Again and again the connections are wonderful!
On the 21st March, I received an email. It read:
According to the ASPCA, animal shelters take in 7.6 million dogs and cats each year. Unfortunately, only 2.7 million animals are adopted each year. I’d love to see that number increase.
I’ve been a pet owner for decades. I know the seemingly infinite joy and love that comes from having a pet. But I also remember how nervous I was when I adopted my first dog.
To ease first-time and potential pet owners’ anxiety about caring for a pet, I would love to offer advice on how to be a great pet parent. Tips will be culled from my own experience and the experience of my blog’s (OurBestFriends.pet) contributors.
Can I write a guest article for your readers? My hope is that the piece will encourage folks to adopt a loving animal. The content will be completely original and free of charge. Please let me know if you’d like to take part.
Hope to hear from you soon!
What a wonderful email and, of course, I was only too pleased to receive Jessica’s article.
Here it is:
Survival Guide for First-Time Pet Owners: How to Be a Great Pet Parent
By Jessica Brody, 6th April, 2017
If you’re considering adopting a four-legged friend for the first time, you’re about to embark on an amazing journey. From learning your new pet’s unique personality traits to navigating the demands of providing the best care for your new family member, adopting a pet is a learning experience, but an enriching one. Here are a few essential tips to help you transition your new furry friend seamlessly into your family.
Make Arrangements for Regular Exercise
Dogs, in particular, require regular exercise. They say that a tired dog is a well-behaved dog. If you work long hours, consider hiring a dog walker who can take your pup out for a mid-day potty break and walk. Make sure your new pet – dog or cat – has plenty of toys to keep them occupied while you’re working or otherwise unable to devote your full attention to them while you’re at home.
From bones and dental chews to balls, bells, and feathers, there’s no shortage of unique and intriguing toys on the market to keep your pet entertained and healthy.
If you own your own home, you might also consider installing a fence around a section of your yard. That way your new pet will have a place to run and play without having to be on a leash. You can also use the space for training.
Choose a Veterinarian You Trust
First and foremost, your new pet will need to see a veterinarian. If you’re adopting from a shelter or rescue organization, your pet may come with veterinary records and may already be spayed or neutered. If you’re adopting a new pet from a pet store or breeder, however, you’ll most likely need to take care of initial vetting on your own.
Ask friends and family members for vet recommendations and call around to inquire about office policies and prices to make an informed decision. It’s important that you find a veterinarian that you trust to provide top-notch care for your beloved pet.
Choose a Quality Pet Food
All pet food is not created equal. If you want your pet to live a long, healthy life, you should choose a top-quality pet food that contains healthy ingredients and has a solid track record. There have been many pet food recalls in recent years, with some causing serious illness and even death in pets.
Do your research to determine what foods are the best and safest for your dog’s stage of life and health history. Puppies require different food than older dogs, for instance, and dogs with certain health conditions have special dietary requirements. Talk to your vet if you’re uncertain.
Establish Rules and Routines
Adopting a new pet for the first time requires a bit of playing by ear, as you don’t know exactly what your pet’s quirks will be. However, it’s a good idea to establish some general ground rules from the start. For example, what will you do to keep your pet out of storage areas where dangerous substances, such as yard care chemicals, anti-freeze, or pool chemicals are kept? Will you allow your dog on the furniture? Will your dog or cat sleep in your bed with you? Will you crate your dog while you’re at work?
Your pet will surely have a mind of her own, but knowing what general boundaries you want to set before introducing her to your home will help you be consistent with training.
Give Your Pet Plenty of Affection
While all of these tips are essential steps for being the best pet parent you can be, perhaps the most important is to give your pet plenty of love and affection. Dogs thrive on attention, while cats tend to be quite varied in their preferences. Some are lap cats, hopping on the nearest warm lap they can find; others are loners and generally prefer to be left to their own devices. Get to know your pet’s personality and make sure to shower him with as much love and affection as he wants.
Being a great pet parent isn’t hard, but these important tips will help you integrate your new furry friend into your family with ease. Setting boundaries and rules from the beginning with consistent reinforcement, making sure your pet gets plenty of exercise and has enough toys and activities to keep her engaged, and choosing top-quality pet food and a veterinarian you can trust will ensure that you and your pet can enjoy many joyful years together.
Image via Pixabay by OrsiO
Naturally, I asked Jessica to write a few words about herself. This is what she sent me.
Jessica is the creator of OurBestFriends.pet. Jessica lives in Dallas, Texas with her loving family (which includes 2 dachshunds and a black lab). She is a certified dog lover, and believes dogs are just about the greatest creatures on earth. She loves collecting and sharing photos of them.
I know many will agree with me when I say that it would be good to receive some more articles from Jessica.