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Doing Right by Your Pet: Advice for New Owners
At Amber’s Pampered Pets, we know that owning a pet is a joy and privilege, but it’s also a big responsibility. If your idea of pet adoption is finding the cutest or coolest-looking dog or cat, spend some time thinking through your end of the bargain. Your pet gets a loving home, but only if you’re able to make sure he’s safe, happy and comfortable. Things may not work out so neatly if you bring home a pet that’s not a good fit for your lifestyle or living environment, so consider your options carefully before adopting your first pet.
One of the most obvious mistakes pet owners make is bringing home a big dog assuming that he’ll adapt to an apartment or house that’s too small and a yard that doesn’t allow him to run and romp freely. If you lack square footage, your best bet might be to opt for a cat or a small dog that will fit more comfortably. Things can get really uncomfortable if someone in the family has allergies, so consider a breed that doesn’t shed very much and tends to be easy on allergy sufferers, such as a Bichon Frise, Schnauzer, or Labradoodle.
Keep It Clean
Whether you buy a dog or a cat, you’ll need to keep the house clean, which means vacuuming pet hair on a regular basis and keeping your breathing air free of allergens that pets carry and spread. Sprinkling baking soda on your carpeting before vacuuming will help keep pet odors under control. High-suction vacuum cleaners are especially effective at preventing hair build-up on the furniture, carpeting, along baseboards, and around air vents.
Pet dander is a persistent threat to people who suffer from pet allergies. Using an air purifier that’s suited to pets is an excellent way to keep dander under control; some purifiers eliminate up to 90 percent of allergens and other pollutants.
When managing pet hair and occasional accidents, it’s likely your furniture will take a beating. Knowing this, have a plan for having any fabric furniture cleaned at least once a year. Instead of using coupons from the mail, look for furniture cleaning companies that get high marks and offer competitive prices. Then you can feel comfortable using the same service every year.
Speaking of accidents, a great way to avoid those is to invest in a sturdy litter box – and believe it or not, those aren’t just for cats anymore!
If you’re bringing a new pet home, treat him like a member of the family — because that’s what he is. See to his needs by having food and water bowls, a pet bed, toys, collar, and leash. And don’t forget the treats! And when it comes to food, do some research to find out which formulas will help keep your pet healthy and fit. For instance, if your pup has digestive or weight issues, then food high in fiber can make him feel fuller for longer. You can find everything you need for your new companion on sites like Petsmart or Chewy — and you can have everything delivered right to your doorstep.
In addition to gathering the right gear, make sure the house is clear of clutter and that there’s nothing lying around that could injure a paw or present a choking threat to an overly curious dog or cat. Remove any plants that could be poisonous to an animal, and keep electrical cords out of the way and positioned where they can’t be chewed. The more you can do to make a new pet comfortable and calm, the easier the transition period will be. This is especially so for a rescue pet, which is apt to be skittish during those first few days in new surroundings.
If you’re adopting a dog, you may want to install a fence in your yard to protect them from escaping and aggressive animals. If you’re unsure of your precise property lines, hire a property surveyor so you know your home’s boundaries.
Part of making a new pet feel welcome is spending time bondingby getting down on the floor and playing on his level. A new pet-owner relationship depends heavily on trust and affection, and making time for bonding is a good way to build that trust. Make a point of taking your buddy for a walk at least once a day or having a few great play sessions; it’s good exercise and even better for bonding.
What To Do When You’re Away
While you’d like to take your new furry friend with you everywhere, sometimes that’s not possible. On days when you can’t spend a lot of time with your pet, or if you won’t be able to take them on their daily walk, connect with a service likeAmber’s Pampered Pets. We offer dog walks, as well as in-home pet-sitting to ensure your furbaby gets plenty of love and attention when you can’t be around.
If you intend to bring a pet home, carefully consider whether you have the room and whether you should get a small dog or cat. If you’ll be away from home a lot (e.g., at work eight hours or more a day), particularly during the first few weeks, it may be necessary to find someone who can stay with your new pooch or kitty a few hours a day. Remember, factoring your pet into your plans is part of being a caring, responsible pet parent.
Amber’s Pampered Pets is a Pet Sitter and Dog Walking Match Making Company dedicated to providing the best pet sitters and dog walkers to care for your pets in the comfort of your own home, daily dog walking 365 days a year, and poop scoop services. Call (574) 208-0391.
Jessica Brody (of ourbestfriends.pet)