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10 Tips for a First-time Pet Owner: A Complete Guide

Article title: 10 Tips for a First-time Pet Owner: A Complete Guide

Username of writer: ARMIJO

Article keywords: Vet helps, how vet help you, how it works

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So, you finally decided to adopt a pet. Congratulations! Adopting an animal in need is one of the best things that you can do in life, and it makes your home complete.

Pets are a great company, but they also come with responsibility. You have to make sure you provide for all their needs until they become independent, and if you’re lucky, they will return the favor by being great companions.

As a new pet owner, here are 10 Tips to help you understand what it takes to take care of your new furry friend!

Keep reading!

1. Purchase Pet Insurance

Pet insurance is a must for any family with pets. As cute and cuddly as your new furry friend may be, accidents happen! Since you never know what could happen to your dog or cat while they are away from home, it’s best to have pet insurance in case of emergencies. With premiums starting at only $20/mo, it’s a small price to pay for the security of knowing your pet is covered.

How it Works

Pet insurance covers accidents, illnesses, and injuries, basically anything bad that can happen to your pet. They will typically cover up to 90% of the cost of treatment, sometimes even more! Some policies also cover routine care like vaccinations and check-ups. There are many different types of pet insurance policies. We recommend that you review your options and choose a policy that fits your needs.

Things to Consider When Choosing Pet Insurance:

  • Type of Pet

What breed is your pet? Is he or she a purebred, and if so, what kind? These factors will all affect the cost of your premiums.

  • The cost

How much can you afford to spend each month on your pet’s insurance? Make sure you can afford your policy before signing up.

  • Pet’s Age

Is it a puppy? Kitten? Adult dog or cat? The age of your pet will play a role in determining your premiums.

  • Annual Limits

Look for an insurance plan that doesn’t have annual or lifetime limits on the amount they will pay for your pet’s care.

  • Policy Deductible Amounts

The deductible is the total cost of treatment before insurance will begin to pay. Plans with low deductibles will typically cost more than others, but it may be worth the extra money if your pet requires a lot of treatment throughout the year.

  • Coverage Type

Different plans will cover accidents, illnesses, and routine care differently. Make sure you understand the different types of coverage.

  • Coverage Area

If you live in an area with harsh winters, you’ll want to make sure your pet insurance covers accidents that happen during the winter months, or if you have an active dog, injuries from playing too hard.

  • Coverage Exclusions

Some insurance plans will not cover certain things, such as preexisting conditions or injuries from abuse. Make sure your policy won’t deny a claim because your pet has a pre-existing condition.

Pet insurance can be expensive, but it’s worth the cost! Although accidents are rarer in homes with pets, they still happen. By purchasing pet insurance you can rest easy knowing that your pet will receive the care he or she needs if an accident does occur. Don’t wait until it’s too late to purchase insurance!

2. Get Your Pet Spayed or Neutered

It’s important to get your pet spayed or neutered right away. With over 70 million stray pets in the United States, spaying or neutering is an absolute must for anyone with a dog or cat. Besides preventing unwanted pregnancies, both procedures will eliminate many behavioral problems such as roaming around looking for a mate.

How Does Spaying or Neutering Help Pets?

Spayed females will not go into heat which causes mood swings and irritability. In addition, spaying your female dog or cat before her first heat cycle will virtually eliminate the risk of mammary tumors as she ages. Neutered males will not roam the neighborhood looking for a mate, which can help keep your pet safe. And neutering helps prevent many behavioral issues like humping or aggression towards other animals.

What’s Involved in Getting Spayed or Neutered?

Spaying is done by making an incision through your pet’s abdomen and removing her uterus and ovaries. The procedure usually takes around 30 to 45 minutes and about a week for recovery. Neutering is done by removing your male pet’s testicles through a small incision in the scrotum. It usually takes around 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Is Spaying or Neutering Safe?

A vet helps spay or neuter puppies and kittens as young as eight weeks old. It’s a safe procedure that helps your pet live a longer, healthier life.

Spaying and Neutering Are Good for the Community!

The fewer stray pets there are, the less likely they will reproduce. Spaying and neutering not only protects your pet’s health but also improves the quality of life for pets everywhere.

