Getting a dog

If you’re thinking about getting a pet, you’re probably going to. And you probably should, as it will be one of the best experiences of your life. But it’s not always as easy as seeing a stranded puppy on the side of the road and becoming the hero who brings him home to your amazing, dog-loving family. If that happens to you, great. But if you’re like most people, you’ll need to do some research before choosing your new pet. Here are some things to consider.

What Type of Pet Goes Well with Your Personality?

First, you will need to decide what type of pet you want. This is a decision that should take into account the personalities of you and everyone in your household. Do you want an animal that is generally more independent? Cats are often quieter and require less attention than dogs. Do you want to be greeted with unconditional love when you get home from work? Dogs are the best for that, but they’re completely dependent and generally require more attention — even when it’s not convenient.

What Breed?

Once you settle on a cat or dog, it’s time to pick a breed. There are many questionnaires online regarding cats and dogs that can help you decide on the right breed. Research all the factors that go into pet-owning. Do you want a kitten or puppy? Do you want to adopt an older animal? If you have a large home and yard, you’ll have more room for a large breed. If you or anyone in your family has allergies, you’ll want to think about that when choosing between long-haired and short-haired breeds.

What Should You Do to Prepare Your Home?

There are some things you’ll need to do to get your home ready for the new family member. First, discuss the roles of responsibility with each person in the household. While everyone will need to show the pet love and acceptance, it’s good to distribute tasks like walking, feeding, and playing with him. If you have a busy schedule and work long hours, you may want to hire a dog-walker. Get all of the pet’s papers in order and make sure you have a good veterinarian. Also, pet-proofing your home is vital. Make sure any chemicals or medications are out of reach, as well as any cords and wires, and be mindful of anything on the floor that’s small enough to be a choking hazard.

How Do You Help Your Pet Acclimate?

When you bring your new pet home, it will probably take a few days for him to acclimate to his new environment. It could take longer for a rescue pet that is extra nervous and fearful. Patience is the key. Try to give him space and allow him to adjust to his new surroundings at his own pace. Also, he may not have an appetite at first, and he could have some stomach issues if his diet has changed. Gently form a routine and structure that he can learn to rely on.

How Do You Bond with Your New Family Member?

There are many ways to bond with your new pet, and all of them have one thing in common: attention. Spend one-on-one time together, go for quality walks, and try to schedule time each day to do something he will enjoy. Even the smallest moments can be meaningful to your pet. Also, it’s important to train him every day in the same manner; consistent discipline and guidance are sure to build trust in the relationship. Oh, and don’t hesitate to shower him with words of affirmation and regularly give him loving hugs. 

If you decide to bring home a new pet (again, you probably will), it helps to be prepared. Consider things like personality, family allergies, and the size of your home when deciding on what type and breed of pet to get. Pet-proof your home and determine the responsibilities of each family member. Finally, have patience while your pet acclimates to his new home, and form a true bond by giving him plenty of attention.

Photo Credit: Pexels

By Jessica Brody -