Veterinarian in Costa Mesa provides essential tips for first time pet owners
Bringing home a new pet is full of excitement and fun for everyone in the family. It can also be a time of big change and uncertainty as you learn how to be a confident pet owner and how to take good care of your pet. Dr. Rand Spongberg at All Creatures Care Cottage Veterinary Hospital in Costa Mesa, CA understands the challenges that having a new pet can bring and is here to offer essential tips for first time pet owners.
Choose a pet that is a good fit for your family and lifestyle
One of the most important things you can do when you become a pet owner happens before you even bring the pet home – deciding which type of pet (such as a cat, dog, or other animal) to welcome to your family, and which breed will be the best fit.
- Some animals and breeds require much more physical activity than others, so if you are physically unable to regularly exercise your pet or don’t have enough time, then choosing a cat or a low-activity dog breed would be a good choice
- Your living area also impacts which pets will thrive – if you live in an apartment, then cats or small dogs that don’t need a lot of space may do better than large dogs that need a yard to run in
- Some dogs and cats do better with children than others; if you have kids, it is important to meet the pet and understand its temperament before taking it home so there is a better chance of you being able to provide it a forever home
Get the necessities to prepare your living space before taking your pet home
All pets need supplies at home for you to take proper care of them. Whether you are getting a cat, dog, bird, or other animal, they will need food and water that is appropriate for their age and breed. Other supplies you will likely need, depending on the animal, include:
- Food and water bowls
- Crates for traveling and if you will be doing crate training
- Scratching posts for cats
New Patients: (949) 430-7576, Existing Patients: (949) 642-7151
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It is also a good idea to pet-proof your house until your new pet adapts to the rules at home. This includes rolling up expensive rugs, putting away breakable items, stowing toxic chemicals or cleaning supplies away from the pet’s reach, and putting in gates if needed to keep the pet out of certain areas. Giving your pet their own space to sleep and play at first is a great idea for helping both the pet and everyone in the family adjust, and can provide comfort to puppies, kittens, or shelter animals who will naturally be anxious during the transition time.
Establish veterinary care right away
New pets should be examined by a veterinarian soon after you bring them home. Puppies and kittens need certain vaccines to ensure that they stay healthy, and older pets that have been brought home from a shelter or rescue group may have issues such as worms that need to be treated. Establishing veterinary care will also give you peace of mind that your pet is on track to live a healthy life and that you have someone to call if an emergency arises.
Prepare to be patient
While pets bring a ton of love and fun to the family, they can also be challenging at times. New pets can have accidents, chew up valuable items in the house, and exhibit behavioral problems. While these issues can be frustrating, there are almost always solutions to help you and your pet learn to live happily together. We can recommend methods to housetrain your pet and deal with behavioral problems, as well as make recommendations on professional trainers for behavioral issues.
We are here to help!
At All Creatures Care Cottage Veterinary Hospital, we love helping first time pet owners welcome the newest member of their family. If you are bringing a new pet home, we encourage you to call us to schedule an appointment for their first check-up and to establish their veterinary care. We are here to help you with any pet care issues you may have as you and your pet get to know each other and can make recommendations about everything from what foods are best for your pet to training options. Our Costa Mesa, CA office can be reached at (949) 430-7576 – call us today!
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