Thinking of welcoming your first pet into your life? You’re in for such an adventure. But you could be in for some added stress if you don’t plan properly. To be the best pet owner you can be, you’ll need to take care of some basic tasks that will help make room in your life for your new friend. Before you pick out a new forever friend, keep these tips in mind.

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Are you prepared for your first pet

Start Shopping for Pet Cleaning Supplies Before You Need Them

Before you pick out a pet, make sure you have some cleaning basics at home. Consider purchasing an air purifier to wash those allergens out of your air. Some air purifiers are pet-friendlier than others, which means they are made to remove dander more efficiently. So research the models that are best for your home and budget. Regularly changing out your air filters is also a good idea. Just make sure you replace them with high-quality filters with a MERV rating of 8 or higher.

Pets also tend to drop a lot of fur and dander onto the surfaces in your home, so include fur-removal aids on your pet supply shopping list. To stay within your budget, look for multitasking tools, such as packing tape to pick up the fur on furniture and a vacuum made to handle wet and dry pet messes on your floors. Once you have these tools, you can start prepping your home to welcome your new pet.

Make Sure Your Pet Is Safe and Comfortable in Your Home

Those cleaning supplies you just picked up can help you keep your home tidy, but they can also help you set up your home so that your furry family member stays safe. Dogs and puppies tend to explore new environments with their mouths, so pick up any items you do not want to be chewed. This includes houseplants. Many common plants are toxic for cats and dogs and can have potentially fatal consequences if your pet nibbles on them. Go through your home and garden, and make sure your pet will not come into contact with any dangerous greenery.

It’s also helpful to keep some cozy items in the pet-friendly areas of your home. Access to a bowl of freshwater is a must, and a warm bed can help your feline or canine friend feel at home.

Get the Perfect New Pet for Your Needs and Your Lifestyle

You’ve put so much hard work into getting your home ready for your first pet, and now, it’s time to pick the right pet to fit perfectly into that home. Ask yourself if you are ready for all of the potential ways your new companion will change your home dynamic. For example, a new puppy may make messes in your home, while a large adult dog will need lots of room outside to run and play. You should also consider whether you want to buy or adopt your new best friend. Adoption is beneficial for you as well as countless homeless pets. At the end of the day, however, the choice is really up to you.

Make the Most of Your New Life With Your New Pet

By now, you’re probably excited to bring your new best friend home, and you should be! But you should also be aware that it can take time for animals to feel completely comfortable in new environments. Your new pet may need some time and space to settle in, and you may want to take some steps to make the process easier. You’ll be best friends soon enough, but for now, focus on helping your dog or cat feel safe and secure in your new life together. Build trust with an appropriate amount of petting, training and playing together. If you choose to adopt, know that rescued animals may need more patience from you to feel completely safe, especially if abuse or neglect is in their background.

Bringing home a pet is a major life change, especially for new owners, so have the right supplies, plans and know-how to make the transition less stressful for both you and your new pet. Above all, be ready to enjoy all that being a pet parent has to offer!