Everything You Need to Know About Getting Your First Pet

getting your first pet

getting your first pet

Moving into pet friendly housing means you can finally get your first pet. Getting your first pet is an exciting time. Getting your house prepared for your first pet can help to ensure a smooth transition for your new furry family member and a lot less anxiety.


Most people choose either a dog or a cat when they are getting their first pet. Dogs and cats make excellent roommates and loyal companions. Getting your first pet will be a far more exciting experience if your home is ready for a new pet.


Before Getting Your First Pet Do Your Research


Whether you are thinking a dog or a cat will make the perfect first pet, you want to do your research. It is important that you consider a few things before taking the plunge no matter how excited you are at the prospect of finally having a fur baby to love. Consider these points before getting your first pet:

  • How much space does your pet-friendly housing have to offer?
  • Are you prepared to make a long term commitment?
  • What type of breed are you looking for?
  • Will you adopt? If you will adopt have you considered where you will adopt from?
  • Do you have the time to properly train a puppy (if that is what you have in mind)?
  • Can you afford a pet right now?
  • There are a lot of decisions to make when you are considering getting your first pet. A pet is a long term commitment. The average life span of most dogs is about 12 years, give or take a few years. Cats expected life space is about 16 years.

Giving some serious consideration to what type of pet you want, where you will get that pet, and how much effort you are willing to put into training them are all important parts of the process. For example, puppies take a lot of time to train, kittens do not. If you are pressed for time and cannot see yourself letting your puppy out or walking your puppy every hour or two, maybe you should consider a kitten instead.


The goal of getting your first pet is to enhance both your life and that of the pets. If you are constantly stressed out about caring for the pet, then neither your life nor the pets will be enhanced. Making sure you are ready to take on the responsibility of pet ownership and prepared to make the commitment to being a good pet owner is one of the most important steps in the process of getting a new pet.

getting your first pet

Getting Ready for Getting Your First Pet


If you are moving into a pet-friendly apartment you may want to help to enlist professional cleaning services. Any pets that have lived in the apartment before may have “marked” their territory and left behind their scent which can promote bad behavior in your new pet. Deep thorough cleaning will ensure that no evidence of previous residents is left behind to encourage bad behavior.


Make sure you secure any garbage bins inside the home with tight lids. Dogs and cats, especially young ones, have an affinity for getting into the trash. Not only does it make a big mess but it also can make them sick. A tight-fitting lid can save you a lot of stress and keep your pet safe.


Get in the habit of storing harmful cleaning agents in a space where your pet cannot get to it. It is a good idea to think of your pet as a toddler that needs constant supervision. Most cleaning agents are very dangerous to animals. A good rule of thumb is if you would not leave something on the counter that could make a 2 year old sick, then do not leave it on the counter for a pet to potentially get into.


The Minimums

getting your first pet

The fact is you do not have to spend a fortune to welcome your new addition into your home. Getting your first pet does require that you have a few basics on hand like:

  • Food and water bowls and a place for them to eat
  • Bedding and a quiet place for your pet to retreat
  • Toys and grooming products

Helping your new pet to adjust to their new home starts with setting up some clear expectations. Designating an area where they will eat and drink is important, and having a designated area for them to sleep in is also important.
Pets thrive when they have a routine. Setting up space in the kitchen for their food will provide them with the reassurance that their food and water are readily available. Having a place where they can sleep or retreat to when they need a break from human companionship gives them a sense of security.

If you are not living in an apartment and are lucky enough to have a home with a yard, consider setting up space outdoors for your new family member. It does not have to be anything elaborate just space that will encourage your new friend to feel at home.


An Amish dog house will be a great space for your dog (if that is the pet you choose) to get out of the elements in the backyard. If your new pet is a cat, keep them indoors where they are safe.


Grooming and Toys


Flea control medicine, a brush, and shampoo (or cat wipes) are all essential grooming tools that will help to keep your pet clean and well-groomed. Toys are also important. Toys help you to engage your pet and get them interested in being around you.


It is important that you make your home as welcoming as you can when you are getting a new pet for the sake of the pet. Making room for them in your home and setting up pet-friendly designated areas from the start will help them to feel welcome.