Look for a veterinary clinic that provides low-cost spaying and neutering services. If you cannot afford expensive surgery, ask your veterinarian about other options available in your area.

Find out if there are any local organizations in your area that can help you get spayed or neutered for a low cost.

Do your part to keep pets out of shelters! Make sure you have your pet spayed or neutered as soon as possible. Although there is a lot you can do when caring for a new pet, one of the most important things you can do is to spay or neuter your pet.

3. Keep Their Vaccinations Up to Date

Keeping your pet’s vaccinations up to date is one of the best things you can do for their health. Vaccinations help protect against potentially dangerous diseases like rabies, parvovirus, and distemper.

What Vaccinations Do Pets Need?

Most dogs require vaccinations against these diseases: distemper, parvo, hepatitis, and rabies.

Cats need vaccinations against these diseases: panleukopenia (also called feline distemper) and rhinotracheitis. In addition, most cats should be vaccinated against rabies.

How Often Do Pets Need Vaccinations?

Puppies and kittens need to receive a series of vaccinations through the first 16 weeks of their lives. Kittens should receive a series of three vaccinations, starting at six to eight weeks old. Puppies should receive a series of four vaccinations, starting at eight to ten weeks old.

After your pet reaches 16 weeks old he or she will only need to be vaccinated once a year. Some pets are at higher risk for illness, so your veterinarian will recommend which vaccines are best for them.

Find a veterinary clinic that offers low-cost vaccinations. Many clinics offer this service for a small fee, and some may even provide the vaccine free of charge.

Don’t wait until it’s too late! Make sure your pet is up to date on his or her vaccinations, and talk to your veterinarian about the best vaccination schedule for your pet.

4. Take Them in for Regular Checkups With the Vet

Regular veterinary checkups are incredibly important for the health of your pet. These visits will give you peace of mind, and they can save you money in the long run. If your pet gets sick, it’s important to take them to the vet right away. In some cases, you’ll have to pay a visit to the emergency clinic.

Can You Prevent Problems by Visiting Your Veterinarian Regularly?

Some issues, such as respiratory problems and heart disease, can be prevented if caught early on. Also, many pets benefit from having their teeth cleaned at least once a year to prevent dental health issues like gingivitis and bad breath.

Regular veterinary checkups are also a good time to ask your veterinarian any questions that come up. Find out what the average cost of a regular visit is in your area, and if there are any low-cost options available.

5. Feed Them High-Quality Food

Feed your pet a high-quality diet that’s full of nutrients. You can find many healthy options in the grocery store, but you should also ask your veterinarian what type of food is best for your pet.

What Type of Food Should You Feed Your Pet?

Not all pets are the same, and their diet should depend on several factors like age, breed size, and activity level.

Pets with sensitive stomachs or allergies may benefit from a food that’s free of certain ingredients. If you’re unsure, ask your veterinarian for the best option available in your area.

What to Look For When Buying Food

Make sure any pet food you buy is made specifically for dogs and cats (and not other animals like birds or reptiles). Any food you choose should include a list of ingredients and not be filled with fillers like corn, wheat, and soy.

You should also look for the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) seal on any pet food label before buying it. This means that their diets have been tested to meet all the nutritional requirements for dogs and cats.

Don’t buy cheap food! Although it may seem like a good idea, you’ll be saving money in the long term by buying nutritious dog or cat food from your local pet store.

How to Find Affordable Food

If your budget is tight and making healthy choices for your pet seems impossible right now, you can always try cooking your pet’s food yourself. This is healthier than buying the cheapest options at the grocery store, and you’ll be able to control exactly what goes into their meals.

Don’t forget about treats! Although they shouldn’t make up more than ten percent of your pet’s diet each day, treats are an important part of having a pet. Make sure you read the ingredients on any treat package before giving it to your pets and don’t feed them too much!

What about Raw Food?

Most vets recommend against feeding dogs or cats raw food because of risks associated with bacteria like salmonella poisoning. That being said, some owners prefer this type of diet for their pets, and many raw food diets have been formulated to meet your pet’s nutritional needs.

