6 Tips for First-Time Pet Owners

When you decide to bring a new pet into your home, it’s an exciting time. There’s nothing like beginning a journey of friendship, love, and companionship with your new tiny housemate. If this is your very first pet, it can be a bit daunting. You worry about feeding them too little or too much, meeting all their needs, and will they like their new home - or you.

Here are 6 tips for first-time pet owners that will help put your mind at ease.

Pick A Pet That Fits Into Your Lifestyle

You’ll want to find a pet that matches your level of interaction, engagement, and activity. When a pet owner doesn’t take into consideration how well their new roommate will fit into their lifestyle, it leads to unhappy pets and unhappy pet owners. When this happens, most often, the pet is given away or taken to a shelter.

You’ll also want to consider all the responsibilities that come with owning a pet. Make sure you’re up to the daily duties of pet ownership. For example, if you’re a person that doesn’t pursue an active lifestyle or just doesn’t have much time for daily care, then maybe a dog isn’t the right choice for you, as they need to be walked multiple times a day. An aquarium would be a great option for a busy schedule. You only have to feed fishies once or twice a day. Another benefit is if you’ve had a stressful day, kicking back and watching the fish in your aquarium swim around eases stress and anxiety.

If an aquarium isn’t up your alley, then maybe a cat might suit you better instead. They’re very independent and don’t need to be walked.

Make Sure Your Home Is Appropriate For A Pet

Next, think about your living space and how much pet you can feasibly maintain in your home comfortably. For instance, if you live in a small apartment, then a bigger breed of dogs like a German Shephard or Golden Retriever might not be right for you. A Corgi or Yorkshire Terrier might be a better choice.

Larger dogs need room to let out all their pent-up energy. They need a bigger space inside and out. If you don’t have a yard, most communities have dog parks where they can run to their heart’s content. If you use a harness, you can even take a cat for a walk.

Make Sure Your Home Is Prepared

Save yourself time and headaches by having your home environment prepared for the day you bring your pet home for the first time.

Making a list of supplies you need is important, so you don’t forget anything, and your pet will feel at home.

Some essentials you’ll need for your pet are:

  • Appropriate food for their age

  • Food bowl

  • Water bowl

  • Scratching posts for cats

  • Pee pads for training and accidents

  • Travel crates for veterinarian visits

Your new companion will need to make trips to the vet for their first year to get their vaccinations.

Make Time For Play

Playtime is vital in building a relationship with your pet. Giving your new pet-mate a productive outlet for their excess energy will help you and your companion create a strong, lasting bond. It also helps your pets from getting bored and frustrated, which will cause them to develop behavioral problems.

You should set some time aside each day to play with your pet. Keep in mind that not pets enjoy the same type of play, and it’s up to you to find out what gets your pet motivated.

With cats and dogs, finding the right toys will make all the difference in their playtime attitudes. If you have a bird, know they also love to play with toys and to be talked to.

Have A Grooming Routine

Keeping your pet groomed is a large part of responsible ownership and helps keep them healthy.

When it comes to bathing, a dog needs to be shampooed and brushed on a regular basis. A cat, on the other hand, will bathe themselves, but brushing can be a part of their routine.

Ear cleaning is an important part of the grooming process. Regular cleaning of the ears will prevent ear infections and the accumulation of dirt. Never use a cotton swab to clean your dog or cat’s ears. Instead, using an approved ear cleaner will help keep their little ears sparkly clean.

The most important grooming need of all is your pet’s oral hygiene. Using pet toothpaste, you can brush your dog or cat’s teeth, which will help prevent periodontal disease. If your fur baby’s teeth become diseased, they can begin to loosen and fall out, making it hard for them to eat and get the nutrition they need.

Even more alarming is the fact that with come disease comes the risk of bacterial infection. That can put your dog or cat at risk for heart, lung, liver, and kidney disease.

To prevent severe health issues, take your pet to a Phoenix veterinarian for annual dog or cat teeth cleanings.

Schedule Regular Vet Visits

Keeping your pet healthy is the core responsibility of pet ownership. When you first adopt a pet, you should schedule a visit to your local veterinarian to ensure they’re healthy and all their shots are up to date. If not, getting their vaccinations during the first year is urgent to keep them protected and healthy. If their vaccinations are all up to date, then your dog or cat should see a vet annually for a checkup.

To schedule a first-time visit for your new pet in Phoenix, contact us today to make an appointment for your pet or give us a call at (602) 559-5500. Please review our Newsletter Library and Video Newsroom to learn how to create a healthy, happy life for your pet.



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