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Choosing the Best First Pet for Your Family

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Choosing the Best First Pet for Your Family

Getting a pet for the first time is exciting, but it can also be daunting figuring out how this new responsibility will fit into your life. The first decision to make is what type of pet you want. Start by taking a look at a few lifestyle factors: your home, your schedule, and your family’s expectations and limitations.

Choosing a Pet

Your home environment is a crucial factor in deciding on a pet. Large dogs need plenty of space and exercise. According to PetMD, living in a small space can lead large dogs to develop health issues and become bored, which makes them more likely to chew and destroy things in your home. Regardless of the size of your home, a dog needs regular walks, so be sure to consider your outdoor space. Small dogs, cats, birds, and other small animals don’t need as much space.

Different animals also have different needs. Because dogs need walks, it’s important to take into account the time your family can dedicate to them. If you work long hours, a great option is to outsource dog walking or dog boarding; instead of rushing home on your lunch break, you can hire a daily caretaker to ensure your pup is getting plenty of exercise. Cats tend to need less care since they can use a litter box and are largely independent, but they do still need exercise and a clean litter box.

Make sure you also consider your family’s expectations for your pet. Different types of animals, and even different breeds, will have unique qualities. If you have kids, think about your children’s personalities and how they would interact with the pet, as well as what types of activities your family would like to do with the pet. Do you want a loyal, loving companion? Do you want a dog you can take for jogs and who plays fetch, or do you prefer a cat to cuddle with? You will also need to determine whether anyone in your home has allergies to any animals.

If you plan to adopt a dog, Parenting suggests talking to a reputable breeder to find out as much as you can about the breed you’re considering. If you’re adopting from a shelter, take plenty of time to talk with the people who work there. They should be familiar with the animal you’re thinking of adopting and can advise you on temperament. Finally, consider your family’s budget. The Washington Post has a great rundown of pros and cons for different types of pets, including the average annual costs.

Preparing Your Home and Helping Your New Pet Acclimate

Once you have decided on a pet, you will need to prepare your home for them. Dogs need a soft bed, and you may also want to use a crate. If you’ve never had a dog before, the idea of using a crate may seem like punishment, but many dogs get a sense of security from having a safe space that feels “den-like.” Using a crate keeps your dog out of trouble when you leave the house, especially if you get a puppy that likes to chew. Crates and dog beds also help your new dog acclimate by giving them a sense of their own space in your home. Your pet will also need their own food and water bowls, chew toys or special spots for cats to scratch, and a leash and collar for dogs.

When you first bring your pet home, make sure the house is calm and quiet because this will give them a sense of safety. Bring your new pet home early in the day because many animals naturally feel more insecure at night. As your new pet is adjusting to your home, give them plenty of treats and attention as well as permission to explore any parts of the house where they are allowed. This shows them that you are there to love and care for them, which will help you both bond.

Getting a pet for the first time is a big decision, and definitely not one that should be made on impulse. Follow these guidelines to make sure ahead of time that you’re choosing an animal that is the best fit for you and your family.

Photo credit: Pixabay


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Six Tips to Prepare for Winter and Protect Your Dog

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Six Tips to Prepare for Winter and Protect Your Dog MiamiJustListed.com

Now that the snow and winter chill are here, you’ve probably thought about winterizing your home and yard, but what about your dog? Have you considered how winter affects your canine friend? Have you thought about how you can protect your dog from the dangers associated with the colder months? Below are six tips to ensure your dog’s safety as you make your winter preparations.

Clean your yard. It’s important to maintain a space that’s walkable for your dog. When you keep leaves or other debris hanging around, these items collect water and become slippery, particularly during ice storms or when temperatures are below freezing. The last thing anyone wants to do is break a bone. Protect yourself and your pup by keeping things tidy.

Perform outdoor repairs and maintenance. If you’re a homeowner, you probably already know that it’s essential to clear your gutters annually to guarantee that water flows properly. According to an expert, clogged gutters can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars due to water damage to the interior and exterior of your home, as well as a leaky roof. Expenses aside, proper gutter maintenance is also imperative to ensure your dog’s safety. If water drips or builds up in one location, icicles can begin to form. Since icicles can fall anytime and anywhere, it’s best to avoid them all together to keep your dog free from harm.

Purchase or use items that are pet-friendly. During winter storms, it’s common to use de-icing salts on sidewalks or walkways to keep them from being too slick. Unless the packaging indicates that it’s safe for pets, these salts are unfortunately made with chemicals that are toxic to animals. While some pet-friendly alternatives are better, the best options are sand and gravel because they’re natural.

Be aware of your surroundings outside. You may purchase pet-friendly products, but it doesn’t mean your neighbors are going to be as conscientious as you. When you’re taking your dog for a walk, do your best to avoid de-icing salt all together. Should you accidentally walk on some, remember to wash your pup’s paws immediately after you’re inside your home. You want to do this right away because de-icing salt is harmful to paws and can be quickly ingested, should your pet decide to do any licking. Based on the facts, if a dog ingests less than an ounce of de-icing salt per 2.3 pounds of body weight, it can cause death. You also want to be cognizant of antifreeze puddles. They’re just as deadly, and it only takes a few licks.

Store any household or outdoor items. Put these items in a secure place, especially ones that are considered poisonous. You may be able to find non-toxic alternatives to assist with keeping your pathways clean or fertilizing your yard, but that’s generally not the case with pool products since chemicals are necessary for winter preparation. Designate a locked location inside your home or a shed outside to ensure these products and tools stay away from your pet.

Make sure to properly secure your pool cover. This eliminates any risk of your dog falling in and hitting ice or being submerged in cold water with pool chemicals. There are many options available to make your pool safer. Whether you have a pool or not, it’s always best to supervise your dog outside during winter.

Keeping your dog safe during the colder months doesn’t require a lot of effort. When you’re winterizing your home and yard, think about how you usually make winter preparations and consider the information you have learned here. Being prepared is not the same as being overly cautious; it’s about being a good pet parent.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

http://www.dogingtonpost.com/winterizing-your-backyard-for-fido/

https://www.spcai.org/get-involved/learn/animal-advice/safety-tips-winterize-your-dog/

https://www.oregonhumane.org/winterizing-for-pets/

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Weather/story?id=185868

https://nasc.cc/news/autumn-yard-clean-can-hazardous-pets/


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What $2,500 to $3,500 Rents in Miami

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Miami Real Estate For Rent

$2,500-$3,500

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