Tips for First-Time Pet Owners

Getting a new pet is such an exciting event! Although pets are cute and cuddly, it is important to remember that they are living animals that need a lot of care as well. Having a pet is a big commitment that may come with a lot of questions, especially if you are a first-time pet owner. Luckily, we have put together some of our best tips for first-time pet owners! Read on to learn more about how to take care of your new furry addition to the family.

Basic Needs

One of the most important tips for first-time pet owners is to have the basics ready for their arrival. Both need food and water that is appropriate for their age. Most dog and cat foods will have labels stating if they are for kittens and puppies or adult dogs and cats. They will need a food and water dish as well as a place to sleep and toys for exercise and enrichment. It is also a good idea to get grooming supplies such as nail trimmers and brushes.

Schedule a Vet Appointment

Now that you have the basics and your furry friend is home, it is important to schedule a vet appointment as soon as possible. If you have purchased your pet through a breeder, it is very important to take them to get their age-appropriate vaccines and a health check. Shelters and breeders should have paperwork that prove your pet received their vaccinations. If your pet is older, vaccinations they may only need annual vaccinations. If they are younger, they may require vaccines sooner.

Hide Items That Can be Destroyed

Puppies and kittens tend to bite and scratch things. When you get a new pet, be sure to have the necessary toys to prevent them from destroying your things. For cats, a scratching post is handy. Cats will want to use the scratching post vs your couch! For puppies, biting is common. Consider buying a few chew toys so they won’t go after your shoes.

Getting a new pet is fun, exciting, and a lot of work. If you decide to get a new cat or dog, make sure to have everything they need ready for them to come home. Having pets is a big commitment and they may have health issues and other needs. You must be prepared to take care of them like part of the family. For more information on pet ownership and veterinarian needs, contact Highland Veterinary at 301-854-3372.