How to Prepare Yourself to be a First-time Pet Parent

How to Prepare Yourself to be a First-time Pet Parent

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Becoming a new parent can be one of the most exciting life milestones – even if the baby in question has four legs! Unfortunately, the addition of a new pet can be anxiety-inducing, especially if you are not a seasoned pet parent. 

This can be such a beautiful time, though, to bring a new addition into your life. It is normal to be nervous to care for a new being! With some thoughtful planning, though, you can be ready to be the best new pet parent possible. 

Up First: Assess Your Pet Parameters

Is now the right time? Now, there may not be any “right” time, but it is important to assess your current lifestyle, upcoming commitments, and pet-parent abilities. Maybe you have some upcoming trips planned or you are anticipating a move that may indicate now is maybe not the best time. 

Reflect on your current lifestyle routine – how will this change when you have a new friend? It is a great idea to assess how a pet might impact your current routine. It is crucial they receive enough attention, activity, food, water, and love based on the kind of pet they are. 

If you are a big planner, maybe take some time to draft up what you and your new furry family member’s routine will look like! When is ideal feeding time? What happens if you have to work late one night? 

Maybe you have just started thinking about what kind of pet you would like to get… If this is the case, check out Different Pets for Different Lifestyles! Pets can bring such joy and light into our lives, but they bring a host of new responsibilities that are best to take seriously. 

Establish Pet Plans 

As mentioned, it is a great idea to think through you and your pet’s new routine. The planning shouldn’t stop there, though! Here are some other considerations for being a well-prepared pet parent. 

Maintenance Routines

First thing’s first: do you have a veterinary clinic picked out? When should your pet’s first appointment be? It is possible the place you adopt from ensures proper vaccinations and medical care, but it is always a good idea to take your pet friend to the new vet to ensure they are in pristine health. This also provides your pet a chance to get comfortable at the vet and for the vet to understand your pet’s baseline. 

If you want to ensure your pet’s vet clinic is top notch, it is recommended to ensure the clinic has its AAHA Accreditation: “An AAHA [The American Animal Hospital Association] accreditation signifies that your veterinary practice has met or exceeded stringent quality standards that encompass all aspects of veterinary medicine, from pain management to medical record-keeping, and has committed to a path of continuous improvement.”

While establishing your pet’s regular care routine, it is a great idea to come up with an emergency plan. Maybe your vet also operates as an animal hospital or has a recommendation for emergency hour care. Of course, the hope is you would never need to execute this plan, but it is always best to prepare for the worst! 

Out of Town Care

What happens when you go out of town? This is something critical to think about if you are someone who travels a lot. Maybe you have friends or family that would like to take care of your furry friend. Maybe there is a boarding place you’d prefer.

It is important to consider who you would be comfortable having watch your four-legged family member. What will their routine look like when you are gone? Would they be okay staying somewhere else, or in your home? Which brings me to… 

Assess Your Space 

Is your home ready for the addition of a new resident? Maybe you need to get a litter box or crate in preparation. Is your pet going to roam free in the house? Is it safe for them to do so? Make sure all areas they can access are ready for them, and free from harmful objects that are unsafe for ingestion, sharp, or you’d rather your pet not touch. 

Lastly: Trust Yourself!

If this is your first time being a pet parent, it can feel scary and foreign, but you can do this! Make sure to not worry yourself too much while ensuring you are prepared to be the best pet parent you can be. You got this! 

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