5 things to know before getting a pet

5 things to know before getting a pet

Almost everyone melts from photos of cute puppies, kittens, or other animals. Some people even get really emotional and decide that they urgently need to get themselves a pet under the influence of the moment. Although pets are cute and entertaining, you must know they are also living creatures that need to be cared for and require commitment and financial investments. So, just ask yourself, are you ready for spoiled wallpapers, furniture, daily walks, washing paws? If you answer "yes" to all of these, you may want to know some things first before making the decision to adopt an animal that will change your life for good. 

1. Stick to the regimen

You may want to change your routine, especially if you are going to have a dog. Walking and playing or training is mandatory twice a day, and for some breeds, such as huskies, the active exercise time increases from one hour to at least three to four hours a day. For the dogs, ignoring basic needs may result in the animal getting bored, gnawing on furniture and the walls, or even become depressed or sick. With the smaller animals, things are easier somehow. However, they also need to be fed and played with. While dumping dry food and leaving it for a few days may be convenient for a person, it will not help the pet's well-being at all. 

2. Change your habits and train your pet properly

Be honest with yourself about your lifestyle and the kind of pet you would like to care for when choosing your new friend. If you are positive you want to have a pet but not sure whom to get, just start small: fish, hamster, or a guinea pig. 

Then, make sure your place is adapted to your pet's needs and habits. You may create a separate area using pet gates, exercise pens, crates, or other barriers. Move fragile, tippable, or potentially dangerous items like cleaning supplies, food, and medications to inaccessible locations. Tuck electrical cords under the carpet and keep curtain or blind cords out of reach. No matter how cute and perfect your new pet appears to be, chances are there will be some minor accidents as they adjust to their new space.

Since the animal's mind is complicated, you may want self-education or attend special courses to better understand your pet. For example, scolding animals for what they did some time ago is pointless: educational measures only work if you catch the bad guy at the crime scene. 

Remember that all pets need attention, and make sure you give them yours. When you are going on vacation, you may need to decide ahead of time where and with whom to leave your pet, whether to negotiate with a friend or relative for help or find a reliable pet hotel. 

3. Handle extra expenses

If you want to get a purebred dog or cat, it is better to look for an animal from a trusted breeder, and, of course, this is not a cheap thing. If you take an animal from a shelter, then, of course, you will not have to pay for the purchase, but the donation to a shelter is always welcome. Usually, pets end up in a shelter through no fault of their own. In addition, by adopting an animal from a shelter or rescue organization, you'll not only be giving a home to a deserving animal, but you'll also likely be saving its life.

Pets need their own things that you need to buy:

  • pet food prescribed by a veterinarian according to your pet's needs;
  • treats to reward your pet when they train or just give them a little more love;
  • bowls for food and water;
  • pet bed or a cage depends on the pet you have;
  • toys, so your pet does not gnaw on the furniture or shoes;
  • nail trimmer, brush, collar, and leash if applicable;
  • poop bags if appropriate.

Veterinarian visits, such as checkups, vaccinations, or even unscheduled visits, cost a lot, and you may want to get your pet insured. However, if you are not ready for unexpected expenses, it may be better to postpone having the pet animal. 

4. Respect your pet's boundaries

Dogs and cats do not immediately become attached to their owner. Puppies may bite painfully in the first months, and kittens may scratch. They usually become affectionate only once they are about to turn 1 year old. In addition, each animal has its own personality. Your pet may turn out to be flexible or independent, calm or energetic, but in any case, it will have its tastes and needs, and they just need to be accepted. 

You may also need to consider the characteristics of a breed and take it in advance to avoid further issues. In addition, we recommend reckoning with the shedding and how much fur you may tolerate. Look at our collection of pet pictures; perhaps you may see photos of pets you would like for yourself. 

Not all animals like to spend time on your lap or have a random hug. If you want your cat or dog to be happy and avoid scratches and bites, of course, these boundaries should be respected. However, what we understand as an expression of love may be perceived as an attempt to restrict its movement and lead to stress and attempts to protect themselves from intrusion. 

At the same time, the animal will probably choose their favorite human. Most likely, it will be a person who feeds it, looks after it, and makes it happy. If your pet has not chosen you as their favorite, you will only have to put up with it. 

5. Make a plan for the next ten or twenty years

If you want to have a dog, add fifteen years to your current age. If you want a cat, add twenty. Do you know what you will be doing all these years? Consider your partner, having children, possible allergies, working abroad, etc. Please plan your future thoroughly. Sad to say that some people often bring animals to a shelter or give them away to other families, simply because they did not consider the most frequent scenarios in advance. 

Studies prove that having a pet can help to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, ease loneliness, encourage exercising, and even improve your cardiovascular health. In addition, caring for an animal can help children grow up to be more kind, responsible, secure and active. For older adults, pets provide valuable companionship and decrease the number of visits to a doctor. The most important thing, though, a pet adds absolute joy and unconditional love to your life.

You may want to get a pet for the same reasons you want to have a kid. It must be a conscious choice - just because you really love it and want to have it. If you've decided that owning a pet is right for you, congratulations: you're about to start a unique and rewarding relationship! 

---

Africa Images is a passionate team of professionals. Our goal is to make africa-images.com the best place to buy visual materials taken by Africa Studio for individual, business, and non-commercial projects, including but not limited to informational, educational, cultural, and scientific uses.