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Guest Post: 5 Tips for First-Time Pet Owners

It’s a big step in your life, becoming a first-time pet owner. It can be exciting to go to the shelter or breeder to pick out your new dog or cat you’re going to bring home. While playing with your new pet may be the only thing on your mind, it’s important to remember that your pet is entering an unfamiliar place, and that they need to get comfortable with your home. Here are some tips to follow as a first-time pet owner that will make the first couple of months with your pet a breeze.

Pick the right breed for you

If you’re a cat person, you don’t really have to worry about picking a certain breed, unless you have allergies. Then, it may be best to go with a short-haired cat or hairless cat. When it comes to picking the right dog breed for you and your family, there are a number of factors to consider. Dog breeds vary when it comes to energy, fitness requirements, friendliness and more. So, it’s important to take these factors into consideration when choosing what pup to bring home. If your home has no backyard or a small backyard, you should consider a smaller dog that doesn’t require a lot of exercise, like a French Bulldog. If you have a bigger backyard, you can consider buying an Australian Shepherd, or a bigger dog that requires a lot of exercise.

Prepare your home

Before you bring your new pet home, it’s important to pet-proof your home so that they don’t get injured wandering around. You also need to buy all the supplies you’ll need beforehand, such as food and water bowls, litter boxes, dog gates, pet toys, bedding and a collar. Once you’ve bought all the supplies, now is time for making sure your home is safe. Tape any electrical cords to baseboards and remove any cleaning supplies or other toxic items and place it out of reach. Remove plants and other breakables from around your home, set up crates and install any gates. Be sure to block off any small places that your puppy or kitten could climb into.

Remember to clean up

Your new pet is going to have accidents. That’s just part of owning a new animal. Whether your pet pees on your rug or gets food all over your kitchen, it’s important to clean up after your pet. You may think that using a little 409 on your carpets will get rid of the stain and odor that your pet leaves behind, but only professional carpet cleaning can really help your home smell fresh again while removing stubborn stains and odors. Plus, it will get rid of any pet hair that a regular vacuum can’t pick up. How much will it run you to hire a professional? The average price to clean carpets or rugs in Portland ranges from $119 – $243.

Make sure your pet is comfortable

You want your new cat or dog to feel comfortable in your home. So, how do you make this happen when your home feels like a strange and scary place for them? Try giving them some space. They need time to explore and find a safe place. If they hide under a bed or behind a piece of furniture because they’re scared, wait until they come out, don’t drag them out. Make sure that you buy them something that they can call their own, like a comfortable bed or toy that they’ll love.

Make time for bonding

Now comes the fun part. Play with your new pet! It’s important your new dog or cat feels a bond with you. Spend some one-on-one time with your new pet. If you have a new dog, be consistent when it comes to training, so that you communicate better. Commit to training your new pup every day, whether that’s learning a new trick or teaching obedience. Understand what your new pet likes and dislikes. Most importantly, don’t lose your temper. Having a new pet can be frustrating at times, but you have to keep your cool – yelling is the last thing you want to do.

Adopting a new pet for the first time comes with its set of challenges. There are things you have to prepare for, and things you just have to learn along the way. However, with the right skills, you’ll be the best pet parent in no time.