If you have been following me on pretty much any of my social media accounts, you know about my new fur baby. If you know me personally, then you know how much I love just about any pet there is. For those of you that do not fall into either of those categories, let me tell you about my new obsession.
Hades is just about 7 months old, and we brought him home this past September. I love my new pet (son) more than anything, but there are some things I wish I would have known before bringing him to his furever home. Besides the fish in our aquarium, Hades is our first pet that my husband and I are raising as a married couple. I knew that having a puppy was going to be a lot of work and commitment, but there are some things that you just don’t learn until the day you welcome the pet into your home with open arms.PS that photo is from a few months ago. He has pretty much doubled in size since we brought him home.
Below, I have compiled a list of ten things I wish we would have done or I am glad that we did do, before we brought home our cutest bundle of joy. While some of these tips are geared towards pups, I do believe they should be considered for all pets. With that being said, let’s begin.
10 Things To Do Before Adopting a New Pet
Wanting to take a family vacation this year? Was there somewhere that you just had to visit before the end of the month? My advice is to complete your traveling plans before adopting a new pet. For at least the first couple of months you are together with your new furry friend, you are likely going to want to spend as much time as possible with him or her. Additionally, you will want to make the animal feel at home and you will want to learn his or her habits before leaving it off with a babysitter.
I’m not saying that you can’t travel ever again once you have a pet. That isn’t true at all. I just mean that if you are wanting to take any trips in the nearby future that you should definitely consider taking them before bringing home your new pet. That way, there will be plenty of time for your animal to adapt to his or her new home before you travel again.
2.Research the breed
While every animal has a unique personality, there are some common characteristics for animals of the same breeds. It is definitely important to do your research about the pet breed that you are interested in adopting. For instance, if you never had a husky puppy before, you might not know that they are characteristically sneaky and a bit harder to train than other puppies. By doing proper research, you will be able to better prepare for the arrival of your new pet. Additionally, you will be able to choose a breed or pet that meets the specific needs of you and your family members.
3.Watch Training Videos
This tip is especially important for anyone adopting a pet with no prior training (aka a puppy or kitten). You will want to start training your new pet as soon as you can, especially if it needs to be potty trained. You will save a lot of your valuables if you do. Something I wish I had done more of before bringing home my puppy was to watch training videos online before he actually came home. It would have been a lot easier to train my dog if I had some preparation and knowledge before hand about what I needed to do to make him listen to me. Instead, I was scrambling to figure out how to train my dog on the spot which made me anxious, and probably lost us some valuable training time.
4.Pet Proof the Home
Remember a couple weeks back when I posted about my Seashell Candle Jar Project?? Yea… the project featured in that post no longer exists in my home. Let’s just say my curious pup got the best of it.
Before bringing home your new pet, you should consider pet proofing the home. By this, I mean that you should relocate anything meaningful and breakable that the new pet could easily break. At least until you are familiar with your pets energy levels, curiosity, and level of destruction it is a good idea to to create a safe area for him or her to wander. Once the pet is better behaved, used to his or her surroundings, and a little less curious, you can ease the breakables back into their proper spaces. Otherwise, you might be risking losing your valuable items.
5.Clean up the Yard
I learned the hard way that anything in the yard is basically my puppy’s chew toy. Plant pots, furniture that is waiting to go to the dump, the hose, my dogs own poop – all of these items are bait for curious critters. (Luckily the last one is no longer an issue.) I should have cleaned up the yard before my dog came home. It would have left ne with a lot less surprise moments with my new pup where I was left thinking “oh, you want to play with that too.” If your pet is going to be spending time outside, make sure there is a limited amount of items in the yard that he or she can get too.
6. Check in with Landlords
For some this may seem like an obvious must-do, but it is still a point worth mentioning. If you are renting a home, it might be a good idea to check in with your landlord before bringing home a new pet. You may think that you are clear about the landlord’s policy on pets, but it is always a good idea to make sure there will not be any problems having the animal in the home. One of the worst situations that I can imagine happening is bringing home a new pet, only to find out later that it is an issue that you have it.
One thing I have learned about owning a pet is that they can be expensive, especially when they are young. Vet visits alone can start to add up. When we first got Hades, we had to bring him to an orthopediac doctor for xrays to check on his legs (german shepherds are prone to developing leg and hip issues). I almost fell over when I went to pay for this and it nearly cost $300. Like children, we want what is best for our pets so we pay for vet visits, grooming appointments, etc. Before adopting a new pet, be sure that you can healthily afford these added (and often unexpected) costs of bringing new life into the house.
Why would you have to mentally prepare for having a pet? Well, it is likely that you will have to make some lifestyle changes when you welcome a new pet into your home. Especially when the animal is young, he or she may be particularly time consuming. You will have to take time out of your day for training, exercising, feeding, and cleaning up after your new bff. As stated above, a pet is a huge commitment. You are bringing new life into your home. If you are unwilling to change certain aspects of your lifestyle for a furry friend, you may need to reconsider bringing one into your home.
9.Shop for basics
A Christmas sweater is an essential item…right???!! This may be an obvious point, but it is still worth mentioning. You will want to buy some of the basic pet care products before bringing home your new pet. For instance, you may want a cage and some toys for a dog or a litter box for a cat. To avoid a large financial burden once you bring the pet home, you may want to start purchasing pet care items a few weeks or months before bringing home your pet. Be sure to only stick to the basics, however. It can be easy to go overboard purchasing new items for your pet, but most of the time you only really need what is essential.
10. Ask friends and family for advice
Odds are that once your friends and family find out that you are bringing home a new pet, you will receive lots of advice whether it is asked for or not. Sometimes the best thing to do is to listen to that advice. I guarantee there are some topics about new pets that I didnt get a chance to go over in this post. People who have recently gone through the same situation as you will be able to help you better prepare yourself for the future. If your friends and family give you great advice that I did not cover in this post, feel free to let me know in the comments below!
Check out my YouTube video on this topic: