New Pet Parents – What do I need to buy?
For new pet parents, it can be difficult to decide on which items you will actually need for your pet.
We live in a highly commercialised world, therefore temptation to overspend is at our fingertips! Amidst the excitement of a new family arrival, it can easily turn into an unnecessary shopping spree or even a shortage of essentials. We try to demystify your first pet shopping trip right here, guiding towards the essential items.
Before investing in new products or radically altering your house, we recommend that you ask yourself a few basic questions which may help you make some better decisions. These questions are fundamental, however, it is important for your pet that you both have considered key points such as…
- If I have other pets in my household, how do I think they may react to a new arrival?
- Is my apartment/house large enough for my new pet? Do I have an exercise area nearby?
- We all have different lifestyles, and is mine suitable for the needs of this pet?
- Am I a cat or dog person?
- If I have housemates or family members, have I asked how they feel about a new pet?
- Is the household offering a safe and healthy environment?
- Who ultimately is responsible for the animals overall care, health and welfare? It should be a mature adult.
- Would a very young dog with bundles of energy, or a more sedate elderly dog be a more suitable companion for me? Which suits my personality more?
- What do I want from my pet, is it a late-night TV buddy cosying up on the sofa, or a partner for those oxygen fuelled runs along the beach together?
- Am I a workaholic who cannot invest time in my pet?
- Looking ahead- How big will this little bundle of fur likely become, and will I still be able to love and care for it in my home?
- Have I considered if/when I should have my pet spayed/neutered? Do I want to breed from this animal?
- If I am away very often, who can look after my pet?
When you are comfortable that your new arrival is suited to your living conditions and lifestyle, and most importantly you are suited to theirs, you can consider sourcing the actual items which your pet will need.
We often wonder how much money must be “spent” on a pet. I prefer to ask, how much do we need to “invest” in our pet? Generally speaking, looking after your pet’s health will always pay dividends. A healthy pet is a happy pet!
As with us humans, there are essential costs which must be met, and fulfil the basic requirements of our pets. Spend on items such as…
Microchipping (now compulsory)
Dog licence (now compulsory)
Collar, leash, harness
It is also very important to understand that your pet also needs an investment of your time, not just your money. This investment of time in your pet should never be under-estimated, as it allows you both to enjoy that special bond between one another. This is where the absolute magic & joy of being a pet parent is experienced. Cherish that time.
- Pets should be fed 2 or 3 times daily, and with puppies and kittens it is more often.
- We recommend that you spend one hour per day directly interacting with your pet and this can be achieved by walking, playing, grooming, watching TV together, chatting, and in the case of cats gentle stroking or cuddling whilst bonding.
- For exuberant and energy filled pets, more time spent walking may be necessary as they generally need this to meet their individual needs. Similarly, as some pets may become bored or fed-up more easily, providing more interactive toys will help stimulate them more. The outdoors can provide welcome relief for energetic breeds.
- For pets with longer coats, grooming for 10 -15 minutes a day can be very productive. Your pet will enjoy this time with you, and this will also prevent coat matting.
- For pets that are rehomed from rescue centres or shelters, these often may require more one to one time in the early stages in nourishing that special bond. Sometimes, a little more positive assurances from you in a calm and friendly voice is all that is required. A confident rub on the head with heart felt words of encouragement can work wonders for pets confidence in these early days.
Your next shopping trip.
It is advisable to wait until you have actually selected your new friend before you shop for supplies. As your pet will be entering a new home, any changes should be made gradually to avoid any stress. Gradually introducing a new food type or brand is more advisable than abruptly changing from one type to another. Remember for a new pet, moving to a new home is the same feeling as it is for a human moving to a new house, it brings some nerves with it!
Items which a dog will definitely need are:
Food & water bowls
Collar, leash, harness
ID tag with a telephone number on it.
Dog shampoo (or bring to the groomer)
Toothbrush & paste
Absorbent paper towels (accidents may happen!)
Plastic poop bags (biodegradable are available)
Toys (balls, ropes, chew toys)
Remember, have a run through the key items before you source a pet, and assure yourself that you are selecting the most suitable pet for you. This will vary during your life as you move to a larger house, have a family or live in wider greener surroundings. Always have the essential items from Day 1, and if you are in doubt follow our PetBond articles for New Pet Parents, or drop us a line. We are here to help.