Bringing a pet into our households can be a great idea. No matter if you simply wish for some company in your apartment as you live alone, or if both you and your partner wish for one to share some responsibility together for the first time, or if you just wish to bring one home into your family setting, a pet can help bring lasting positive memories to your life, as well as one of the most honest and pure relationships you may have ever experienced. There’s no judgment in the relationship between you and your pet, just mutual care and expressed love.
That said, it’s important to recognize that just because we might think a pet is right for us, it doesn’t necessarily mean we’re right for that pet in question, too. For instance, living in a high-rise building in a small studio flat might not be the best place for a cat to grow up alone. But of course, this is obvious, and you’ve no doubt already assessed if the living situation is a good fit or not.
However, even with appropriate planning, that feeling in your gut that tells you that you haven’t considered all possibilities or made all preparations can be a real worry. For this reason, we’ve decided to curate the ten most essential realities of bringing a pet into your home; including some, you may not have considered. This way, you can make those preparations with thorough care.
Now, whether or not you bring a pet into your own home is entirely your business, provided that they’re allowed in the apartment or space you might be renting, and certainly if you own your home. However, we all know how neighbours can be. Sometimes, they might complain about the presence of a pet especially if they can hear them.
This is why it’s worth speaking to the neighbours on either side of you and telling them that you’re bringing a pet home. A small puppy, for instance, might bark a little until they learn to contain their ‘inside voice’ as it were, or until they get used to their environment. This is normal, expected, and nothing to be ashamed about. If you tell them in advance, you can at least say you warned them and you’ll do your best to be reasonable, like making sure your dog doesn’t bark all night.
This may also be a good time to talk about certain additions you were thinking of making, like setting up a dividing fence so your dog doesn’t run over to their property when toilet training outside.
- Breed & Disposition
Not all kinds or breeds of pets will be suitable for your home. Some breeds have different dispositions and may not be suitable for your area or family. This is mostly the case with dogs, but it can also define how prepared a cat might be to go outside and explore during the day.
If you have children, then bringing in a small family dog may be ideal. Some dogs take to training, others are more clumsy, and others may be too large to safely rear them within the space. It’s also important to note the life expectancy and medical needs of a given pet. For instance, hamsters, which can be a great starting pet for children, tend to live for around two or three years. This can help you manage the expectations of your child.
Additionally, it’s interesting to learn about certain breeds and their makeup. This article detailing the wonder of Silver Labradors, for instance, can be a great place to start – https://chocolatelabradorretriever.ca/silver-lab-puppies-the-411.
- Your Home May Get Damaged, Even A Little
It’s natural for dogs to have accidents, for both dogs and cats to scratch at furniture (the latter can be helped by bringing a scratching post into the space), and as such, you’ll need to prepare for these repairs or at least cleaning efforts.
Setting up some ground rules in the training of your pet, such as never allowing your dog to jump on the sofa when you’re not there, or on top of the bed, can make quite a significant difference here.
- Your Pet May Need Training
Of course, training a cat is a challenge outside of rudimentary routine-forming, but it can be accomplished if you are interested in taking that route. For dogs, training is an important factor to consider and your dog may need professional support. Taking them to a trainer will help them feel more connected and in proximity to other dogs, and that in itself can be tremendously helpful in the long run.
That said, this does cost money and time to get right, and to reinforce your authority as their owner. You need to be willing to invest in both.
- It’s An Investment
We need to make sure that we can easily justify the cost of bringing a pet into our space, no matter what that may be. Some may need vaccinations and medical treatment, and certain breeds, like short-nosed dogs, may have trouble breathing with intensive physical activity. You may need to neuter or spray your pet or microchip them so they can be more easily identified.
The cost of food, snacks, beds, collars, tanks, cleaning equipment, accessories, cages, and toys can all add up over the years. If you’re not prepared for it, you may be surprised. Just like a car breaking down, a pet can also require emergency attention and this may cost you. Of course, this isn’t to put you off the possibility of owning a pet and the very real chance that you’ll love every step of that experience; only that those without a stable income or in between jobs may not want to bring one into the home just yet.
- Where You Source The Pet Matters
Rescue animals are almost always a good choice if you’ve had experience rearing pets before, and it’s a highly ethical way to go about it. That said, it’s also important to know where the pet is sourced if going private. Make sure they’re a licensed breeder or seller if appropriate, and that they have a full history of care for the animal in question, including paperwork, so you can make the most of it.
This even goes for pets that require seemingly less paperwork, like purchasing koi fish for your coldwater pond. Keep that in mind, and you’ll ensure you start off with a well-treated and well-cared-for animal.
- They’ll Need To Acclimate With Your Current Pets
If you’re lucky enough to already have a pet, be that a furry friend or something smaller, it can be helpful to know how to acclimate both of them to one another. This may first entail sharing the scent with one another in separate rooms, and then slowly introducing them to each other so they feel more relaxed and able to interact. This also means immediately interfering with “disputes,” which can sometimes be a problem.
If you can keep up with that, then you should have no problem putting together a happy and wholesome household.
- Have Fun!
A pet is a relationship you curate in order to improve your life and to bond with a beautiful animal. Be sure to have fun with it. This means being attentive and a nurturing owner, and being around as much as you can so that they don’t have long periods of solitude in the household. It also means teaching those who live with you to better care for the idiosyncrasies of your pet, and to be prepared for a few curveballs you weren’t expecting.
With this advice, you’re certain to be the fantastic owner you’re already shaping up to be.
Are you an experienced pet owner? If so, what tips do you have for those that are considering adding a pet to their home?