Adopting a pet can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Regardless of if you get a dog, a cat, or another type of animal, you're in for a wonderful new experience, but also new challenges. Being a pet owner comes with its fair share of responsibility, which some people tend to overlook.
Here are some great tips for first-time pet owners, as well as some general things to keep in mind
1. Most animals shed - be prepared to vacuum more
One of the biggest reality checks to becoming a pet owner is realizing how much some animals shed. If your first animal is a dog, you may want to opt for a short hair breed that doesn't shed a ton. If you dive right into adopting a heavy-shedding breed, such as a German Shepard or a Husky, you could be unpleasantly surprised at just how much fur they leave behind.
If you have wood floors, the amount of pet hair left behind is accentuated. With carpet, the fur isn't as easy to see. With this being said, if you're planning on adopting a new pet that has a reputation for shedding and you have wood floors, you may want to consider purchasing a good vacuum for hardwood floors (check some out here)
2. Be aware of travel restrictions
Once you adopt a pet, every time you travel you now have to consider what you're going to do with your pet. Make sure you have a friend or two who would be willing to watch your pet for you if you need to travel. Making sure that you have a friend that is willing to help out before you actually adopt your pet ensures that you won't be stuck when it comes time to travel.
3. Adopting a pet is a multi-year commitment
One of the biggest worries animal lovers like myself have when giving advice on adopting animals is that some people don't understand the commitment that is involved. To be a good pet parent, you should commit to that animal for the rest of its life.
Some cats and dogs live for decades, so if you're considering adopting a kitten or a puppy, make sure you're ready to own this animal for many years and are sure you're ready.
4. Ask your landlord first
If you rent a home or apartment, make sure your landlord knows about your intention of adopting a new pet. Some landlords have a no-pet policy, and you could be forced to either put your animal up for adoption or move out of your home. Be transparent about your intentions and ensure that pets are allowed on your property. Talk with your landlord before committing to adopting a pet, and see if there are any breed restrictions or other things to consider before you bring a new pet home.
5. Be prepared financially
While the idea of adopting a pet sounds great, you also need to realize you're now responsible for food, toys, and vet bills. If you're intending on going to a shelter to adopt an older animal, you need to be prepared for the worst case scenario. It is not uncommon to adopt an older pet and that pet having health issues within a few months after adoption. Make sure you're in a secure spot financially to cover any expenses that may come up.
Are You Ready For A Pet?
Adopting a pet, especially your first pet is an incredibly rewarding experience. Your welcoming a new animal into your life that will give you unconditional love and help complete your family. Make sure you're prepared before adopting a pet and are ready for the responsibilities that come along with it.