• Guest Blogger: Aurora James from DogEtiquette.info

Essentials Every New Pet Owner Should Have From the Start

Are you thinking about getting your first pet? If so, you need to make sure you choose the right pet, and you also need to take the right steps to prepare yourself and your home for such a major life transition. From picking up the appropriate pet supplies to choosing the right vet, there’s a lot to consider, but focusing on the essentials below is a good place to start if you are looking to become a first-time pet owner.


Pet Insurance Plans


If you have never owned a pet before, you should know that vet bills can add up quickly. Most pet owners spend at least $5,000 on vet care in a lifetime. One way that savvy pet owners save on those expensive vet bills is by signing up for a pet insurance policy. These insurance plans are similar to your own healthcare plan, although most reimburse you for charges rather than covering them upfront. Be sure to read up on included deductibles and coverages. Embrace, Petfirst and Trupanion are pet insurance companies that offer a variety of plans at different price points so that you can find an affordable option that will help you manage those pet and vet care expenses.


Preventative Pet Care


Vet bills are part and parcel to keeping your new pet healthy. Regular checkups are always the best approach for protecting your new dog or cat from disease and parasites. So whether you invest in pet insurance or not, be sure to bring your pet in for routine checkups and vaccinations. Your vet may also recommend giving your pet preventive medications to safeguard against things like heartworms, ticks and fleas. According to Gallant, preventing fleas can be especially important since fleas can carry parasites, including tapeworms, in addition to causing allergic reactions and other side effects for you and your pet.


Puppy-Proofing at Home


If you plan on bringing home a new puppy, you need to make sure your home is ready. Start by picking up a few essential pet supplies, like bowls for food and water, leashes, collars, beds and crates. Then you can move on to preparing the rest of your home by putting away any items your puppy could chew or that could pose a health hazard to your new pet. HuffPost notes the common pet hazards that you’ll want to remove from your home -- or at least from your puppy’s reach -- include chocolates, candles, medications, houseplants, batteries, pennies and even chewing gum.


Positive Training Methods


Expecting your new pet to be perfect from the start is setting yourself up for stress and disappointment. Most pets need some training before they can begin settling into a new home with no problems, and positive reinforcement is likely going to be more effective than any other training method. Positive reinforcement involves rewarding your pet for good behavior, instead of punishing them for acting out. This helps build trust between pets and people and can also prevent aggression in dogs that can cause more serious problems in the future.


Prepare for Accidents and Incidents


As your new pet adjusts to your home, keep in mind that house-training accidents are a likelihood. Older pets usually have all the kinks worked out, but puppies and kittens are another matter. Either way, accidents are inevitable. First, remind yourself to be patient and that you will get through this with your new friend. Second, prepare to tackle any incidents. Gather pet-safe cleaning supplies that break through stains and odors. To keep car rides with your furry friend clean and healthy, you'll want to get a car vacuum with good suction and that targets nooks and crannies efficiently.


Attention is a Must


Last but most certainly not least, remember that your pet will need extra attention and love when you first bring them home. Plan to spend the majority of your time with your new companion for the first few days, both to bond and establish a routine. If your work keeps you out of the house, avoid leaving your pet alone for hours at a time. To ensure that your new best friend gets all the attention they need, turn to Red Bluff Pet Resort for lodging and/or day care services.


Caring for a pet can take a lot of effort, but that’s nothing when compared to the love you will receive in return. With the right resources, know-how and supplies, you can make caring for your new pet a little easier, but also know that things do get easier with time. So be patient and focus on building a bond with your new furry family member that will last a lifetime.


Red Bluff Pet Resort has everything your pet needs, including lodging, day care, group play, training and grooming services. Contact us today at 281-680-6000 to get more info!

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