Fido or Feline?

Choose Wisely Before Selecting Your First Pet, Fido or Feline?

You’ve decided to get a pet, and you’re pretty psyched about it. After all, you’ve always wanted an animal companion to curl up beside you on cold winter nights or hang out with you on a Saturday afternoon. You imagine walks in the park with a dog, or dangling a piece of yarn in front of your cat and watching her swipe it with a paw  But you’ve never owned a pet before, so how do you decide what kind and breed of pet you should get? Read on for some tips you should consider before deciding on your new pet.

Dog or Cat?

Are you a dog person or a cat person? Cats are excellent pets for people who are looking for an independent companion who doesn’t need constant attention. Cats don’t need to always have your undivided attention. They’ll be happy that you’re home, but they’re not going to jump all over you begging for a walk outside or a belly rub.

On the other hand, your friendly, furry Fido does just that. When you get home from work, don’t be surprised if Fido leaps at you with a friendly bark. He’ll probably want to play catch or take a walk around the neighborhood. If you’d rather kick back on the sofa while your cat snoozes on your lap, a dog probably isn’t the pet for you. But if you want the enthusiastic devotion a dog will demonstrate, you should probably get a pooch. Work more than eight hours a day?  Find someone to go to your house and take your dog for a walk. Consider hiring a dog walker so Fido can get his exercise and not feel so lonely while you’re away.

Your Home and Yard

Do you live in a teeny tiny apartment? Then you’re going to need a teeny tiny dog or a cat. Small dogs and cats will be comfortable living in an equally small home. Your small dog will still need to be taken on regular walks. Larger dogs may not be completely at ease living in a small apartment. They prefer wide open spaces so they can run and play, but they may still adapt to a tight living situation. Just make sure you take them for regular walks. Even better, find an apartment with or near a dog park so your dog can run and play with other pooches.

The ideal situation for a person who owns a dog is to have a house with a yard. If you have a backyard, you have a variety of activities you can do with your dog, including playing catch or watching him run around chasing squirrels.

Allergies

If you have allergies, research the type of dog and cat breeds that are best for people allergic to animal dander. Although a particular breed may be viewed as hypoallergenic, you’ll probably still experience allergy symptoms. People allergic to dogs and cats think that it’s only shedding hair that makes them sneeze when in reality, they’re allergic to animal dander and saliva. To get rid of all pet-related allergens, you’ll need to clean your house regularly, and that includes cleaning upholstery and carpeting to remove hair, dander and even saliva. If you’re extra sneezy, it might be time to bring in a professional carpet cleaning service, which will do a deep scrub of carpets and rugs that will provide you a clean slate, making your regular cleanings more effective (and easier to do!). The average price for hiring these pros in Tulsa runs from $96 to $181, according to HomeAdvisor.

Preparing Your Home

So, you’ve chosen a pet, and you’re going to bring her home in just a few days. That’s great! But don’t forget to prepare your home for the new arrival. Don’t wait until the last minute to get the supplies your pet needs. If you’re getting a dog, buy food, bowls, a dog bed, dog toys, a collar, and a leash. If you plan on crate training your new pet, purchase one that’s the right size for your pet’s needs. Crates come in three basic types--wire, cloth, and plastic. Dogs can tear their way out of a cloth crate, so stick with crates made of harder material until you know how your new dog behaves.

Are you getting a cat? The first item on your list should be a litter box. You’ll also need cat food, bowls , nd a collar. Don’t forget to buy cat toys and a scratching post. Cats need to wear down their nails. They accomplish this task by scratching various objects, so definitely get a scratching post. Your furniture will thank you.

Acclimating to a New Home

New pets, especially animals adopted from a shelter, will be nervous the first time you bring them home. When you bring home Fido, let him sniff around rooms where he’s allowed to go. Show him where his bed, food, water, and toys are located. This will make him feel more at ease. Be especially patient with cats. Your new cat may feel more comfortable hiding under a piece of furniture for a while until she feels brave enough to venture out. Be prepared to sit on the floor and wait for your new cat to approach.

Adopting a pet is a fun and exciting event. But before you make your choice, carefully consider the type and breed that’s the best fit for you. If you make the right choice, you’ll bring a faithful companion into your life that will bring you joy for years to come.

 

Photo via Pixabay

 

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