Companion Connection

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Adopting Your First Pet? Keep These Tips in Mind as You Choose Your Perfect Animal Companion

 

Whether youíre thinking of welcoming a dog, cat, rabbit, bird, or guinea pig into your home, adopting any type of domesticated animal is a huge commitment, especially if youíre a first-time pet owner and have a lot to learn about the responsibilities of pet ownership. If you have kids, your whole family will need to be ready for these responsibilities. Depending on the average life expectancy of the animal you adopt, you could be caring for your pet for the next 10 to 15 years!

 

Before welcoming any type of animal companion into your home, make sure you have plenty of extra time and living space ó especially higher-maintenance pets like rabbits, dogs, and cats. If you donít have a lot of space for a pet, your best options will be fish, birds, reptiles, or small rodents such as hamsters, mice, and gerbils. However, note that some types of pets arenít recommended if you suffer from allergies.

 

Moreover, youíll need to budget for the cost of your petís food, veterinary bills, toys, and supplies. If you plan on traveling and leaving home for a night, weekend, or longer, you may also need to hire a pet sitter to watch your companion until you return. The internet makes it easier than ever to find a reputable pet sitter, but youíll still need to do plenty of research to find an experienced candidate in your area.

 

If youíre still up for the many responsibilities of owning a pet, youíll need to learn about your animal companionís dietary needs and the different types of supplies he needs to be happy and healthy in his new home. Read on to learn more!

Explore Your Petís Nutritional Needs

Once youíve determined whether youíre going to adopt a dog, cat, rabbit, or another type of companion animal, itís important to learn all about the petís nutritional needs before bringing him home. While most nutritional needs vary depending on an animalís species, breed, and age, several essential items include:

 

Quality food and fresh water. Food and water are vital to any animal companionís health and well-being, but the recommended amount will depend on the petís species, breed, age, and size. Make sure you have a local veterinarian in mind so you can bring your new pet in for a wellness visit and learn more about his or her dietary needs.

 

Probiotics. Like humans, dogs and cats can take probiotics for better digestion and immunity. For a holistic approach, one vet recommends fermenting berries and feeding them to your dog or cat as a daily treat ó or you can purchase probiotic formulas as an alternative. Before supplementing a catís diet with a probiotic, however, itís important to compare customer reviews, product features, costs, and test performance resultsóas this will help you to purchase the best product for your new friend.

Welcome Your New Animal Companion Into Your Home

As you get ready to adopt an animal companion, make sure you have everything your new pet will need once he or she arrives in your home. The pet supplies youíll need will depend on the animalís species, breed, and age, but several essential items include a food and water dish, basic grooming equipment, high-quality food and toys, and comfortable bedding.

 

Once your animal companion arrives in his new home, take the time to help him adjust to his new surroundings. If you adopted your animal from a shelter, you can always contact the organization if you have questions or concerns about the health or well-being of your new pet.

Rescued animals may take longer to adjust to a new home ó especially if they came from a difficult living situation ó but theyíll spend their whole lives thanking you for giving them a safe, comfortable, and loving place to live. However, adopting any type of animal is a huge commitment, and you should only welcome a pet into your home if youíre ready for 10 or more years of pet ownership. If you decide that pet ownership isnít right for you, you can always foster an animal through your local humane society or pet rescue.

Image via Unsplash

Submitted by Penny Martin