Never had a pet before but always secretly wanted one?
Then this blog is for you!!
With National Pet Month coming to a close, there’s no better time than now to get a furry friend to share your life with. Seeing how excited they get when you come home from work, the couch cuddles while watching trashy reality TV, and getting to know their strange yet hilarious habits are just some of the best parts about having a pet.
Being a pet owner is incredibly rewarding… however being a first time pet owner is really hard. Don’t worry, these tips will get you on the road to finding your perfect pet!
- Reading is fundamental
Do as much research as possible about the animal you have in mind, even if it’s a standard goldfish, Labrador or a moggy cat that most people know about. After all, you don’t want to accidentally feed your dog grapes (they’re poisonous) or freak out when your sugar glider starts crabbing (it’s terrifying but harmless). Every year thousands of animals end up in shelters because their owners can no longer care for them. Sadly some of these cases occur because their owners didn’t research enough. Take advantage of the info at your fingertips through the web. This is especially vital with specialist breeds like Chinese Crested dogs, Maine Coon Cats, and exotic animals like pythons, rats, sugar gliders, and aquatic fish.
- Work out your budget
Pet beds, puppy pads, ferret houses, a vivarium, litter boxes... the list of daily necessities animals need is endless. Save up as much as you can before getting your pet so you can make their new home the perfect habitat. Most importantly, work out how much their food and pet insurance would cost and how much of your monthly budget you can spare to look after your beloved critter.
- Will they fit your lifestyle?
Who will be able to visit Walter the Westie in the middle of the day while you’re at work? Does Terrence the tarantula have a spider-sitter for when you’re spending the week living it up in Magaluf? Will Rufus the rat get along with the kids and are they too delicate for small children’s unintentionally rough, grabby hands? Are you going to be patient enough to house train Paddy the Pomeranian pup? These are all really important factors to think about when getting a pet. They’re a massive commitment that’ll reward you in cuddles, crazy moments, and complete devotion… which when compared with time or money is priceless.
- Do they need a friend?
How many pets would you like?
Rats, chinchillas, dwarf hamsters, budgies, gerbils, Syrian hamsters, and mice all need companionship to live healthy, happy lives. Sorry first time pet owner, humans just don’t cut it as a sole cuddle buddy for these cuties! Luckily, getting two of these critters means you’ll have double the love and adorable antics!
- Don’t worry!
Chances are after you've read everything about your pet of choice and heard all the tips from your new pet buddy friends, you’re a bit overwhelmed. So let me pass on the advice I was given when I was solely responsible for my first pet’s care: don’t worry, it’ll be great.
Every loving pet owner wonders if they’re doing enough for their new furry family member. It’s likely that you’ll buy them every pet toy, the entire world’s supply of bedding, and have meticulously planned their daily routine yet you’ll still doubt yourself or say you can do more! When you’re at this stage, it is the perfect moment to have fun spending time with your pet, teaching them to be the best they can be, and making sure they know how loved they are.
Are you a first time pet owner learning the ropes? Or maybe this isn't your first rodeo with puppy pads and litter boxes? We’d love to hear your favourite thing about having a pet, why don’t you let us know on Facebook and Twitter?
We love animals at Poundstretcher, so we’re delighted to be in partnership with the PDSA. You can learn about the wonderful work they do from their official website.