Introducing a new pet companion into your life is as big a responsibility as welcoming in any other new family member. It requires time, energy and money, and is a long-time commitment; not forgetting the changes and impact that owning a pet will bring to your life. To ensure that getting a pet is the right thing for both you and your furry friend, we’ve rounded up some important things first-time pet owners should consider before making that leap.Pet-proof your home Source: Instagram
Whether you’re getting a dog, cat, hamster or bird, it’s important to pet-proof your home and make it as safe a space as possible. Things like poisonous plants, hanging wires and remotes all pose a threat to animals (big or small) if they chew or swallow them, so you’ll need to survey your home and keep these things out of sight. More than keeping your house clutter-free, you may consider installing window screens or grills, as your cat or bird might escape out the windows, especially if they are more curious or mischievous in nature.Finances
Veterinarian checkups, food, grooming, leashes, beds and everything else required to ensure your pet’s well-being will definitely add up. While there are affordable services offered by pet shops in Singapore, the first year of owning a dog can cost you anywhere from $500 to $6,000. Sit down and plan your finances thoroughly before making your decision to get a pet, and once you’ve counted how much it’ll cost you, never look back. Just like how being new parents will probably require a thriftier lifestyle, being new pet parents will be expensive. However, the joys of owning a pet and sharing that special bond will outweigh the costs for sure.Time for exercise and walks
While cats may be more self-sufficient and independent, dogs require plenty of walks and exercise. Depending on how young and active your dog is, you may have to walk him up to three times a day, and that is time for other things that you have to be willing to give up. This is an important factor to consider if you are living alone and spend many hours working in an office. Walking them early in the morning will also require sacrificing your sleep-in time on the weekends! It’s not just dogs but hamsters, rabbits and birds that require daily engagement, and you will need to take them out of their cages to play with them.Heed the different breeds Source: Instagram
Different breeds of dogs and cats have different personalities, and some may suit your lifestyle and living space better than others. Big dogs require more exercise and a larger house to roam in, and some breeds are happier being surrounded by more pet companions. Remember to consider your allergies as well, and consult an allergist beforehand to test if you may be allergic to your potential pet.Training and bonding
Whether you are purchasing a young pet or adopting an older one, be aware of their history. Older pets may have some habits or fears that the both of you will have to work through, and may not be as teachable as younger ones. Whatever pet you go for, it is important to train them with love and not try to dominate them. Research, consult an expert and always remain calm when training your pet, and shower them with plenty of love and affection to build a strong bond that will last a lifetime.Life-long commitment Source: Instagram
And of course, before getting a pet, you will have to think about the life-long responsibilities tied to caring for them. They will be entering as a new family member, and raising your pet may require a complete change in your daily routines, even if you’ve been used to the same one your whole life. However, once you and your pet adapt to the changes, you will have a loyal companion for life, and your relationship with be the most special thing of all!