Tips for Adopting Your First Pet

If you’ve decided to become a pet owner, you may suddenly feel a little overwhelmed. There’s a lot that goes into adopting a pet, especially if you’ve never had a pet before. Some pets might seem easy, such as a goldfish or a hamster, but just because you don’t have to take these pets on walks like you do a dog doesn’t mean they don’t require some maintenance. Here are a few useful tips to follow to make sure your new pet is comfortable and healthy.

Make Sure Your Pet is Current on its Immunisations

When adopting a pet from a shelter, you will usually have to pay a small fee to cover the cost of its immunisations and other medications it may have needed. However, if you’re adopting a young animal such as a kitten or a puppy, you may need to take it to the veterinarian several more times over the next few months in order to get the rest of its immunisations. You may also need to take your pet in once a year for certain annual medications. Your veterinarian can tell you what your pet will need every year, as well as if there are any immunisations that need to be given every other year, every five years, or at other specific intervals.

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The Correct Food

Be certain you know what your new pet needs in its diet so you purchase the right food. For example, while you may assume that all cat food is about the same, there are some differences. Some are specifically formulated for kittens, while other options contain nutrients that older cats need.

Insurance

Pet insurance is available in many areas and, just like human health insurance, helps to cover any medical costs your pet may incur. This insurance can greatly help pet owners who find that their pet has to have a costly operation or needs expensive medication.

Accessories

Like children, you’re free to spoil your new pet as much as you want, but there are some things that are required. Cats and dogs will need collars, and a dog will need a leash so you can take it for walks. Your cat will need a litter box and perhaps a scratching post, too.

If you’ve purchased a small animal that needs to be kept in a cage, like a hamster, guinea pig, or rat, you’ll need to make sure you get a cage large enough for him or her to run around in. Some animals, like rats, can climb on cage walls and make use of vertical cages with multiple levels, while others, like guinea pigs, need cages that are longer and have only one level.

Then there are things like toys, running wheels, hamster balls, treats, beds, and much more. You can purchase as many or as few of these items as you want. Some of them, such as a running wheel for hamsters and mice, help your pet exercise. Others, like toys, let you interact with your pet.

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