It’s time. You’ve debated this topic for years with your partner and your family, but the time has finally arrived. You’re going to do it. You’re actually going to get a family pet! It’s a massive decision for you, and you’re understandably a bit worried about how to approach things. So, here are some top tips for bringing home your first pet:
Make sure your home is suitable
Start by getting your home ready and suitable for the pet. This depends on the pet - if you have something that lives in a cage, you don’t need to do much at all. If you are getting a dog or cat that roams around, you have to protect both them and your home from harm. It means hiding anything that your pet might try to eat that can cause them harm - like chocolate for dogs. You may also want to get scratching posts, litter trays, beds, and many other things to stop your pet from using your furniture in various different ways. Of course, if you’re renting, be sure you’re actually allowed a pet. Most rental houses do let you, and you can get a few apartments that allow pets these days. Just be sure you are 100% allowed the pet you’re bringing home - some complexes will allow cats but not dogs, so double-check.
Choose a dog or a cat
Obviously, pet choice is a personal thing, but the best advice for first-time family pet owners is to get either a dog or a cat. They are the easiest pets to handle, and the most child-friendly. Some families get hamsters or gerbils, but they come with a few issues. For one, their tiny nature means there is a risk of them getting crushed if your kids aren’t careful. Secondly, they have a short lifespan, so your kids will get upset when they die quite quickly. Cats and dogs are easy to look after and they live for a good few years. There’s also just far more advice on how to look after cats and dogs, so you can get as much help as possible.
Get the pet when it’s a baby
Ideally, you will get the family pet when it is still a kitten or a puppy. Find a respectable and ethical breeder if you are buying the pet, or look at different animal shelters if you want to adopt one. Getting them when they’re young will make it easier for the pet to adjust to life in your family. If you get an older pet, they have prior experiences that might make them a bit nervous at first. Plus, a younger pet will grow up with your kids, which is super cute to witness.
When you take everything into account, there’s not much to worry about as a first-time pet owner. Choose the pet you want, try to get it while it’s a baby, and make your home suitable for it. Then, it’s just a case of introducing it to its new home and being the best pet parents ever!
CANDY TAI is a wife to David and mom of 5 with a degree in Communications. She's a native Texan (Hook 'Em Horns!) who's been making her home in the Kansas City metro area for nearly 15 years. She loves being able to shuffle her kids from their various sports activities, piano lessons, and school activities. She enjoys fashion, beauty, reality TV, and moviegoing.