Guest post by Jessica at Our Best Friends

Why Getting The Right Pet Matters To You

Pets are amazing. Studies show that people with pets tend to be happier and live longer. Plus, there’s the day-to-day fun of playing with your pet. That’s why so many Americans adopt a dog, cat, or similar friend.

But you have to be careful. Getting a pet that won’t work with your lifestyle or family can create more problems than fun. That’s why getting the right pet matters. To do that, you first need to ask yourself some questions to figure out which pet is best for you. Then you need to get your home ready for the new pet and plan how you can play and bond with it.

Finding The Right Friend

Buying a new pet for your family is a big responsibility. That’s why you need to start by asking some hard questions. recommends several good ones, including:

  • Will you be able to live with some shedding or wear-and-tear in your home?
  • How much time can you spend keeping your pet happy and exercised?
  • Is your home the right size for your pet?
  • Do you have kids that can complicate things?

Once you have answered these questions, you have a better idea of what kind of pet would best fit. For example, some dog breeds require plenty of exercise and space. If you live in a small apartment and work most of the time, it’s best picking a smaller breed known for being independent.

As a general rule:

  • Cats are great when you need a very independent pet.
  • Dogs are great when you want plenty of play and interactions.
  • Small pets are great for kids and families unsure if a pet is right for them.

Getting Your Home Ready

After discussing things with the family and asking some hard questions about what will work, you went and found the perfect pet. She’s cute, playful, and just the right size. Are you ready to bring her home? That depends on your home environment.

Pets For Patriots lists several things you can do to prepare your home and family for the new arrival:

  • Buy a kennel, box, or something similar to safely transport your new pet in the car.
  • Decide where the pet will eat and sleep.
  • Make sure family responsibilities (like who will walk the dog) are clearly explained.
  • Block any small or tight spaces where a small pet could get trapped (like under the fridge).
  • Talk to everyone in your family about training, including what behavior will be permitted.

Speaking of training, the key to correctly training your new pet is consistency. Whether you’re potty training or just teaching a fun trick, everyone needs to know what’s allowed and not with your pet. If your whole family consistently teaches your dog to stay off the couch, then not only will she learn that quicker, she will be happier. Visit the Healthy Pets by Mercola site for more details.

Bonding & Playing With Your New Pet

Getting your home and family ready for your new pet is only the start of this journey. You also have to bond and play with your pet so you both can enjoy the new arrangement.

There are many ways to do this, and it depends somewhat on what kind of pet you have. Petting is great for dogs, hit-or-miss with cats, and pointless with turtles. recommends several ways to build a strong bond, such as:

  • Setting time each day to hang out together
  • Keep the pet groomed
  • Find treats your pet enjoys
  • Set and stick with boundaries
  • Take your pet on a walk (dog walking is good exercise for you as well)

One great way to bond with your dog is by taking them on a walk through one of the many local dog parks around town. They can offer ponds to cool off, long spaces of grass to run in, and of course, a chance to socialize with other pets. If you work long hours, be sure to arrange for a dog walker to care for your dog.

You Can Find The Right Pet

Adopting a dog, cat, or another pet is an important decision. That means you have to take your time and think it out. By asking yourself some hard questions, preparing your family ahead of time, and spending time bonding with your new pet, you can make the right choice.