Congratulations on deciding to get your first pet! Pet ownership is a hugely rewarding experience that allows you to build a deep bond with your four-legged friend. As special as those first few weeks and months might be, there will undoubtedly be challenges and some unexpected situations that will inevitably pop up, even if you’ve made all the appropriate modifications to your home.
Being a pet owner for the first time can be confusing. Chances are, you might not even know where to begin. Take a few deep breaths, relax, and know that you can do this. In fact, millions of people own pets in the United States alone. You can do this!
Now… where to start?
Are you sure?
Chances are, if you’re reading this article, you’ve already made up your mind to get a pet. Just in case you’re still on the fence though, have you asked yourself whether you’re committed to taking care of a pet for the next several years or even decades? Do you have time for a pet? Can you afford a pet? Is your current living situation suitable for a pet? What will you do if and when your pet develops a serious health condition or disability?
It will take time to build a bond between yourself and your pet. This comes with practice – and yes, with making a few mistakes, too. Take it easy on yourself (and your new pet) if the two of you don’t quite have it all figured out just yet.
You know those well behaved dogs you see your neighbors walking down the street? Or the animals in the movies who do the incredible stunts? Those animals (and their owners) have spent lots of time doing something called pet training. Training is one of the most important aspects of pet ownership because it builds trust, communication, and that strong bond we just mentioned above. For best results, consider watching some YouTube videos, getting a pet training book, or even hiring a professional to help you train your new pet.
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