Having had several pets of my own over the years, I have learned a lot about what to do--and NOT to do when it concerns your pet. Basically, with all pets, there are a few key things you need to be sure to meet if you are going to raise a fur baby--or any other type of pet!
Physical Needs Met - With all pets, the number one need to meet is their physical needs. What will your pet need for food, they will need water, some pets will need wellness checks at the vet and lots of exercise. Granted, the physical needs will vary from pet to pet; from breed to breed even at times. Grooming may be involved, surgeries may need to happen. Whatever the case, when you are caring for a living thing that can not care for everything themselves, it is your responsibility to meet that need.
Emotional Needs Met - Pets need attention and love just like humans do. Some pets may need a different type of attention than snuggling on the couch (goldfish wouldn't like that too much!) but all living things need some sort of interaction with something to live a healthy life. Even plants will be healthier if you talk to them because of the carbon dioxide you breathe out. If even a plant gains value from attention, how much more would an animal? Some dogs are more nervous than other dogs and need more care and attention, while other dogs are more independent and need less. Also, just like humans, their needs can change when circumstances do. I had a very independent dog that when we moved into our home mid-renovation, became very clingy. All the noises and different people in and out of the house made her uncomfortable, so from then on she was my shadow! All of these things are important to consider when you are deciding what type of pet to get as well.
Social Needs Met - A lot of pets need to be around "their own kind" from time to time. Socializing them with other pets will help them lead healthier lives as well. Also, just you socializing with your pet is important. A lot of times dogs/cats may seem like all they want to do is sleep, but, sometimes they would like to play or be talked to or snuggled and loved on just like the rest of us do. Neglecting a pet socially can make them more restless, fearful and sometimes downright mean when they are around others. So help your pet feel safe and secure when they are around other people and other pets.
The way to learn about what specific things your pet will need, is to do research. I mean, if you don't know how your particular animal will respond to things, you honestly can't be too upset when they destroy your home or belongings because you have no clue. That is on you. My daughter recently adopted two dogs this year and she tried to find out about the "mixes" in their breeds as much as she could and what each breed's personality would be; what works and what doesn't with training and what to expect even with grooming. For any person who is thinking of owning a pet, DO YOUR RESEARCH FIRST so you know what you are getting into before you even find the pet you want. Once you have done your research, you will have more specific physical, emotional and social needs on your list so you know exactly what type of pet to get and how to care for them.
Pets add so much to our lives, but they are a big commitment. Just like how you shouldn't have a baby to fix a relationship problem, the same holds true for a pet. They won't fix a problem in your life, but sure can add some wonderful color, as long as you are ready for it!
This blog was inspired by this article online and by personal experience.--Jen Lush