*This is a collaborative post. All opinions are my own.
Is your friend ready to add a new, smaller friend into their life? As you probably know, choosing a pet can be tiresome. Whether it’s a rabbit’s cute ears, a puppy’s big eyes or a kitten’s furry coat, you’d have to have a heart of steel not to want each and every one of them darting and dashing around your home.
But adopting a pet is about more than just choosing the cutest and cuddliest – it’s about finding the perfect match. Each animal is different in terms of their needs, behaviour, and compatibility with its owner. Moreover, your friend needs to be aware of the commitments involved with having a new animal in the house.
This can include training, feeding, housing, attention, and other daily tasks. These are things your friend needs to be prepared for, as you can agree that their pet-to-be deserves only the best. So, what can you do to help your close friend make the right choice? Following are some important points to consider.
Just like in dating, you can’t expect to find love at first sight when looking for a pet. It’s also possible that when you do find the perfect match, the next date reveals that you’re less compatible than you initially thought. Encourage your friend to visit the pet they want more than once before committing to adoption.
Ask the Owners
Nobody knows pets better than the people who raised them or took them in. The way an animal looks and behaves at first glance is not always reflective of their true nature, especially among those who live in shelters. Some of them can be shy, scared or aggressive due to a number of factors, such as their environment (1) and seeing strangers.
This is why it’s important to consult with the owners and get a better idea of who the animal is and what they’re really like to be around. In doing so, your friend can get a better idea of whether the animal is a good fit. Ask about traits such as their energy levels, temperament, and behaviour around other pets (if your friend has any).
Get Some Advice
Eventually, your friend will have found what they believe to be the perfect match. Before going any further, suggest a meeting with an expert or someone who has experience with that specific animal or breed. This can bring to light some valuable insights regarding what it’s like to have that pet around.
Sometimes, other people are able to point out things that you and your friend didn’t initially see. They might also be able to provide some practical advice that will help your friend take better care of their new pet or save some money on things like food, clothing, and toys.
Once your friend has settled on a choice, it’s a good idea to recommend some tips when it comes to preparing for the pet’s arrival. This can include pet-proofing the home by preventing access to toxic or dangerous items such as medicine, electrical cords, food (particularly chocolate) (2), and sharp objects. The same applies to the yard if they have one.
Purchasing all the equipment required to house and take care of the pet upfront will make things easier. Recommend products such as soft bedding, food and water bowls, a collar and grooming tools. Don’t forget the litter box if applicable. Another useful recommendation is for thinking about pet insurance.
This is important as it may ensure that your friend can afford the care their pet needs if they require treatment. After all, some vet bills aren’t cheap. Websites such as this provider allows you to compare pet insurance to help you find a plan for your friend’s budget and the needs of the pet. Taking the pet for an exam when they arrive is a good idea to give them a health check.
Meet the Family
If your friend is like a lot of people, it won’t be just them and their new pet living together. If there are other animals at home, encourage your friend to have a meet and greet with their new pet before committing. This is because clashing personalities can cause difficulties (3) and you want them to live in harmony instead of having constant chaos.
The same is true for other people who live with your friend. Ask your friend to consider whether anyone has allergies that relate to the new pet. They should also be as comfortable as your friend is with having that animal around, thus ensuring that everyone is happy.
Having come this far, you’ve clearly put a great deal of effort into helping your friend make the best possible choice. Such an endeavour is most worthy of a pat on the back and perhaps a cuddle with the smallest new member of the friend group.