Pandemic Pet Club | Some Great Tips for New Pet Owners
Did you learn during your global pandemic time at home that your life would be more complete with a furry family member? If so, you aren’t alone, pet adoptions have been on the rise since Covid-19 began.
So, let’s take a moment now to welcome you, new pet owners, to this exciting adventure, and let’s get those of you who are still on the fence convinced it’s time to join the club. Our family has three dogs and four cats, who all live indoors with us; which yes makes us a little crazy, but also makes us experts about pets, right?
With this self-proclaimed pro status, let’s share some pet basics that may teach you something or at least help you realize you’re not alone in raising these lovely animals:
Dogs and cats are honestly like kids.
We had our animals before kids and have found we said much of the same things training our dogs that we have raising children. Which makes sense considering they all need help going potty in the right places, going to sleep at the right times, and behaving appropriately when people come over. They are all also remarkably aware of when you are on an important Zoom call and will make their presence known.
Start with one pet.
Ours was an “if you give a mouse a cookie” situation: if you have a puppy, she will want a friend, when you have two dogs, why not three, when you already have three dogs, why not try a cat? We wouldn’t advise piling on all the animals if you can help it though. Try one and make sure you can handle the late nights, early mornings, and effort before you add more.
Till Death Do You Part.
When you own a pet, you are in it for the long haul. This is an easy commitment to make when your puppy is a soft little pumpkin who sleeps on your lap. But it’s a little harder when that puppy gets old, develops diabetes, needs insulin shots twice a day, and constant bathroom trips, (speaking from experience on this one). There is no quick and easy return policy for pets, so make sure you are willing to give them a lifelong home.
Find a vet you like.
It’s important to find a vet who is knowledgeable, but in our experience, it’s also great to find one who is kind and easy to talk to. Pet owners aren’t all experts at animal care and will sometimes mess up, find a vet who doesn’t belittle you for your mistakes and is genuinely interested in doing what’s best for you and your pet. Ask for vet recommendations on your city’s Facebook page or page dedicated to finding local pets.
Unconditional love makes all the hard stuff worth it.
Owning pets takes unbelievable time and effort, but they make you forget that when they realize you’re sick and curl up next to you to make you feel better. They love you despite your imperfections and honestly believe you are the most wonderful human ever! We all could use that kind of love right now, right?
About the Author
Deciding what you want to be when you grow up is a tough question, just ask Stephanie Lovelace, because she still hasn’t decided. First, she got a degree in journalism and was a newspaper reporter and public relations specialist, then went to college again and became an elementary teacher, now she stays home, homeschools three kids, and is a freelance writer. What’s stayed steady: her supportive husband, love of pets (current counts at three dogs and four cats), and being an Iowa girl.
Follow along with her current gig, on Instagram at @stephs_at_home.