Owning a small pet has plenty of benefits. Pets give you more opportunities to socialize and exercise. They can reduce your cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
They are great companions that make it easy to manage depression and other mental health diseases. However, owning a pet is a great commitment and you must prepare for it. Here are a few important things to know before getting a small pet.
1. There Are Many Options
Even though cats and dogs are the most popular pets, there are many options. Do your research before adopting one. Here are a few options to consider:
If you have never had a pet before, fish may be the perfect option. They do not need much attention or interaction. All they need is enough food, an appropriate tank, and clean water.
All cats are different. While some of them are temperamental, others are cute and cuddly. Caring for them is easy as you do not need to walk them. However, they need to be entertained, groomed and fed.
Dogs come in all sizes, breeds, and temperaments. The right one depends on your family’s needs. They require extra training and care.
Owning a pet can be a long-term commitment. According to the team at Hutch and Cage, you must think about how long you are willing to commit before you make a decision. The average lifespan for cats and dogs is ten to 15 years. They need lots of attention all through their life. If you are unwilling to commit for a long time, consider other options like fish, hamsters, and guinea pigs.
3. Consider Your Lifestyle
The pet you choose must suit your lifestyle. A common mistake that many first-time pet owners make is basing decisions on how cute a pet is. Some pets may be too demanding, too energetic, or too aggressive for your home. Take some time to understand the breed you like and its suitability for your home. Chihuahuas, for example, may be able to live in the smallest home, but they can be intolerant of children.
Pet cats should be able to match your personality too. Some of them need lots of attention and others like to be left alone. Research before settling for a specific breed.
4. Your Home Must be Pet-Friendly
Before getting a pet, you need to make your home pet-friendly. Something that seems simple may be dangerous to your cat. Ibuprofen, for example, is bad for cats. Chewing gum and chocolate can kill your dogs. Go through your home a few times and make sure that it is safe before moving your pet in.
Important things to look out for include chemical bottles, electric cords, and small parts. Check your yard for toxic plants as well.
5. Speak With a Vet
Get the opinion of a vet before settling for a pet. They may give you appropriate recommendations. Vets are some of the most reliable resources when trying to find an appropriate pet. Pick a vet that understands your needs as you will probably be working with them for a long time.
6. Prepare for a Period of Adjustment
When your pet first gets into your home, they will need some time to adjust. Puppies, for example, may cry on their first few nights. While you may be tempted to soothe them, you shouldn’t. The best you can do is provide them with a clean and comfortable sleeping area. Ensure that their kennel is locked so they won’t be tempted to wander off at night.
During the day, allow them to explore and play. This way, they can get used to your home. Supervised privileges allow you to spot hazards that you may have missed.
Cats may have trouble accepting new pets. However, their bedtime is generally easier. A cat’s sleeping area should be close to their litter box. They should not lose their way trying to find it.
7. Prepare to Train Them
Your pet needs to be trained when they come into your home. Without training, they can turn your lovely home into a chaotic one. Housetraining must start as soon as they get into your home. If, for example, you are getting a cat, let them know where the litter box is immediately they get to your home.
If you have a puppy, help them get used to the new environment immediately they arrive. A short walk may be all they need to get comfortable. Repeat commands until they understand.
Therefore, owning a small pet comes with a lot of responsibility. You must invest some time to prepare before making the commitment.