Your pet is not just a pet. Your pet is basically your offspring, born out of your heart. You do not want your pet to grow up with parent issues. That will cause you a headache.
Seriously speaking, you can’t take home a pet if you’re not ready to commit to caring for it to the best of your ability. From the time you take a pet home to the time your pet has become brilliant taxidermy work on your wall, you should be a doting parent. Be the most awesome mom or dad to your animal companion. And that’s perfectly doable. Just follow these recommendations.
Make sure your pet has everything it needs to live a fruitful life
Different kinds of animals have different needs. For example, a cat will need specific essentials that are not the same as those needed by a tarantula. So plan accordingly.
Still, it goes without saying that all animals share the same basic needs. These include a safe shelter, a sufficient supply of food, and clean water. If you give them treats for their good behavior, that’ll be nice. If you buy them toys just because, well, you want to, that will be perfect. Do not be stingy with your pet. The happiness they bring you is priceless.
Never get too busy for your pet
So you have a full-time job. And you have other hobbies too. Maybe even a significant other who requires too much time from you. Those are not acceptable excuses to neglect to spend quality time with your pet.
Even if your pet is a goldfish in a bowl, you’re not exempt from scheduling bonding moments with it. That also applies even if that means you stare into that bowl whispering sweet nothings while your goldfish circles its world deep in fish thoughts.
Now, if you have a dog, that’s where things get tricky. A dog needs all the attention you can give.
Take your pet outdoors whenever possible
Picture yourself in a fishbowl. Or a plastic container. Or the cage that is your apartment. For days on end. You’ll probably lose your mind.
That’s what your pet is likely going through. They’re on the verge of a nervous breakdown because of being quarantined for too long. It’s not normal for animals to be locked away. They need to roam open spaces. So take your pet outdoors from time to time. Just make sure you do not release your snake in the park.
Document your pet’s life
Now kids are learning to rail against their parents for the latter’s penchant for sharenting, the practice of parents sharing content about their children. That’s not your problem if you are raising a rottweiler. So take as many pictures as you want. And share those photos to your social media networks as often as you can.
Doing so shows how much you love your pet. And doing so can inspire other people to be loving and compassionate towards animals.
Introduce your pet to other people’s pets
Your tarantula probably won’t mind being left alone. So do your snake and goldfish. A dog, however, is an entirely different matter.
Neutered or not neutered, splayed or not splayed, dogs need playmates. And sometimes, they need more than a two-legged playmate. They crave friends who share the same number of limbs as they do. So take your dog to the nearby dog park every weekend. If time and budget allow, host a dog party for the rest of the dogs in your neighborhood.
Do not force your pet into learning new tricks
Again, this is not a problem if you’re raising a python. You probably won’t attempt to teach it how to play dead. However, if you have a golden retriever, you’ll likely be tempted to turn it into a dog genius like Lassie. You might even get the inkling to take your pup onto America’s Got Talent stage.
But remember that dogs are not created equal. Some have a penchant for tricks. Others can’t be bothered. If you end up with the latter, let your dog be. Don’t be a dictator.
Taking home a pet should not be a spontaneous or whimsy-triggered decision. You take home a pet because it’s something you thought about in earnest. Remember that you’re expected to take care of the animal you shelter. And that’s a huge responsibility. If you suspect you’re not ready for it, then set your eyes on something less demanding. Plants, perhaps? For those, all you need is a pot. Of course, that’s tongue-in-cheek.