Six Tips for New Pet Owners

A couple weeks ago, we added a new member to our family. Meet, Reggie, our 8 month old kitten. Bridget and I went to the local shelter and fell in love with this feisty little guy. I swear this cat does not like to sit still. He’s very active and inquisitive and gets into everything! I’ll admit I was a little nervous bringing Reggie home. I wondered how my other two cats, Princess and Misty, would react and if Reggie would fit in well with them. It’s taking a bit, but they are starting to get along. There aren’t as many swats and hisses as there was when Reggie first arrived home.

Having a pet is a big responsibility and there is lots you need to consider both before you bring your pet home and in the first few months. I consider my pets as important parts of our family. I enjoy spending time with them and I only want the best for them. I want them to be happy and well taken care of.

Six Tips for New Pet Owners - considerations you need to think about as a new pet owner.

Disclosure: I was compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.

A recent study by Western Financial Group showed that half of Canadians with pet insurance purchased a policy in case of emergencies or serious illness. 26% did it because they see their pet as family member. For me, it’s both reasons. I worry about the what-ifs and also consider them to be an extension of our family unit.

Are you thinking of adopting a new pet? I have six tips for new pet owners to share with you today.

1. Find the right veterinarian. Regular vet visits are so important to prevent illness inside of just reacting to it if/when it happens. Just like humans go to the doctor for check-ups, pets need to see a vet to make sure they are healthy too. It will save you money in the future if you can avoid expensive medical treatments and catch an issue before it spirals out of control. Ask your pet-owning friends for their recommendations or do some online research. I talked to my mom and dad about the vet they use for their dog when we first moved here. Reggie will be seeing him.

2. Look for the right pet insurance policy. Anyone I’ve spoken to that has pet insurance said they are grateful for the coverage. Even with preventative care, your pet still may need expensive treatments. If you pet ever has an emergency and needs to see a vet right away or after hours, it can be extremely costly. Some providers, like Petsecure, even offer policies that can help lower the cost of regular vet visits. Do your research and find a policy that fits your needs.

3. Choose the right food. The vet always asks me about the food my cats are eating on every visit. She’s an excellent source of information and advice. You’ll want food that suits your pets’ specific needs and gives them the nutrition they require.

4. Take care of their teeth. It’s common for cats and dogs to have dental problems since they rely so much on their mouths. A dental exam is part of a veterinary visit so it’s just another reason why you should be making regular appointments with your vet. Prevention is the key!

5. Prepare for travel. Whether you’re taking your pets with you on a spur of the moment trip or leaving them in care, you need to make sure they are up-to-date on all their vaccinations. If you plan to cross the border with your dog, he or she will require a up-to-date rabies vaccination certificate. When Princess and Misty went in the kennel in Nova Scotia while we were moving, they required proof of up-to-date vaccinations and they needed to be done at least two week prior to their stay. It’s just another reason to ensure your pet is getting regular vet care.

6. Make your pet easily identifiable. It’s important to make sure you have some way to identify your pets in the event they are lost. Some ideas include a collar and tag, tattoo or microchip. Reggie actually has a microchip. They give them to all the animals at our local shelter. Microchip databases are international and your pet can be tracked across provinces and borders!

Your pets’ health and happiness is so important. Enjoy your time with them. I hope Reggie, Princess and Misty stay with us for a long time and will do everything I can to make sure they are comfortable and live a good life here.

Do you have any tips for new pet owners to share? 

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Stacie Vaughan

Stacie is the mom of two girls and lives in Ontario, Canada. She enjoys cooking/baking, photography, reading, DIY and is fueled by lots of coffee!

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