In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many Americans have decided to adopt a pet. It makes sense since people are spending more time at home and likely need the comfort that a furry friend brings in uncertain times.
Bringing home a cat or dog should never be a spontaneous decision. Instead, it requires research and preparation. Luckily, you will find many pet care resources and pet supplies online, including the Pettsie blog and store. If you are thinking of adopting a pet, this guide explains what you need to do before you bring an animal into your home.
Select the right pet for your needs.
Be realistic about what you can offer an animal, as well as what you want or need from it. If you have a job that keeps you extremely busy, a high-maintenance pet like a dog that requires a lot of attention may not be ideal. Similarly, if you don't have a large home, stick to smaller animals like cats. You also want to consider the other inhabitants of your home. If you have other pets or small children, you need to ensure that any newcomers will get along with them.
If you do have the time and space for a dog, you still have to decide on a breed. Some dogs are more demanding than others. Pure breeds tend to have more healthcare issues, according to Scientific American. This can result in high vet bills. Regardless of the type of dog you get, invest in a comprehensive pet insurance plan to save money. This overview of the best pet insurance companies covers a variety of options, so you can narrow them to categories like "best overall," "best with an annual deductible," "best for pre-existing conditions," etc.
Find a veterinarian in advance.
When considering pet insurance, you also want to ensure that your veterinarian of choice accepts the insurance you select. Make sure any animal healthcare professional you choose has graduated from a program that is accredited by the AVMA, American Veterinary Medical Association.
What else should you consider? Look into the services offered, the fees and payment methods accepted, and the office hours. Also, ask if they provide emergency care. Visit the vet in advance to ensure the facility is clean and organized and the staff is professional. It's important to line up your veterinarian before you get your pet so that your new animal can get the prompt care they need, like vaccinations. What's more, many veterinarians are overrun in light of increased adoption rates following COVID-19.
Set up your support network.
In addition to a veterinarian, you will need help from some other professionals to care for and maintain your future pet. If you go out of town, for example, you need a friend, family member, or neighbor to feed and watch over the animal. Alternatively, you can find a professional pet sitter in your area online. If you have a dog but are too busy to walk them regularly, you may also want to look up pro dog walkers in your area to take this task off your hands. The AVMA stresses the importance of walking your dog, which promotes a healthy weight.
Get the necessary pet supplies.
With your pet care network set up, you can go ahead and start buying the supplies you'll need to maintain a happy and healthy animal. Before you bring a dog home, make sure you have food and water bowls, a collar and leash, a crate, a dog bed, and toys. Consult your veterinarian about what treats, foods, and grooming products they recommend for the type of dog you are getting.
When it comes to cats, your pet supply shopping list will be a bit lighter. You need a cat carrier, litter box and scoop, cat litter, and food and water bowls. Again, consult the veterinarian regarding pet food recommendations as different types and ages of felines have different needs. If you are getting an outdoor cat, you should also get them a collar you can put a tag on. This makes it easy for anyone who finds the animal to identify you as the owner and contact you.
Set up your pet's new home.
When animals enter a new space, they are bombarded by new sights, sounds, and smells. Keep in mind that animals have even more finely tuned senses than humans, so a new house can be truly overwhelming. To ease the transition, start your pet off in just one room of the house or apartment. Put their essentials, including food and water, in the room and shut the door.
This enclosed space keeps children or other pets from scaring your new pet and gives the animal a chance to relax in a smaller, more manageable space. Plan on expanding the area your pet is allowed to explore gradually. For example, you can open up one new room for them every week. Invest in a pet gate that you can move around to make this easier.
Finally, the last area you may want to introduce your pet to is the outdoors. If you plan on letting your pet into your yard, invest in a high-quality fence first. This keeps them from wandering off, where they might get hurt by other animals or cars, or simply get lost. This guide covers the pros and cons of different fencing materials from vinyl to wood, among others.
Be patient as your new pet adjusts to its new life.
Don't rush your new pet as they adapt to their strange surroundings. Give them time to adjust and gain your trust. Above all, keep them supported with your patience, the right pet supplies, and sufficient help when needed. Before long, you will soon have a loving and loyal friend by your side — not just in the pandemic, but always.
Celebrate by getting your new cat or a dog a Pettsie collar. Made of all-natural materials, it guarantees your pet's comfort and wellbeing — the perfect way to welcome your new pet to its forever home!
Photo Credit: Unsplash.com