So you’ve been considering adding a new member into your home. Whether it is your first time adopting a dog or not, it will be the first time for the new pet! Thus, it is very important to consider a few things before jumping in to pet-ownership. Here are a few tips to remember that could help ensure you and the new pet have a smooth transition!
1. Consider your lifestyle
The very first step to take before deciding on a pet, is to first take a look at your lifestyle. Everyone has different situations at home. Are you a busy person? A pet with high-maintenance fur may not be ideal. If you have an active lifestyle, a dog who needs ample exercise & running would be great. If you have a quiet lifestyle, lap dogs like Shih Tzus or cats in general, would be excellent. Realizing these elements can help you in opting for the pet best suited for you. It is important that you are not rash about your decision, to avoid having to give up the pet and put it through abandonment again.
2. Make sure everyone is on board
If you live with family members or spouses, it is important to ensure that every single occupant of your home is welcoming of a new pet. It’s not advisable to bring a furry friend back, if one person in the house has a strong distaste for it. This could lead to potential abuse in the long run.
3. Consider your finances
Are you able to spare the extra monthly expenses for your pet? Here is a sample breakdown of necessary expenses for a medium to large dog:
Adult dog food: Approx $60/month (Mid-range brands)
Basic grooming: Approx $50/month
Pet Licensing: $60/year (non-sterilized) or $15-$30/year (sterilized)
Pet Shampoo: $40/year
Vet Medical Fees: Approx $300-$800/year (healthy dogs)
Of course, these are average figures. Things like dog food can range from $6/bag for lower-end brands, to $200/bag for high-end brands. It all depends on personal preference. These also don’t include the initial funds you need to spend on basic necessities like food bowls, leashes and pee trays to name a few! So, these given approximate figures should help you gauge if you are financially ready to care for another furry life!
4. Plan for an integration period
Over the first few days or weeks, your new pet will go through an adjustment period. You may notice signs of anxiety or fear. It’s not uncommon for new pets to hide under furniture at first. Don’t panic, it is normal. Give your pet some time. It is also advisable to give them space to explore their new environment without you breathing down their necks. Of course, this is all unless your new friend has zero anxiety and is only excited to play with you. All pets come with difference energies and personalities, so be observant. A good tip is also to bring them home at the start of a weekend or take a few days off work. You’ll need to time to be there for support and foster a bond with them!
5. Don’t hesitate to train your pet
Finally, when your new pal has adjusted well to your home, it is a good time to consider training. It will make both your lives easier and it also helps your pet integrate better into its new home. Every family member has to play by the house rules for harmonious living, don’t we? In Singapore, you have the option of joining group obedience classes which can range between $60-$80 per session and private coaching range between $200-$300 per session.
If you keep all these handy tips in mind when in the process of welcoming a new pet into your home, it should aid you in having an easygoing adoption process! As many dog owners, lovers and adopters will tell you, it’s all going to be worth it. Not a single regret in finding your new best friend.
Photos courtesy of SPCA Singapore.