Preparing for Your New Pet (Your New Best Friend)

woman in gray hoodie bends down to kiss white and brown puppy on nose

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Congratulations on bringing home your new best friend. Here are some important things you’ll need to know right at the beginning.


Determine Which Type of Pet to Adopt

 Cats can be left alone for longer periods of time since most cat owners keep a litter box for them to use. Dogs will need more trips outside to eliminate so cannot be left alone for more than a few hours at a time. Dogs can be perfectly happy living in a small space, but they will still need outdoor exercise. Cats get their exercise through play, like stalking toys or leaping up to high places like your cabinets or cat climbers. Cats are generally cheaper to own as pets as well, since they are independent by nature and care for themselves. Dogs require higher expenses like more costly grooming, toys, training classes, daycare, and vet bills.


If you decide on a dog, choosing the right dog for your family is as important for them as for you. For families, you want a dog with an even temperament. Dogs that get too nervous might not be a good fit for families with young children but can work perfectly in a home with a retiree who is looking for a companion. At the same time, a large, rambunctious dog may be too much for small children, knocking them over with their enthusiasm.


Even if you’re considering only purebred dogs, don’t count out mixed breeds. Mixed breeds often provide the best traits of two or more great breeds in one dog. Adopting a pet can mean literally saving their life. Also, you’re able to get some great information from shelter staff who have been interacting with the dogs in their care and let you know more about their personalities.


Make Preparations

Bringing home a new pet is an exciting time but there are some important preparations to make beforehand to ensure its comfort and safety. Purchasing the relevant supplies, such as food, toys, bedding, and medical care is paramount (seek product reviews from veterinarians to find high-quality items). Planning where your pet will stay when you’re away is also essential – whether at home with a family member or pet sitter, or in external boarding facilities. Additionally, setting up an appropriate routine for feeding, exercise and playtime is crucial – as this will help create a happy and comfortable environment for your pet.


Find Healthy Food

Feeding your pet a nutritious diet is an important part of their health and wellbeing. Look for foods that are high in proteins and low in preservatives or artificial additives. To cater to the individual needs of your pet’s breed or lifestyle you may want to talk to your veterinarian about the best nutrition options for your new pet. Putting kibble dog food on the menu can keep your pet healthy and boost their energy.


Bring Your Pet Home

When you bring a pet home, look for cues for how they are adapting. If your pet seems timid, try to be as calm as possible in their presence. Sit in the same room reading a book (the noise from a TV might be frightening) and let them come to you. If your pet is full of energy and ready to play, then go for it, as this can be a great way to bond.


Bring them to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Even though your new pet may appear perfectly healthy, you should have them examined as soon as possible. Your veterinarian may be able to detect issues that aren’t outwardly noticeable, such as a subtle skin condition or a congenital heart murmur. They can also answer your questions regarding care and feeding.


Additional Tips

Pet insurance can be a wise investment since veterinarian bills can become quite costly if emergencies occur. Nearly 4 million U.S. dogs and cats had pet insurance in 2021. Premiums may vary significantly based on your pet’s age and breed, the cost of veterinary care where you live, and the insurance policy you choose.


Pets are great at relieving stress. Just petting furry friends is enough to lower your blood pressure and improve your mood. But did you know that your own stress and anxiety can affect them? While anxiety in pets can be caused by various factors, such as a change of address, introducing another new pet, or a past experience, it is also possible your general mood is affecting their well-being.


If you’re working long hours, leaving them alone for too long can cause them to feel anxious. Hire a pet sitter from Whiskers to Tails Petsitting to come in routinely to make sure they’re okay and take them outside to play or for a walk. Then, when it’s time to go away for extended visits, like vacations, your pet will already have someone they know and are comfortable with, too.


Choosing the right pet, understanding the commitment you’re making, getting the right care for them, finding nutritious food, and keeping them stress free, can ensure a lifetime of mutual joy, happiness, and fulfillment.


Guest Author: Linda Robinson is a working mom who dabbles in photography and French cooking in her spare time. She created her website,, to connect with other parents who work to bring out the best in their kids by encouraging them to chase their dreams and forgiving themselves when they fall short.