resources from 3 Lovable Labs to help you get started!

Animal Types

If it’s your first time adopting an animal, it’s important to pick your species (and breed) carefully. Although conditioning is important, there are some innate faculties that will inform the strength of your bond.

  • Fish: Especially for houses with young children, fish represent a great starter option with comparably minimal upkeep. Much of the work will come before you make your purchase – be certain about getting the right tank, the right environment (saltwater, freshwater, etc.), and proper food/supplies before you pick your species.
  • Small Mammals: Guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, and rabbits can be great introductory animals but are still likely to be a handful. Many species are highly intelligent and will need plenty of attention or things to do. Others are skittish and shy and must be handled delicately. As always, prior research is key.
  • Reptiles: Pets of the scaled variety tend not to be as affectionate (they are cold-blooded, after all) but can often make for cherished, ambient tenants and require minimal upkeep. Make sure that the species you’re adopting is friendly to a domestic environment and poses no threat to you (or any other local non-humans).
  • Cats: Although more hands-off than dogs (and some smaller mammals), cats can still prove to be hard work for an inexperienced handler. It’s important, therefore, that you understand ahead of time how to potty train, teach them to avoid destructive behavior, and build trust.
  • Dogs: It’s true that dogs come in all shapes and sizes, but regardless of breed, there are few pets harder to train and care for. That’s why, if you opt for a pooch, you should carry out plenty of research to identify a breed that you can manage.

Preparing Your Home

In preparation for your new family member, it’s worth going through a few precautions

  • Space: Regardless of species, it’s vital that your animal has somewhere that it can navigate freely, without restriction. Pick a downstairs room and try to allocate as much space as possible, removing any wires and plants (some can be toxic) and ensuring this is a comfortable area that can get dirty and spoiled.
  • Food: Different animals obviously have different dietary needs, so you’ll have to do your homework and figure out what’s the best fit for your pet. For instance, if you have a dog and you’re looking for dried dog food you can trust, go here to find an option your dog will love!
  • Stimulation: Unfortunately for your pet, you won’t be able to give up all of your time and energy throughout the week to care for them. It’s important, then, to find other means of stimulation so they don’t get bored and continue to learn in your absence – think toys, environments, feeders, and equipment.
  • Security: In the early years, your pet is more likely to be a danger to itself. Try to protect them by closing off the play area, making escape impossible. Consider any potential hazards such as rodents, foxes, appliances, and contamination (this one is especially relevant to fish).
  • Stress: For the initial period, you’ll need to make a special effort to reduce your pet’s stress levels and help them acclimate. A good place to start is with your own frame of mind, pets tend to pick up on human anxiety, so be aware of any work-related tension you might be bringing home after long hours.

Vet Matters 

Having local veterinary support is essential wherever you are and whatever animal you choose to adopt. Try to find a facility that is well-reviewed, and be certain to call in advance and ensure they are adequately equipped to handle your particular needs. You may even want to look into pet insurance, as this usually covers microchipping, preventative care, and more.

Pets occupy a valuable place in our lives. Whichever kind you choose to adopt, the important thing is that you have the time, energy, and resources to devote so they have the home they deserve.

If you’re looking for greeting cards with a twist that animal lovers will appreciate, 3 Lovable Labs has you covered!

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