Finding a Furry Friend for Life: How to Choose and Welcome Home Your First Pet

We all desire meaningful connections with other living things. It’s a big part of what makes us human, and no matter who we are or where we come from, we deserve to find that special connection. It’s no wonder why so many have adopted a new pet into their home. Pets bring us much-needed joy in our daily lives and can teach us how to care for another living being.

Pets teach us compassion and empathy. They can also bring life into perspective. If you’re ready to find friendship with a cat or canine, here are some tips for welcoming a new pet into your home.

  1. Gauge Your Housing Situation

Before you take a trip to the adoption center, take a look around your home. What kind of animal do you picture sharing a space with? There are inherent differences that come with choosing either a cat or dog, but even certain breeds of each animal can provide a completely different experience. Some breeds of dogs grow to be well over 100 pounds. These are the kinds of pets you do not want to be sharing a small apartment with.

Additionally, you need to consider how pet-friendly your home is. Both cats and dogs are not shy to explore everything within reach, so you should consider how you would go about pet-proofing your home. Carpets and potty-related accidents do not mix well, and if you have a yard, you should make sure that the enclosures are all properly secured before letting your animal off leash.

  1. Choose a Breed That Fits Your Needs

Of course, you shouldn’t only choose a pet that fits your living conditions, but also look into what pet will mesh the best with your lifestyle, personality and needs. Some of us come from difficult backgrounds and want a pet that will always be by our side. Most breeds of dog will be the perfect companions to help you through whatever you’re going through in life and will follow you anywhere you go.

  1. Stock Up on the Necessities

Part of preparing your home for your new furry friend involves getting all of the gear you’ll need to make Fluffy or Fido thrive. Once you’ve decided what kind of pet you’ll adopt, you should get all of the essentials before your new companion steps one paw in their new forever home. Start with their food; organic-based chow is increasingly popular with pet parents, since it has fewer byproducts and allergens, and helps ensure a long, healthy life for your pet (Organix and Newman’s Own are popular brands for cats, while Wellness CORE and Merrick are a hit with dog owners). If you’re bringing home a feline, you need to make sure you have a litter box and litter, scratching post, and bed; a dog will need a collar or harness, a leash, and chew toys; and both will need food and water bowls, toys, and treats.

  1. Bringing Them Home for The First Time

The first day can be a trying time for both you and your pet. Your new pet is likely feeling some anxiety that comes with being introduced to a new home and human. You may also be feeling a hint of hesitancy as you wait to see if your new pet adjusts well. The best way to handle the first day is by giving your new pet plenty of space to get comfortable. Giving them space will let them slowly shake their anxieties and warm up to your care and company.

  1. Building a Relationship With Your New Pet

It’s hard to say how quickly you and your new pet will become best buds. The key is to keep an open mind and put yourself in an emotional place to accept your new pet’s love. The more time you spend together, the more experiences you will share and the better you will get to know each other.

Owning a pet requires a lot of personal responsibility. You might come across a few challenges and may even be frustrated from time to time. Caring for a pet can be challenging, but building a special bond with another living creature is a reward all its own and something you will cherish for life.

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