How Can You Make an Affordable Raw Food Diet?

You can try making your homemade raw diet at home by using safe meats that are low in fat like chicken breast and fish without the bones. Try doing some research online for more recipes and information on the best raw food diets to feed your pet.

6. Access to Water at All Times is Crucial

You must provide access to fresh, clean water for your pet at all times! They’ll need it just as much as you do when you’re thirsty, so keep a bowl full of water right next to their cage. Replace the water every day and wash out the bowl to prevent any diseases from taking hold.

7. Train Your Pet

All pets need to be trained from a young age, and you must start as soon as possible. If your pet is untrained by the time they’re fully grown, they may become more difficult to deal with or even begin acting aggressively towards other people in your household! Training also gives them a clear headspace so that they can think about what you are asking them to do.

So before you even buy your pet, learn some basic training techniques like teaching your pet to sit before feeding them or scratching behind their ears. You can find all of these things online. Please remember that it’s important not to use physical punishment on your pet if they don’t learn the first time around.

8. Nail Trimming: A Must for Pets

Nail trimming is a vital part of pet ownership that many people forget about! If you let your pet’s nails get too long, they can cause their feet to become sore and even lead to other issues like infections. In addition to this, your pet may have trouble walking or be in pain whenever they go to scratch their nails off.

What are the Signs of Overgrown Nails?

There are several signals you can look out for if you suspect your pet’s nails are too long. They include:

  • Squeaking or clicking when your pet walks
  • The pads on their feet may also become red and inflamed, which is very painful for them.
  • Your pet refusing to walk anywhere

You can find all of the tools you’ll need in a pet store or online.

How Often Should You Trim Your Pet’s Nails?

Your pet should have their nails trimmed at least once every three to four weeks. If you think it’s time for a nail trim, you should proceed with caution. Make sure your pet is in a comfortable position before you begin and make sure not to cut too far down. If you cause your pet pain when trimming their nails, they may not let you do it again and this will cause more problems in the long run.

9. Waste Disposal

This is a very important part of being a pet owner as it can reduce your chances of catching diseases from your pet. Diseases that spread through animal waste include salmonella and toxoplasmosis. So it’s important to take some precautions before you let your pet out of its cage.

You should start by getting a bag or a special place to stow away your pet’s waste. Then you can either clean it up yourself once a day or hire a professional to do so for you. This is often done every week, although some people have their pets’ cages cleaned every few days.

10. Make Sure They Get Enough Exercise

All pets need exercise, but many owners don’t realize just how important it is until their pet stops getting any. Keeping your pet active will not only keep them healthy but will also make them more affectionate and easier to train.

How Much Exercise Does a Pet Need?

Smaller animals like hamsters or guinea pigs need very little exercise each day compared to larger breeds like German Shepherds. Dogs should get about 30 minutes of physical activity per day while cats need about 20 minutes.

What Types of Exercise Are Best for Your Pet?

All pets need aerobic exercises, which use up oxygen and burn calories. On the other hand, they also need anaerobic exercise, where the muscles are being used but no oxygen is needed. Common examples of these two types include running or playing fetch with your dog or chasing toys around the house with your cat.

Don’t Just Let Them Out of Their Cages!

Your pet should get their exercise while they are still inside your home. If you let them out to explore on their own, there is a chance that they could escape and run away if your backyard isn’t fenced in. They may also come across other pets or even road traffic while they’re out and about.

Make sure you get your pet used to regular exercise from a young age! This will make it easier for them to stay healthy when they’re older, and you’ll also be able to bond with them better throughout their lives.

Final Words

Please remember that your pet may not be able to see or hear you, so you must always make yourself accessible whenever they need you! If something is wrong, they’ll let you know as soon as possible. Also, keep an eye out for any changes in behavior and take note of what they’re doing. This way you’ll be able to find out if something is wrong before it gets worse.

And with that, we’ve reached the end of this article! I hope you enjoyed reading about 10 tips for a first-time pet owner and learned some helpful information along the way. If you would like to read similar articles, we recommend you subscribe to our newsletter and we’ll notify you when we post new articles.

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