General Pet Care

Getting A New Pet? Here Are 5 Things You Need To Consider First

Getting a new pet isn’t just an exciting experience; it’s also a chance to watch a beautiful animal grow with you and your family. However, pets are a huge commitment. Even independent animals, like cats and lizards, require adequate care and affection over their decade-long lives.

There are a lot of factors to consider before you decide to bring a new pet into your life. To avoid giving in to impulse, read our guide and research your pet’s needs to ensure you’re ready.

happy lady after bringing puppy home in car

1. Are You Ready For a Commitment?

Puppies, kittens, and bunnies may be irresistible, but they’re living, breathing beings. If you’ve never had a pet of this type, you may not realize what you’re getting into. Raising a baby animal into an adult is incredibly time-consuming, expensive, limiting, and sometimes frustrating.

That doesn’t mean they aren’t worth it, but much like human children, you’ll have to sacrifice a lot to receive their companionship. From finding the best pet insurance to ensuring they’re fed, don’t ever adopt an animal unless you’re positive you can handle their individual needs.

2. Will Your Pet Fit Your Lifestyle?

We mentioned that looking after a pet is limiting and time-consuming, which is true for several reasons. For one, pets can’t be left alone, so if you want to go on vacation, you need to find a pet sitter. At the bare minimum, you need to pay someone to check on your pets.

dog training lifestyle isn't easy

For another, pets are individuals first and foremost. Cats can be just as, if not more affectionate or loud as dogs (Ragdolls and Bengals especially), and dogs need to be walked daily. If your lifestyle doesn’t fit with your prospective pet, choose another one or don’t get one at all.

3. Is Your Home Pet Friendly?

The essential oil craze caused a lot of people to take their pets to the vet. Many uneducated pet owners were horrified to learn that they were unintentionally poisoning their furry friends. Lavender-infused essential oils killed several people’s cats because it harms their liver.

cats like to go out when they can

It’s necessary for all pet owners to search out for hazards in their homes before bringing them to the property. Research what your pets can and can’t eat and remove toxic plants, chemicals, and foods that make them sick. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to pet health.

4. Are You Prepared for an Adjustment Period?

Young animals will cry, feel uncomfortable around you, and will get themselves in a lot of trouble. It’s important to remember that they’re children and can’t understand human speech. Feeling frustrated is normal, but losing your temper or punishing them isn’t the right choice.

A lady happy she managed her first night with a new kitten

Instead, set up a small, enclosed area for them and ensure they’re safe and warm. When they start to trust you, they’ll start approaching you and exploring their new domain. If you already have a pet, you’ll have to introduce both animals slowly to avoid confrontation.

5. Do You Have Time to Train Your Pet?

Disciplining your pet is fine, but it’s in your best interest to practice positive reinforcement. Negative reinforcement leads to an environment filled with stress, short tempers, fear, and hostile interactions in humans and animals. If you have little patience, buy a fish instead.

training a dog to sit and stay

Some pets are easier to train than others. For example, a kitten will know where to go to the bathroom the first or second time you place them in the litter box until they pee/poop. Dogs take a lot more time and usually require professional trainers or guidance to correct bad behaviors.

Besides the tips mentioned in this article, we also have another post that focuses on topics like nutrition, pet insurance, grooming, checkups, and exercise. Head on over to take a look!


Johni Barresto

Johni Barresto Is a father and animal lover. With a range of expertise in animal health, he decided to start Animal Heed. His passion is to share his knowledge to help animal owners worldwide. When not in front of his computer, he's out with his kids, teaching them the importance of animal care.

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