5 Things to Do When You Are Adopting Your First Dog or Cat

Think you’re ready for your first pet? Well, there’s more to caring for a pet than nose boops and wiggly tails (although those are definite perks). To truly prepare yourself to care for your new pet, you need to keep these important points in mind.


Make Sure Your Pet Is Perfect for You

Bringing a pet into your life is a serious decision, so make sure you make a smart choice from the start. There are several lifestyle factors to consider when picking out a new pet. Think about how large your home is, how much time you will be with your pet, and what level of care you are prepared to provide. That last question is important because the most popular choices (dogs and cats) require a lot of care, training, and attention. Puppies and kittens may need even more of your time, so if you are not up for the challenge, consider adopting an older animal. 

Be Ready to Clean Common Pet Messes

Cleaning up messes is an unpleasant (but necessary) part of being a pet parent. So, get some quality cleaning products, such as non-toxic carpet cleaners, to make short work of those messes when they happen. Using greener pet cleaners can help keep your home’s air clean, but it’s also important to control other pet pollutants. Fur and dander can fill the air in your home, but a top-reviewed air filter made for pet-friendly homes is a simple way to control irritants. And to help address the fur, hair, and dander that will eventually find its way onto your floor, you’ll need a vacuum that can handle those types of messes. Trying to find a good one can often feel impossible, so consult reviews and read through guides to locate the best option.

Give Your Pet Time to Settle into Your Home

You may not be especially excited about cleaning up pet messes, but you probably are excited about bringing your new best friend home. It’s normal to be overjoyed by the prospect of inviting a new pet into your life. However, you should know that animals are not always as excited about such a big change. Dogs and cats can take time to feel comfortable in a new environment, no matter where you get them. It’s true that some rescued animals may take longer, but each animal is different. All you can do is be patient and provide a comfortable experience. Let your new buddy explore as much as possible on his/her own, and set up a cozy space for rest when things get a little too overwhelming.

Set Up a Vet Appointment As Soon as Possible

Before you pick up your new pet, you should shop around to find a veterinarian in your area. If you have friends who already have pets, ask them for recommendations, or check out online reviews to find a vet office that is right for your pet. Once you’ve settled on a vet, call and make an appointment for an initial wellness exam. Your vet will assess your new pet’s overall health and will be able to recommend any vaccinations or medications your pet needs. Having your pet microchipped is also a smart move for this first visit, which will give you a little peace of mind should your pet run away from home or get lost.

Make Some Time to Play and Bond With Your Pet

Dogs and cats do need time to settle into their new life with you. However, you can start building a healthy bond by spending plenty of quality time together. That could mean simply hanging out at first, but it should progress into plenty of walks, playtime, and training. Training seems like just work, but for dogs and puppies, training is actually an important form of mental stimulation. Through training, you are teaching your dog the behaviors that will help make your relationship stronger. You can also curb potentially problematic behaviors with proper training, which will help make your love for your new pet even stronger.

There’s no question that pets can be a perfect way to improve your life. However, being a responsible pet parent means making sure their life is improved as well. So, make sure you are ready for your new pet’s arrival, and make sure you have all that you need to keep your pet protected, comfortable, and healthy.

Photo Credit: Pexels

Meet Jessica


Jessica Brody is a dog lover and is passionate about sharing pet photos and stories with others. She created OurBestFriends.pet to be a venue for pet lovers to share their pet pics, stories and adventures. Jessica believes that pets are family and enjoys her bonding moments with her furry pals.