Congratulations on your decision to adopt a pet! There are many animals out there in need of a loving family, and there are many families in need of a loving pet, so this decision is a win all around. If you want to find the perfect pet for your family, there are a number of things you should think about. Scroll down to learn about some of the most important factors you should consider before adopting a pet.
Research Your Pet’s Personality
Animals have personalities, just like people do. For this reason, it’s important to take personality into consideration when choosing a pet for your family. For example, if you want to adopt a puppy, interview the puppy breeder to learn about what the dog’s personality is like. Doing so will ensure that your family will get along with your pet; this will increase your chances of finding a pet that fits in with your family’s culture, personality, and lifestyle.
Research all the different species and breeds of the pet you are considering; each breed will have unique characteristics and personality traits. If possible, try to meet your potential pet before adopting them. This will give you a chance to interact with them and envision the role they might play in your life.
Set a Budget
Before adopting a pet, it’s important to know the financial commitment you’ll need to make. Some breeds are much more expensive than others. For example, buying a pure-bred Labrador retriever from a puppy breeder will be more expensive than adopting a puppy with unknown origin from an animal shelter. In general, adopting a dog will be more expensive than adopting a cat. This is due to several reasons, including the fact that dogs have higher energy levels and are therefore injured more often.
In addition to the cost of buying the pet itself, you’ll need to cover their initial medical costs, vaccinations, adoption fees, and training. You should also research the amount of money your pet will require to be fed, watered, groomed, and cared for. Calculate the cost of equipment you’ll need to house your pet, as well as the cost of their food and daily care.
Take a realistic look at your budget to make sure you’re financially ready to give your pet the care it deserves. Making sure you’re ready for the financial commitment of a pet will protect you from any unpleasant, expensive surprises.
List Your Priorities
If you know you want a pet but aren’t sure about which one would be best for your family, you should make a list of what you’re looking for in a pet. List your priorities. If you have allergies or other medical needs, make sure these items are on your list. Many pet researchers have discovered that the bond between owners and their pets is the strongest when the owner has a clear idea of what they want from keeping a pet, and bases their choice of animal based on that. While you may not be able to find a pet that meets every single item on your wish list, knowing your priorities will help you find the best pet possible.
Consider Your Lifestyle
Your lifestyle is an important factor to consider when you choose a pet. Are you or your family members gone at work or school all day? If so, a pet who requires a lot of attention might not be the best choice for your family. Are you a couch potato? If so, a pet who needs a lot of exercise might not be the best pet for you. The answers to questions such as these will help you assess your lifestyle and find a pet that will be the best fit for you.
Just as you need to be ready for the financial commitment of owning a pet, you must also be ready for the toll a pet will take on your schedule. Make sure you have enough time to give your pet the care it deserves. Before you adopt your pet, it’s a good idea to make an appointment with a local veterinarian who can give you an idea of the medical care, diet, and daily needs of your pet.
Review Local Animal Regulations
Regulations on pets will vary depending on where you live. For this reason, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the local animal regulations in your area before choosing the kind of pet you want. For example, some apartment complexes do not allow certain breeds of dogs or other pets. Understanding these regulations is especially important if you are considering bringing a nontraditional pet into your family.
If you are planning to register your pet as an emotional support animal, you should be aware of the application process to make this happen. Many owners are uncomfortably surprised with the amount of red tape they have to get through in order to obtain permission for their pet to live with them. Reviewing your local animal regulations will take some time and energy, but the knowledge you gain will be worth it. Doing so will help you prepare for your pet in the best way possible.
Think About Needs of Other Pets
If you already have other pets, it’s important to think about their needs before adding another pet to your home. Introducing a new pet to your family can be extremely beneficial for your existing pets, but there are a number of risks you will take as well.
It’s important to make sure your home has enough space for a new pet. You should also consider the relative ages of your pets, as well as their personalities. Depending on their personalities, it might be necessary to introduce your new pet to the others slowly so that they can get used to each other. Plan to encounter some difficulty if your existing pets are territorial.
As you prepare to adopt a pet, make sure to clear space for it in your budget, your schedule, your home, and your heart. Research the local animal regulations in your area and consider the needs of any other pets you might have. Following these suggestions will make your pet adoption experience a happy one!
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Think of what the world would be like if humans and dogs hadn’t formed their unique partnership all those thousands of years ago. Dogs have influenced every corner of human life, as humans have influenced theirs, often to the point where they do not resemble their wolf ancestors in the slightest. For hunting, guarding, or simple companionship, nothing beats a dog.
They Are Trustworthy
The one indisputable thing about dogs is you can trust them with everything. Tell them your deepest, darkest secret, and no one will ever know. They can’t even be called as a witness if you commit a crime in front of them. Of course, they'll miss you when you’re in jail, but they’ll be waiting till you’re out. Remember Greyfriars Bobby, the little Skye terrier who sat by the grave of his master for 10 years till he himself passed on at age 16.
Anyone Can Have One
You may have seen photographs of people and dogs who look just like each other. But the compatibility of a dog to its person and its person’s environment is more than skin or fur deep. A tiny dog like a Chihuahua is perfectly happy in a studio apartment, but such a small space is not ideal for a St. Bernard. If someone in the household is allergic, there are dogs that are hypoallergenic. Indeed, there are dogs that have no fur at all, such as the Mexican hairless, and these types don’t spread dander around.
