We at Pet Parents Place know that pets can help with their love. Our guest blogger Jessica Brody of Our Best Friends has contributed this excellent piece. It talks about four things you need to know when adopting after addiction.
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FINDING JOY AFTER ADDICTION: FOUR THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW WHEN ADOPTING YOUR FIRST PET
Everyone needs a friend, and for many, pets are the perfect household companions. Pets are loyal, cuddly, and always find a way to brighten your day. Sometimes, we need pets to help us through tough times.
Companion animals are helpful for those of us who struggle with anxiety and depression, and can be a strong support system for those going through addiction recovery. No matter what you’ve been through in life, you deserve to have a friend and feel happiness and joy. As you choose an animal to adopt, there are several important factors to consider. Here are four things you need to know when bringing a new pet into your home.
Choosing the Right Breed
How do you decide which pet is best for you? This question can be tough when you first approach it. Perhaps you already know you like cats, but you’ve never lived with one before. Each pet has their own unique set of pros and cons. Cats are easier to care for, but tend to do their own thing. Dogs need a little more attention, but also are quicker to be your friend.
Size matters as well. If you live in a small one-bedroom apartment, then adopting a large, 100-pound dog will be a challenge. Larger dogs need more room to move around and also will need to get out and run from time to time. Do you enjoy exercising, or are you a couch potato? You should pick a pet that matches your ideal lifestyle. Also, some breeds of cats and dogs shed A LOT. When adopting, you should be prepared to take up a few more responsibilities such as feeding and cleaning up after your pet.
Preparing Your Home for a Pet
Once you’ve found the perfect companion for your home and personality, you should ready your home for their arrival. Depending on which pet you’ve settled on, you’ll have to make a few runs to the department store to pick up the food, bedding, collars, leashes and other things needed to care for your pet. It’s important to get all these items together before their arrival, because you never know what may happen when bringing your pet home for the first time. They might be stoked, or they might be anxious. You never know what may happen, so it’s always good to be prepared.
Helping Your New Friend Adjust
In the first day, you and your pet are practically strangers — and that’s OK. It’s normal to feel a little anxious when bringing your pet home for the first time. The best advice to help them adjust is to give them a little space. Sometimes adopted pets are actually rescued from bad situations. You want to show them that you are a good owner and that you’re about to give them an awesome life. Just take it slow. Show them where the food and water is, and let them feel you and your place out. After a few hours, you can try playing a game and show them the litter box, or where to relieve themselves outdoors.
How to Form a Lasting Bond
Friendships don’t always happen overnight. It may take some time for your to form a bond with your new pet, but don’t be discouraged. Eventually you will learn about your pet—what they like and don’t like. You’ll pick up on their personality and their favorite toys and games, and treats. The more time you spend with your pet, the sooner you’ll form a relationship together, then boom: an everlasting bond.
There’s a reason why so many people of all ages grow attached to their animals. These relationships matter and can lift us up when we’re feeling down. Whatever pet you decide to bring home, show them love. The more love you give, the more you’ll receive and the happier you will be.