Nothing comes close to the friendship and companionship of a pet, and we’re more than okay with that! Having a pet is like having an amusing, adorable, go-to topic of conversation, protector, fun friend, all rolled into one furry four-legged creature, and that just scratches the surface! If you aren’t a proud pet parent yet, and want to start off the New Year with something wonderfully life changing, nothing gets better than having a pet. But what does it really mean to become a pet parent? Am I fit to become a pet parent? What are the things you need to do when you get a new dog or cat?

Not so fast! Bringing home a new pet, whether an adopted pet or a new born, it is always good to have your pet essentials prepared. While we’re all for pet adoption, take a look at these must-haves before bringing a pet home. After all, pets may be that fresh start for your new year, but they are a long-term commitment.

8 Must-haves to Make Your New Pet Feel Right at Home

  1. Time

Dog grooming tools and uses

Firstly, you need time for a pet. Pets are living beings who will come to love you and look for you. If your daily schedule has you working 10 hours a day, two hour commutes, gym and errand time…you will not be able to give the needed time a pet requires. If you live with a family, consider the accumulated time you and your family members can give. According to caninemind.co, dogs shouldn’t be left alone for more than 4 hours and puppies need more than half their day with attention. Cats according to icatcare.org aren’t as high maintenance with attention as dogs, but still require substantial hours with their human. Pets need attention which comes in the form of playing, feeding, training, bathing, grooming, washing and general quality time.

  1. Budget

Dog cuddling behaviour

Caring for another life that depends on you is a huge responsibility, and a vital part of that is the financial provisions. Pets require much more than just quality food and play time. You should have a budget for pet essentials: grooming products, bath products, leashes, vaccines, health check-ups, toys etc. You can do this by creating a dog or cat supply list containing all the things you’d like to provide your new pet. If your home is financially stable enough to constantly have all contents of the checklist and a reserved budget for your furbaby, great!

  1. Space

Kitty cat wallet

The adorable, but sometimes destructive truth is, pets will be pets. Their instincts will tell them to climb, dig, sniff, scratch, jump, lick and run. Space is an important must-have for your pet to move freely. You can do this by studying the pet’s breed, which will tell you how energetic your pet is and how much space is needed to meet his day-to-day needs. If you’re adopting, it’ll help to ask the former pet owner the background and behavior of the pet.

One over-eager tail wag may mean the end of a prized table lamp, so before adopting, make sure you have a home where your pet can run freely to get quality exercise without being destructive. Rearranging furniture and valuables may be required, especially if you are a new pet parent familiarizing yourself with your furbaby’s behavior.

  1. Domain

Cute cat beds

A doggy or kitty kennel in whatever form it may take (we personally love that burger bun cat bed!) is a must-have for getting a pet. Pet’s need a ‘safe zone’ where they know they can retreat to rest, recover, and generally feel like they can let their paws hang loose and just relax. Very much like humans who have a bedroom, pets need their own ‘domain’ which they know they can always go to.

  1. Establishment of House/Pet Rules

Why I love my dog

While considering bringing home a new pet, it is a must to coordinate with all people of the household the pet rules. This is to ensure that you’re all educated and aware of the needs of the potential new furry family member. For example, you can establish strict ‘no pet zones’ like the computer area, and also stress what the pet can and can’t eat. This way, your new pet can learn and adjust to the house rules a lot quicker. This is also a good time to establish a schedule, so members of the family know when it is feeding time, bath time, time for walks, play dates, etc. and they know who is in-charge of what. This is a great way to ensure that your new furbaby feels welcome and never gets neglected.

  1. Make Sure All Pets Are Healthy and Bonded Before Bringing in a New One

If you currently have pets, and want to bring in a new one (good for you!) make sure that all pets are properly vaccinated so as to not accidentally pass on a disease. Like people, some pets take time to warm up to each other. Before adopting your new furbaby, allow your current furbaby to meet and spend some time with your potential pet to see if they get along. Dogs usually get along much quicker than cats. Cats are very hierarchal, making them feel easily threatened when there are any new comers. Last thing you want is a sudden cat fight or dog brawl!

  1. Phone Number of a Trusted Vet

When it comes to your pet’s health, it’s best to be proactive instead of reactive. Pets don’t really know how to let their pet parents know when they are feeling ill. Dogs are expressive, but cats, on the other hand, will conceal how they feel for as long as they can. Keep a record of your new furbaby’s medical records, but if he doesn’t have any, make sure to have him checked before going home and watch out for any signs of strange behavior. Have a trusted vet’s number and schedule on hand to be ready for any sudden pet urgencies, especially with a new furbaby with whom you are still familiarizing yourself with their health needs.

  1. Temperatures

This is often an over-looked pet essential in every pet-friendly home. Your pet must be comfortable in the type of temperature you live in, and can provide. Consider the breed and over-all furriness level of your pet. Do they require cooler or warmer temperatures, if so, can you match this? For instance, owning Chow Chows in Metro Manila, do you live in an area that has a lot of shade and are you willing to spend on electricity bills for their air-con? 

There you have your 8 essentials must-haves before bringing a pet home! Pet parenting can be a little bit tricky, but if you include all these 8 essentials in your new dog or cat shopping checklist, then you don’t have much to worry about. Remember that bringing a new pet home won’t be easy, it takes a lot of time and effort to ease into the responsibilities. But once you’ve learned the tips for bringing home a new pet, including the ins and outs of being a pet parent, gone will be the days you ask yourself what to do when you get a new dog or cat or if you’re being a good pet parent. So, make sure you have all these readily established in your home, and you’ll make for a fantastic and responsible pet parent!

References:

humanesociety.org

caninemind.co.uk/dogsneeds