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6 Top Tips for New Pet Owners

Friday January 6th 2017

Getting a new pet is a massive responsibility, so it’s important to be prepared.

1. Pet-Proof your Home

Rabbits chewing through wires, cats clawing your expensive furniture, dogs gnawing at potentially toxic plants – there are lots of hazards in your home and endless opportunities to damage your belongings.

Before you adopt a pet, it makes sense to pet-proof your home and eliminate or reduce and potential risks.

 Get covers for your electric sockets
 Invest in wire covers
 Install child locks on cupboards
 Put any expensive or important belongings away and out of reach

2. Create the Right Space

Making sure you have the appropriate space for your new pet should be your main consideration before adopting an animal as it’s vital to keep them safe and happy.

A large dog needs plenty of space to roam about just as a cat likes to have high ledges to keep lookout. Space and design are equally as important, as well as comfortable places to sleep and relax.

If you only have outdoor space for a rabbit then you probably aren’t in a position to adopt a floppy-eared companion, as freezing conditions mean they will often have to be brought indoors.

3. Take out Pet Insurance

Uninsured pet owners pay out an average of £810 each time their animals need veterinary treatment, but can run up to £8,000, according to comparison site

Despite your best intentions to keep your pet safe and well, accidents, illnesses and injuries can and will happen.

Safeguard against the unexpected costs of dealing with these things and enjoy peace of mind by taking out appropriate pet insurance cover click here to find out more

4. Start Training Early

The expression “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is not entirely accurate, but stems from the idea that it’s easier to teach new behaviours than to modify existing ones.

Training a new pet should be relatively straightforward with reward-based training that motivates your four-legged friend with treats such as their favourite food or toys.

While cats and rabbits may not be as easy to teach as a dog, contrary to popular belief, they can learn new behaviours.

5. Integrate your Pet

Animals are at their most receptive when they’re at a young age. This makes it an opportune time to be introducing good habits and socialising with other animals should definitely be one of them.

Expose your pet to other animals if you can. Take your dog to a dog park or invite other kittens for “play dates”.

It’s also important that your new pet gets used to being handled, so this is the time to be picking them up for a cuddle and getting them used to human interaction.

6. Spay or Neuter, and Microchip

As well as reducing aggressive behaviour and eliminating the risk of unwanted pregnancies, neutering or spaying prevents the risk of testicular cancer in males and uterus infections and cancers in females, according to RSPCA guidance.

Plan to get your dog or cat neutered or spayed at around six months. With rabbits, it’s best done around three and a half months for males or four months for females.

Getting your pet microchipped is also important, as it vastly increases the chance of your new pet being returned if they ever get loose.