Are you planning on bringing a new pet home? Then there’s a couple of critical things you need to know before you take the plunge and pick out your new friend. Fortunately, Ou Kaapse Vet has all the information you need right here- so keep reading.
1. You need to know you can commit
Hopefully, you’ve already thought this one through if you’re looking for adoption advice! However, it always bears repeating. A pet is a commitment for life- their life, to be specific. They are going to rely on you for everything, and they need you to stand firm with them through the fun times and the hard times. Older animals don’t get adopted from shelters with any kind of regularity once abandoned. Don’t get a pet if you can’t see yourself keeping them for their whole life.
2. You need to know what animal will suit you most
With this in mind, it’s logical to make sure your potential future pet fits well with your life. A smaller dog or cat can be perfect for apartment living where a big dog will demolish the place. Families with children need a breed that’s a compatible playmate. If you’re an older person, prefer to hang out on the couch rather than in the park, or simply don’t want to bother of potty training hectic young animals, a ‘previously loved’ adult pet- or even better, a true golden oldie- may be the best fit for you. Different breeds have very different care levels [think activity, coat style, face shape and more] that may or may not suit you. Some breeds will need extra care and training. Whatever you need from your pet, make sure you’ve thought the decision out carefully beforehand. Never buy a type of animal on a whim, such as seeing one in your favourite TV show- the chances of them being a good match for you are very slim.
3. You need to know your house is safe
Even if you are adopting an adult animal, you may need to pet-proof your home. Try getting down on all fours and taking a look around- does anything stick out as obviously unsafe? Cables and wires can be tempting for young teething puppies and cats, while bottles and tubs stored at floor level just scream ‘investigate me’ no matter their age. Make sure all poisons, cleaners and pesticides are safely out of reach, tidy up dangling obstructions and loose wires, and make sure any potentially fatal foods- chewing gum, common headache tablets and even onions are all dangerous for animals- are safely away from interference.
4. You need to know what they will eat
Spend a little time on finding the best food for your future pet. It’s always a good idea to ask what they were eating at the shelter, too, which will allow you to slowly transition them onto your preferred brand [if they aren’t the same] without tummy trouble. Look for a brand high in animal protein, healthy fats and vitamins whilst staying low in fillers and grains.
5. You need to know who will care for them
That is both within the home and when they need medical care. Know who will be in charge of walkies, play-time, feeding and basic tasks like emptying the litter box. Parents, while a pet can be a good way to learn responsibility as a child, be prepared to step in and ensure they have a good quality of life if necessary. Also pick out a good veterinarian to begin to establish a relationship with before you need them most, and be sure to keep up with preventative medical care such as dental care and vaccinations as well as taking your new pet in when they are poorly.
We at Ou Kaapse Vet are always happy to see a new face around the door, so whether you’re adding to your animal family or you yourself are new to the practice, feel free to get in touch.