How to prep for a new pet

Throughout the pandemic, many families decided to bring home a new furbaby (yay!).

Adding a new furbaby to your family can be enjoyable but sometimes difficult. Proper preparation is important to make the best of bringing a new pet into your home.

Whether you’re an aspiring pet parent or you’re adding a furbaby to your family, we got you covered. We asked Julie Burgess, a Certified Veterinary Technician on the Petzey network, to give her essential tips for prepping your home for a new pet.

From general health questions to urgent concerns, use the Petzey app to talk or video chat with a licensed vet professional to get answers in minutes. If a trip to the vet clinic or hospital is needed, we’ll help find ones near you.

Preparing for a new pet is exciting and a wee bit scary. Here are some tips for answering many new pet parents’ questions like:

  • Which pet is best for me? 
  • What does it cost? 
  • What do I feed it? 
  • Where will it sleep? 
  • How do I care for my pet?
Pets. So Many Choices!

Determine the best pet for your family, and avoid letting kids decide. Base your selection on:

  • What fits your living space
  • Lifestyle
  • Budget

Guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, and rats make great cost-friendly pets. Puppies and kittens are cute and adorable, but they are a LOT of work, time, and expense. Adult dogs or cats can be less expensive and don’t require as much work and time commitment.

Budget Concerns

The ASPCA states the average costs for a dog or cat ranges between $1300-$1800+ per year, not including emergencies or illnesses. Puppies and kittens have more expenses because they need:

  • Exams
  • Vaccinations
  • Spaying or neutering 
Food Isn’t Free

Pets eat multiple times daily, and food is one of the highest costs for a pet parent. Take some food the previous owner was feeding your new pet if possible, then ask your veterinarian for food advice.

Pets Need Space

All pets need space; whether your pet lives in a cage or not, they still require:

  • A food and water area 
  • Litterbox area (if it’s a cat or kitten)
  • A sleeping area

Living in an apartment? A large dog may not be the best choice because they need ample space and exercise. Consider your options carefully before choosing your family member for the next 15+ years.

How Do I Take Care of My Pet?

Pet care shouldn’t be left up to the kids. They can help you if you teach them what your pets need; however, avoid agreeing to a pet with the stipulation that your kids take care of it.

Ultimately, it’s an adult’s responsibility to ensure pets have regular access to:

  • Fresh water
  • Food
  • Outside/a clean litter box or cage 
  • Fresh, clean bedding
Get ahead when it comes to their health:
  • Discuss with the adoption shelter or breeder and your Veterinarian what food to feed and don’t change food too quickly.
  • Make an appointment with a Veterinarian 48-72 hours after picking up your pet and prepare your list of questions on all new pet topics, including:
    • Vaccination schedule (follow recommendations closely)
    • Spay or neuter
    • Type of food, brand recommendations, and feeding schedule
    • Grooming needs

If you have questions about bringing a new pet home, use Petzey to talk or video chat with a licensed vet professional to discuss best practices specific to your pet’s needs. 

Julie Burgess, CVT

Julie Burgess, CVT

My desire to help people and their pets stems from being a Certified Veterinary Technician for 20 years and having owned numerous pets for more than 30. I had 11 pets at one time!

In addition to working at Petzey, I’m an SEO copywriter for the pet industry and have trained dogs for more than seven years (the last two years entirely virtually!).

Member of APDT and IAABC
Fear Free Certified

This information is offered for informational and educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace traditional veterinary medical advice or create a veterinarian-client-patient relationship. You should not change your pet’s care or treatment on the basis of this information. If you think your pet requires emergency assistance, you should take your pet to the nearest emergency veterinary hospital.



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