Getting Your First Family Pet: What You Need to Do

A pet is a welcome source of happiness and entertainment in the family. Having a dog or a cat to cuddle and play with lights up the mood of a home. It's also known that pets bring health benefits, such as reduced stress, lower blood pressure and reduced risk of illness.
For families, having their first pet is a big step. If you and your family have made up your mind and are ready to commit to owning a pet, here are some things to consider:

1. Know which pet to get

Gather your family members and decide what kind of pet is right for you. Consider factors such as the pet’s size, your environment and your family’s lifestyle. Say if you live in land in Melbourne’s North, and your family likes jogging in the park. In this case, dogs like Labradors, Dalmatians and terriers are ideal companions. On the other hand, consider low-maintenance pets like hamsters, rabbits or goldfish if your family won't want to take the pets out often. If you live in a flat in the central business district, make sure to check with your landlord first if you are allowed to keep pets.

2. Find a suitable adoption centre or a pet store

After determining your ideal pet, the next step is knowing where to get it. One option is by going to an adoption centre or rescue shelter, which houses rescued and abandoned pets, usually cats and dogs. If you decide to adopt, read up on what to expect from the adoption process so that it won’t be overwhelming.
Another option is by buying a pet at a nearby pet store, which sells birds, fish and reptiles, to name a few. If you choose to buy a pet, do research on the pet store first. Some stores get their pets from backyard breeders or puppy farms.

3. Pet-proof your home

A new pet, especially a dog or a cat, is bound to get curious when it arrives in its new home. Before you bring your little friend home, make sure to search for hazards and get them out of the way. Lock cabinets, especially those that contain toxic chemicals. Keep laundry, shoes and small items out of reach. Also, store away all electrical wires that your pets could chew.

4. Stock up on pet supplies

At the very least, your pets need proper nutrition and adequate shelter. Start with the essentials like pet food, a bed and a few, simple toys. When your pet grows, you need to make bigger purchases, such as grooming products, preventive medication and your pet’s regular visits to the veterinarian.

5. Find the right veterinarian

One of the first places you need to go to with your new pet is the vet. Your first visit involves a physical examination to make sure that your pet doesn’t have health problems.
It’s best to find a good veterinarian that will not only look out for your pet’s health but will also guide you on taking care of your pet. Look for a veterinary clinic that has a great reputation and is near your location. It also helps to tour the clinic to get to know its staff, operating hours and available payment methods.

6. Research on how to raise your pet                                                  

Taking care of a pet is more than feeding and grooming. All pets need special care so that they grow up healthy and happy. Know your pet’s dietary needs and feed it only what it’s required to eat. Establish a routine that includes exercise and socializing with other family members and fellow pets. Also, stay on schedule with vet visits and vaccines.

A pet definitely brings happiness and health benefits to a family. If you decide to bring a new pet to your home, make sure to provide an environment that keeps it safe, happy and healthy.

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