Thinking about getting a new pet? The first thing to consider is the amount of responsibility that comes with it. If you have in mind a type of pet you’re not very familiar with, do some research. There’s tons of information on the web for just about any kind of pet imaginable. Many websites have forums where you can get insight from others who have taken on the task of caring for whatever it is you’re thinking about bringing into your home. You can find books with helpful tips at your local library.
When it comes to an animal, bird, reptile, or whatever it might be, you need to know a few simple things: the amount of maintenance required, feeding requirements, the cost of food, supplies, and routine medical needs, how often you will need to clean up behind this pet and wash it (if required), and what other routine tasks should be performed and how often. Find out what possible conditions and diseases it might be susceptible to and symptoms you should lookout for. If you have or are planning to have children, be aware of any possible dangers this pet might impose on your kids. After you have considered all of this and have done your research, get prepared BEFORE bringing home your new pet and get the basic supplies needed in advance.
So, let’s say you’ve decided to get a kitten or a puppy. Keep not only its material needs, but also its emotional needs in mind. This precious little one is going to be in a strange place, and will miss its former home as well as other animals and people. So it will need lots of attention at least for a while. Plan to bring it home during a time you’re sure you can spend plenty of quality time with it for a minimum of a couple of days while he/she adjusts to his/her new life; maybe at the beginning of a school holiday or summer break if your kids will be home more during the day, or perhaps you can plan it for the beginning of a weekend. The point is your new family member will be more comfortable and less lonely, and will adjust easier and more quickly.
If your new pet is very young, know that the younger it is the faster it can lose body heat if it’s not kept sufficiently warm at all times. Make sure it always has access to warm bedding (night and day). Do not leave it outside during temperatures you wouldn’t be comfortable in while using the exact same amount of protection you have given your pet. Do NOT assume that just because it has fur it will be fine in the cold, for example, particularly if it’s young. Just use common sense, get expert advice when needed, and you should do fine.