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Life with pets can be quite the journey. However, if you’re a first-time pet owner, you may be a little worried about where you should start. From figuring out a good pet for you to preparing your home, you may need a little advice. You can find a lot of guides to caring for a pet online, but here’s all you really need to know.

 Get Your House Ready    

If this is your first time owning a pet, you’re in for quite the excitement! Pets are wonderful companions and will bring a lot of joy to your life, but they’re likely to bring some messes as well. Set your home up for pet success and be ready to take on any challenges your new role may present. If you have carpets or rugs, invest in a top-quality vacuum that will take care of any stray dirt or fur. A good vacuum is a great idea even if you have hardwood or tile floor, especially if allow your pet to sit on your couch or let it ride in your car. Before spending your money, it’s important to note that not all vacuums were built with pet hair in mind. Read reviews to determine which vacuums are hailed for their pet hair cleaning performance.

Match Your Pet to Your Lifestyle    

When it comes to choosing a pet, you should think about your home and habits. Do you have a spacious backyard where a big dog can run around? If you rent or have homeowners insurance, will certain breeds be okay? You should even think about any health concerns when picking a pet. For those with allergies, certain breeds of hypoallergenic dogs could be best. Does someone in your home live with a disability or mobility issues? Pets can cause falls, so be careful when choosing a pet or make adjustments to prevent any slips or accidents.

Give New Pets Space  

Change can be tough for animals, so be patient as your pet settles into their new life. If you adopt a rescue, ask about any issues or past abuse/neglect so you’ll be prepared for a slower transition period. Even animals that have not been abused can be in shock when they finally leave the shelter, so don’t be too worried if your pet seems a little out of sorts. If you notice any behavioral issues, take immediate steps to correct them before they cause major problems. Training is a great option for pets of any age, so look into classes in your area.

Create a Routine to Create a Bond 

Pets thrive off of routine. Creating a healthy schedule of walks, play, and training is the perfect way to help your pet settle in and build a healthy bond. If you have a new dog, go out for a couple of short walks every day. Play is also a critical part of bonding with your pet. Grab a ball or a toy and spend some time having fun with your new pet. Use positive reinforcement and treats to reward good behavior, but watch out for any possessiveness or aggression when it comes to toys, you or other items.

Ensure Your Pet’s Safety and Health 

Whether it’s a dog or cat, pets look to people to provide comfort, security, and good health. It’s a role that’s taken thousands of years to perfect, so be sure you’re taking care of your new pet. Supervise outdoor time to make sure your pet isn’t getting into harmful plants or trying to escape. To ensure you’ll be reunited if your pet does escape, make sure they are microchipped before you bring them home. Schedule a check-up with a local vet and have them insert the microchip while they get vaccines and preventative medications up to date. Also, be sure you’re only feeding your pet the appropriate food and avoid treating them to human snacks.

Adjusting your life to a new pet can be quite the experience, but it’s definitely one you’ll want to have. Being a pet owner is a happy part of life, so enjoy the years you’ll have with your new pet!

**This article contains links that advocate the use of treats. While Bark Busters values the advice of animal care experts, the preferred training method is to foster healthy human/canine relationships through communication. Dog owners are encouraged to consider methodologies that rely on body language and voice tone, which get the dog-in-training to think about their behavior as opposed to expect a reward.**

Jessica is a dog lover and creator of OurBestFriends.pet. She created the site to offer a place for animal lovers to share their favorite pet photos and stories about their furry pals. Jessica believes dogs are the best creatures on earth. She enjoys writing about and sharing photos of dogs (and other pets!) on her website. 

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