Thinking of adding a new pet to the household? Great! Or is it? Adding a new pet can be an experience- in every sense of the word. We might be falling for a little fuzzy face on the spur of the moment, but a little preparation can go a long way.
There will be different issues to consider based on the household. Is this a first pet, or the fifth? Do you have kids in the house? Is it a house or are you in an upper level apartment? Do you work long hours, or go out of town frequently?
Whew! Lots to consider. It’s always a good idea to do a little research- trying to find a pet that will fit into your current lifestyle and household will save lots of frustration later. And if you are adding to existing furry residents, for example, a cat to a household with cats, finding some of the tricks of the trade to introduce the new to the existing pets can save headaches, fights, and possibly post-fight trips to the vet.
There isn’t going to be time to go through a lot of specifics, so how about a few resources instead? You can ask your vet- trust me, we have opinions, and try to help you figure out ways to add newcomers with as little stress as possible. There are some fantastic internet resources as well. Try www.veterinarypartner.com, or Dr. Sophia Yin’s veterinary behavior site. There are breed-specific and species-specific sites that may give helpful information, as well.
Consider the financials. I know, budgeting stinks. And that little puppy is so darn cute! Remember that little puppy (or kitten, or ferret, or rabbit), is going to have needs- food, housing, toys, training, and of course veterinary care. You might want to look into pet insurance. There are quite a few companies to choose from these days, and yes, it will take some time to look through the information to find one that fits your needs. Some cover routine care, some are closer to “catastrophic” type plans. If that monthly payment doesn’t appeal to you, having a separate savings account set up to cover expensive emergency situations is an excellent idea. You never know what’s going to happen. Broken bones, stomach upset, etc; these things can become pricey quickly. There’s no set amount recommended to have available, but it is very easy to have emergency hospital bills in the thousands of dollars.
So, yes, that trouble-making ball of fluff (or feathers, or scales) can be a great addition to your life. We look forward to meeting him, and we hope to have many years of helping keep him healthy and happy.
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