Photo via Pixabay by Alexis
Author: Jessica Brody
Pets are wonderful companions, and for those who live alone they can be a great way to have a friendly, loving face waiting at home at the end of a long day. There are many things to think about before getting your first pet, however, and your own schedule is one of the most important. Most pets need attention, care, and walks or food at the same time every day to stay happy. When they don’t get those things, they may act out by making a mess in your home or become distrustful of their owner.
If you’re a busy professional, there are still ways you can have a pet and keep it happy at the same time. It helps to think about the animal the way you would a small child; with some exceptions–such as cats, who typically enjoy alone time as much as they like attention–they need affection and tending to in much the same way.
Here are some of the best tips on how to be a great pet owner even when you’re busy.
Think hard about the kind of pet you want
It’s important to get the right pet for you, so think about the type and breed you want and do some research before making any decisions. If you work long hours, a cat might be a better fit for you than a dog, as they can pretty much take care of themselves and don’t need you to be home to take care of their bathroom needs. Or, you can hire a dog walker to come during the day when you’re busy. Another consideration is how much you’re willing to clean up after a pet, especially if it has long hair.
It’s just as important to do some research on the breed of animal you want, especially if you have children or think you might want other pets. Some breeds work well with young people better than others.
Once you figure out what sort of pet you want, get organized and prepare for his arrival by making sure you have all the right food and treats, food and water bowls, a collar and leash or harness, a brush, a pet carrier or kennel, puppy pads, an ID tag, bedding, safe toys, and bath/toiletry items. Having everything ready before you bring your pet home can be a big help in getting him acclimated to his new place and may even reduce the amount of time he needs to be trained.
It’s also a good idea to work out a budget for pet insurance or a savings account just in case your pet gets sick or injured, as those vet bills can really rack up.
Arrange for quality time
Your pet needs love and attention, so when you’re home, make some time for the two of you to bond. Take him for a walk, snuggle, play with his toys, and allow him to get used to his new home.
It’s also important for many pets–especially dogs–to learn how to be social. If you have a puppy, see if there’s a local dog park you can take him to so that he can interact with other pets, or arrange for a playdate with a friend.
Remember to be patient
New pets can be a lot of fun, but young animals sometimes need a lot of attention, training, and guidance. Try and stay patient with your new pet, even if he becomes destructive, because more often than not he’s just acting out frustration or doesn’t know any better.
Pets can be a lot of hard work, but spending time with them is so rewarding that it doesn’t feel like work at all. Show him all the love and attention you can, give him quality time, and he’ll respond by being a wonderful companion.