A grand introduction of a new pet to the home is akin to introducing a new member of the family. There are countless joys that come with the territory, but you also have to be wary of the challenges and, indeed, responsibilities.
It’s easy to ‘wish’ for a pet, to have a clear image of how life with a cat or a dog would look like once all the logistics and obligations are done. However, if you want to get into the nitty-gritty of how to prepare yourself for a new dog or cat, there are several things that you have to consider.
There are several fundamentals you need to cover to prepare the house for pets, one of the leading ones being the ‘den’. So, what does this entail? Well, if you plan to introduce a furry friend to your family and surrounding, you’ll definitely need bedding with necessary sheets, comfy cushions and a bowl for food and water. In other words, you have to create a bonafide pet den that will become your furry friend’s permanent home.
Now, if you’ve never adopted a cat or a dog before, there is one important thing that you need to know: it all comes down to a matter of smell. Familiarity is important to them - it is a dial that gauges their stress-meters - so once you set up a place where they’ll eat, drink, and sleep, there is rarely going back without causing a significant ruckus.
Pet-proof your household
Both cats and dogs are very intuitive and smart creatures in their own ways, but they are not human. If hazardous material or unseemly objects are left lying around, they will pose a hazard for an instinctive creature. You’ll have to pet-proof your home before you introduce them to the new environment.
Your attention should be especially directed at ornaments and paraphernalia that can easily get lodged into a pet’s throat or, even worse, tangled around them. The same goes for pet-unfriendly plants, poison ivy, and all chewable items that can upset your pet’s stomach. The arrangement might turn into an exercise in de-cluttering or even minimalism, but it is necessary. On the upside, your living space will appear more streamlined.
The matter of toys
Naturally, your furry little pet will require toys to stimulate their brain development and motor skills. Yes, in that regard they are akin to small children and you’d better keep them stimulated to run amok and focus on their toys instead of the surrounding furniture.
You know the drill: dogs adore their chewable toys that can also be tossed around. Balls are a particular favorite. In the case of cats, yarns and other trinkets that take the shape of prey (mice and rats) are just what the doctor ordered.
As has been implied in the paragraph above, all that is not meant to be chewed should be kept out of pet’s reach, so they’re never tempted to confuse toys with other unsavory items.
Think about pet supplies
There is an array of pet supplies that you’ll need if you plan to adopt a cat or a dog, and while it may seem daunting at first, most basics are fairly easy to acquire. Hop to your local mall or a supermarket in search of leashes, collars (flea repellant, naturally), ID tags, litter boxes, scratching posts and pet beddings.
Bonus: prepare psychologically
Beyond the obligatory items, be prepared for an adjustment period. Let’s not mince words about it - you’ll have to steel yourself. Whether it’s a puppy or a kitten, they will cry and demand your attention. This will be especially pronounced during the night - after all, they are just like human babies in that regard. They require attention, love, and security.
However, it is a bad idea to bring them into your own sleeping space (i.e. the bed). They end to get used to their own enclosed space as soon as possible, and you’ll have to be very efficient about it. While you might feel every now and then that you are cruel - keep the long-standing goal in mind:
They need to adjust to their own corners of the house.
Canine or feline pets can be a storm of pure, unadulterated joy if you arrange the circumstances so that they can have a content existence. However, getting there is a bigger challenge than people initially think.
As a future pet owner, you need to ensure that your pet has been vaccinated and screened for a battery of potential ailments. This keeps you, your family, and your furry little bundle of joy, happy and safe.