Adopting a family pet is an exciting experience. Everyone wants to love on their new best friend and make memories with them, but it’s never a good idea to bring an animal home without preparing for it. These are the 10 things pet owners should know before expanding their family. You’ll become prepared for anything and get more joy out of life with a new furry friend.
1. You’ll Need a New Routine
Your routine might consist of carpooling, working and taking care of your family, but pets will add to the mix. Dogs need daily walks to stretch their legs and small animals require weekly chunks of time to clean their enclosures. Changing the water in your fish tank doesn’t seem like a big deal now, but do you have an extra 20-30 minutes every week or two? Consider if your routine is flexible or if you should wait until life slows down before bringing an animal home.
2. You’ll Change Your Social Life
You can’t meet friends for drinks right after work if your dog needs to go outside. Your family also can’t spontaneously leave for a vacation if there’s no room for your cat at your local pet resort. Think about how your social life looks and what you prefer to do with your time. You should prepare to put your new pet first without forming any resentment towards their needs.
3. Your Budget Will Increase
No matter what kind of pet your family prefers, you’ll have to increase your monthly budget to accommodate them. You’ll need fresh wood chippings for weekly replacements in your guinea pig enclosure or specialized bird food for your parrot. Experts estimate that pets cost around $500 per year, but that could change depending on the size and needs of your future pet.
4. Your Home Environment Will Adapt
Every animal deserves a comfortable environment. That means you may have to move furniture to fit their comfy bed or adjust your habits to avoid triggering them. Golden retrievers are known for loving playlists with relaxing music, but the same music could scare an adopted golden who came from an abusive home. You’ll learn how to best change your home environment as you get used to living with your unique pet.
5. You’ll Have to Consider Current Pets
Do you currently have a pet at home? They may love your family members, but that doesn’t guarantee that they’ll get along with another pet. They may also tap into their predatory instincts with another animal in the house, like if you adopt a hamster and also own a cat. Think about how your current pets may interact with new ones to determine if they’ll make good roommates.
6. You Might Need Pet Insurance
Many people are surprised to learn that pet insurance exists. It can save the day if your dog, cat or small animal struggles with health complications like digestive issues, hereditary conditions or other diagnoses that require additional veterinary care like:
- Lab tests
- CT scans
You never know what could happen in the future. No one should worry about not getting their pet healthcare because they can’t afford it. Compare insurance quotes to find the best possible care and keep it in mind while reflecting on your new pet’s health concerns.
7. You’ll Socialize More
When you announce that you’ve adopted a new pet, people will want to come over and meet them. You might also have to take your furry friend to socialize at places like dog parks. Pets often make their owners more social, so consider if you’re ready for that or able to provide that kind of life before bringing an animal home.
8. You’ll Need to Prepare Your Home
Some pets need their future owners to prepare a place for them before the adoption happens. You might need a few days to set up a fish tank with the correct water pH levels and temperature. A hamster will need a safe enclosure and a puppy requires a puppy-proofed home without exposed cords or choking hazards. Once you know what kind of pet your family will get, prepare your home so it’s ready for their arrival.
9. Your Pet Might Bring Pests Home
Animals are adorable, so it’s easy to forget that they’re also pest magnets. Don’t be surprised if your dog comes home from a nature walk with ticks or if your cat gets fleas and you find them living in your carpet. The best way to prevent this problem is to give your pet whatever pest medication your vet recommends, so talk with them about ways to avoid unwanted critters in your house.
10. Your Pet Isn’t a Cure-All
Why are you thinking about getting a pet? Sometimes people are convinced that they should adopt an animal because they’re lonely or stressed. Animals are not a cure-all for ongoing mental health concerns. Make sure you’re in the right headspace to love your new pet as they are and not for what you think they can give you. It ensures that they’ll have a forever home and you’ll get the long-term care you need.
Learn Things Pet Owners Should Know
Expanding your family with a furry friend is thrilling but not something you should do on a whim. Think about these things pet owners should know to decide if adopting an animal is right for your family. You’ll come to the best decision and find the perfect companion for your lifestyle.