Once You Have Your Space Ready Do This

getting your first pet

Choose your pet, then make a vet appointment. No matter where you are getting your pet from, it is always a good idea to form a relationship with a local vet. You should also have your pet tattooed while you are at your first visit.


During the first visit your vet will evaluate your pet for any obvious signs of health problems. If your pet has not had their vaccinations they will also likely have some at the first appointment. The vet will likely discuss spay and neutering options with you at your very first appointment as well. Most dogs are typically spayed around 4-6 months of age. Cats are usually spayed or neutered earlier. Partnering with a vet early on will ensure that you have the support you need to provide your pet with a long healthy life.


Veterinary care is an important part of being a pet owner. Your vet will provide you with the nutrition information you need to ensure your new fur baby is on the proper diet, they are there to answer your questions and help you to provide the best possible care.


Tattoo Your Pet

getting your first pet

Each year sadly millions of pets go missing and are never recovered. A tattoo or a chip implant can help your pet to be returned to you if they get out and runoff. A lot of pet owners make the mistake of thinking that these processes are painful for their pet but they are not. Your vet will use a numbing cream to prepare the area before the tattoo or the chip is implanted. Getting your first pet should include getting that pet marked as yours.


Tattoo care and chip site care is easy to manage. You just need to keep the site clean and follow your vet’s instructions. Taking this protects your pet in case they are ever lost and will give you peace of mind knowing you are doing everything you can to protect your fur baby.


Introducing Them To Family and Friends


One of the best things you can do for the emotional wellness of your pet is to socialize them. Introducing them to family and friends and showing them that people are fun and kind will ensure that they develop a healthy attitude toward being around people.


Animals, especially dogs are social creatures. They enjoy being a part of the group. Getting them used to the noises that people make and how people gather will ensure that they adjust well to life as part of the group.


Another benefit of socializing your pet is to reduce the risk that your pet will bite someone and you will get a call from a dog bite lawyer or a cat bite lawyer telling you, you are going to be sued. Making sure that your pet is properly socialized is vital to their good emotional health and the safety of the people that come in contact with them.


Do be careful with puppies and kittens around children. Well-meaning children can hurt a puppy or kitten. Children are often so excited to be around puppies and kittens that they become clumsy. Dropping a kitten or a puppy from even the height of a 5-year-old can seriously harm them. Children should always be supervised around pets of any age but especially young pets.


Keep in mind even the kindest of animals have their limits so you always want to make sure that someone is keeping an eye on the kids and the pets. You should also teach children in the home to respect a pet’s boundaries. A child should be taught the signs that a dog or a cat is getting irritated with their behavior to avoid problems.


Things to Expect

getting your first pet

Getting a new pet is wonderful but it is a transition. It is adding a new member to your family that cannot verbally communicate with you. There will be some changes to your lifestyle once you bring your pet home.


It will take a little while to get used to considering your pet when you are making plans. You will have to be sure that your pet is cared for when you cannot be there. You may have to enlist the help of a pet sitter if you work away from home.


There will be “accidents” at first even if you opt to adopt an older pet. It takes dogs and cats a little bit of time to understand what you expect of them, like using the bathroom outdoors or in the kitty litter. Getting your first pet means putting up with a few accidents at first.


The key to a smooth transition is being patient and moving with love. Just like it is a transition for you to get used to taking care of another life, it is a transition for your pet to get used to being told what to do and living in your home.


When you move with patience and love you are teaching your pet a very valuable lesson. They learn that your love for them is unconditional and that no matter what you and they can work through your differences.


You can also expect to fall deeply in love with your new family member. They will be there when you get home every day looking to spend time with you. They will deliver the unconditional love that only a pet can provide. It will be life changing for you in so many ways. Get your first pet is a big deal.


A Well Planned Integration

getting your first pet

Getting your first pet is a life decision. Taking the time to map out the integration of a pet into your life and your home will pay off with an easier transition. Getting your first pet can be one of the most joyful times by taking the time to prep your home and prep your life for the new arrival.


The relationship that you build with your fur baby will be enduring and beautiful. Getting your first pet deserves some thoughtful consideration. Make the decision about getting your first pet like your happiness for the next decade-plus depends on it.

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