Not only is there a dog for every type of person, but anyone can go to the shelter or a reputable breeder and have one. Keep in mind that tigers and some of the more exotic pets take special permits and aren't usually happy in human captivity.
They Are Great for Mental Health
It is not uncommon for a dog parent to claim that the dog kept him or her sane through periods of isolation whether that isolation arose from a pandemic or other disaster natural or man-made. A dog does not care about the things that drive humans crazy, such as deadly viruses. They need to go for their walks or play in the backyard. They need to be watered and fed and brushed and combed and cuddled by their humans at the end of the day. For a dog, there is nothing else.
The pleasures of having a dog are many, especially when times are tough. They are completely trustworthy, and there’s a dog for everyone, from the elegant Afghan hound to the irresistible mutt found in the shelter. They are a boon to mental health. Truly, dogs and humans were meant for each other.
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Many dog owners become annoyed when their pet bites, digs, begs, scratches, or barks. Here are some great solutions for three common bad dog behaviors that can help you and your pet get along better.
Puppies bite for several reasons. Like babies, when puppies are little, they explore the world through using their mouths. They tend to bite more when they are tired or teething. You can train your puppy to stop biting by refusing to reward it for biting.
If your puppy (or dog) nips at you, stop all play and fun interaction for 5-10 seconds—no talking, no eye contact—then resume play. If he keeps nipping and biting, stop the fun again, and stop your interaction even more clearly by standing up or leaving the room. Repeating this cycle can help discourage your dog’s bad behavior and train him to stop biting. If your puppy is teething, you can try bitter apple, lemon juice, and diluted vinegar or hot pepper.
Again, like babies, dogs cry and bark for many reasons. You should first understand the reasons why your dog might be barking in order to stop it. Sometimes dogs bark to get attention. If this is the reason your dog is barking, you should ignore his barking until he stops. If you interact with him at all through talking, eye contact, or physical touch, you will reward him for barking. If you wait to interact with him until he completely stops barking, he will get the message that barking for attention is unacceptable.
Your dog could also be barking because he is stimulated by something, like passerby, cars, or another dog. In this case, you can train your dog to stop barking by desensitizing him to the stimulus. For example, your dog barks when he is around other dogs, then start desensitizing him by introducing him to other dogs at a distance. As you carefully bring your dog closer to the other dog, reward him with treats. If the other dog moves away or out of sight, stop giving your dog treats. This will teach him that his stimulus, or another dog, is positive and will bring rewards, so he won’t bark.
The solution to solving this problem is simple: never give food to your dog from the table. Each time you break this rule, your dog will learn to expect rewards from begging. By refusing to reward your dog with food from the table, you can teach him to stop begging.
Dogs learn through rewards and punishments. In most cases, you can teach your dog to stop behaving badly through rewarding good behavior and punishing bad behavior. Finally, be patient, and remember that learning takes time.
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Being outside is great for your pet's well being. Exercise, fresh air, and room to run and roam can stimulate your pet and keep them healthy. However, many pets are prone to escaping the safety of the backyard, exposing themselves to the dangers of motor vehicles or getting lost. Here are some tips to make sure your pet is safe and happy in your yard.
Build a Fence
The most obvious way for a pet owner to keep a pet secured in the yard is to fence the yard in. This lets the owner dispense with restrictive chains or leads and gives your pet more freedom to move and explore. Just make sure to choose the right style. Some dogs are adept climbers who will make short work of a chain-link fence. Smaller dogs may be narrow enough to slip through wider spacing in an iron bar fence. Guard-type breeds may not do well with high visibility fencing that has them reacting.
Generally, a six-foot-tall wooden privacy fence is ideal, though cost can be a factor. Smaller breeds can get by with less, but athletic and larger dogs, such as huskies, shepherds, and labs, can leap or climb small and chain fencing. Don't forget that if your dog is a digger, you may need to place a barrier that extends under your fence.
Care for Your Grass
It is important for pet owners to maintain the state of the lawn. Letting grass grow tall may hide digging along the fence perimeter or fence damage. It can also encourage pests, such as ticks, to take up residence in your yard. To avoid needing pesticides, keep your grass trimmed regularly and nip any pest infestation quickly before it becomes a problem. An alternative is to use an artificial lawn. Artificial lawns come with many other benefits over traditional grass. They won't get damaged by dog urine, attract pests, or require regular maintenance. Artificial grass doesn't need any water, and some artificial lawns have built-in drainage systems that prevent puddles and mud, keeping your yard and dog cleaner.
Make It a Happy Place
If you have secured and maintained your backyard, the next step to pet happiness is to give them reasons to stay instead of spending time looking for an escape route. Spend as much time as possible outdoors with your pets, and don't leave them unsupervised for long periods. Having a rotation of toys, especially those that can stimulate your pet, will keep them interested and occupied with what is in the yard rather than what is outside. Good interactive toys include tether ropes, interactive-puzzle treat dispensers, and ball launchers. Lastly, don't forget their comfort. Always have a source of fresh water on hand for your pet to drink and make sure they have shelter in case of sudden rain. A shady spot to protect against heat and sun is also an excellent idea.
Animals love to be outdoors, and being outdoors is great for them. However, an ill-equipped and unprepared yard can allow your furry friend to escape. By properly securing the yard, maintaining it, and giving your pet plenty to keep them comfortable and occupied, you can make your backyard a perfect animal oasis.
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