Pet Ownership 101: Tips for New Pet Owners

Owning a pet is one of the most fun and rewarding experiences you can have, but any pet comes with a lot of responsibility. Having a pet means committing to taking care of them for the rest of their lives, so make sure you’ve thought it through before you decide to adopt a new furry friend. Once you’ve made up your mind, there’s plenty you should do before you head out to pick out the pet of your dreams. If you’re new to pet ownership and don’t know where to get started, it’s okay. Instead of getting overwhelmed, read on for some basic tips for new pet owners.

Finding Your Perfect Pet


Once you’ve decided what type of animal you want, you can start doing research about the best places in your area to adopt or purchase your new pet. If you’re considering a more exotic or uncommon pet, keep in mind that every state has different rules about what animals are allowed to be kept as pets, and most require licensing and registering your pet after you bring them home. If you don’t own your home, you may also want to talk to your landlord. Some apartment buildings and landlords don’t allow certain types of pets on their property, and others require a pet deposit. Make sure you have permission and inquire about any restrictions they may have on the breed and size of any potential pet that they may have. The last thing you want is to have to re-home a pet that you’ve adopted because you didn’t take the time to do your research.

First-time pet owners will definitely want to ensure that they don’t have any pet allergies before trying to adopt or purchase a pet. If you’ve been around pets before, it can still be worthwhile just to get an allergy test to make sure you’re in the clear. If you haven’t spent extended time with the type of animal you’re planning to get without having an allergic reaction, it’s always better to check before you make a firm commitment.

Preparing Your Home


Having a new pet is often like having a toddler, as they’ll try to get into anything they can reach, and some pets can even be destructive when they’re upset or scared. For pets like dogs, it’s important that you take them to a training class and make sure they learn basic commands at an early age. You’ll also want to prioritize housebreaking or litter training your pet, if applicable, as soon as possible. Many apartment buildings have a requirement that pets be house trained, so be aware of any rules you might be subject to.

Home décor may also have to be adjusted depending on what type of pet you have. For cats and dogs, or any other pet that will be roaming the house freely, you need to make sure there’s nothing harmful that they can reach. You aren’t going to be able to watch them every minute of the day, so you need to ensure that they have a safe environment to explore. Luckily, there are still plenty of ways to decorate your home without putting your pet at risk.

If you like plants or have some in your home, make sure they won’t be toxic for your new pet. You can look into getting pet safe plants, and replace any harmful greenery with something you and your pet can enjoy. For newcomers to plants and gardening, there are plenty of simple succulents you can try. You’d be surprised how many different houseplants are pet-safe and non-toxic, including spider plants, Boston ferns, staghorn ferns, and many more. Make sure you pay attention to whether a house plant needs direct sunlight, indirect sunlight, or a combination of the two, so you can ensure it thrives in your home.

Life with Your New Furry Friend


Keeping up with your pet once they’re moved in is an ongoing job, but it’s mostly an enjoyable one. While it’s never fun to clean up their messes, pets provide unbeatable companionship, and many animals love to play and relax with their owners. For anyone who isn’t able to do the backyard cleaning on their own, there are services that will come and clean up your pet’s waste for you, like this one for dog poop pick up Naperville Illinois. Don’t leave pet waste lying around, especially if you have kids who use the backyard. For both sanitary and aesthetic reasons, do yourself a favor and make sure the poop gets picked up quickly.

Something else you’ll want to do right away is finding a vet for your dog and taking them for their first appointment. You’re going to need to get a dog or cat microchipped, and you’ll want a general examination to make sure they don’t have any health problems that need treatment. Cats and dogs will also need vaccines and often require monthly medications to prevent fleas and ticks and other common problems. If you notice anything unusual, don’t hesitate to call the vet or go in for a visit; it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Pets need more than just the basics, so even if you have food and shelter covered, pick up some toys and treats for your new furry friend too. Dogs and cats especially require mental stimulation, and you’re likely not going to be around to pay attention to them all day, every day. Many dogs often thrive with a company but don’t adopt a second pet until you’re comfortable having one pet, and you’re sure that your other pet will be comfortable with an addition to the house. Not all pets get along well with other animals.

You can even find ways to involve your passion for pets in your career by getting involved in direct sales pet products. PawTree offers high-quality dog and cat food and toys, including seasonings to give your pet’s food a little extra flavor. If you don’t like eating the same bland food every night, why would your pet? If you enjoy their products, you can take it to the next level and get started direct selling to your friends and within your network and make money doing something you love that helps animals too.

While there’s still plenty more to learn, and honestly, every day with a pet is a learning experience, this should get you off to a good start. Ultimately, the most important thing is that you understand the responsibilities you’re taking on when you bring home a new pet and that you make sure you’re able to provide everything they need in order to create a safe and nurturing environment for them in your home.

Don’t forget to check with your landlord, if you have one, and look up what types of licensing and registration may be required where you live before you adopt a pet. You don’t want to have any issues with being able to keep your pet in your current residence, and having your pet licensed and registered can be a lifesaver if, god forbid, your pet ever gets lost. If you’re on the fence, why not learn more? There’s no better time than now to get started on a new adventure with a pet of your own.


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Originally from London, Nicolette is now a Boston-based designer and writer. When she is not helping with creative direction, Nicolette takes care of all things operational at Julie Teaches.