Pets are wonderful additions to our families. They offer unconditional love, companionship, loyalty, and there’s never a dull moment. Pet parenthood is an adventure like no other.If you’ve been thinking about getting a pet and finally feel ready, read this guide first. Preparing for a pet can be fun, but there are a lot of things to keep in mind before you head down to the pet store or shelter. Here are three things to consider to make sure you’re ready to bring home a new friend:

You’ll Need References

Much like when you’re interviewing for a job or renting a room, when you’re looking to adopt a dog or cat from a shelter or rescue, you might need personal references. Depending on the organization, you might be able to meet the animals, apply, and get approved all on the same day. But that’s not always the case. Some organizations ask for references so they can perform an informal background check. If you do have to provide references, choose them carefully. Be sure to choose references who:

  • You’ve known for a least a few years
  • Has seen you interact with animals
  • Responds promptly to calls and emails

Organizations might also require a home visit to make sure that the pet will be in a safe environment or veterinary records to ensure that any current or previous pets were properly looked after.

You’ll Need Supplies

Being a pet parent comes with a lot of shopping. You’ll need to make sure that you have everything you need so you’re ready when your new friend comes home. Supplies vary (greatly) depending on the animal, but here are a few basics:

  • Food (canned and/or dry)
  • Food and water containers
  • Collar
  • ID tag with your phone number
  • Hard plastic carrier or foldable metal crate
  • Bed
  • Nail clippers
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Brush or comb
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Paper towels
  • Sponge and scrub brush
  • Non-toxic cleaners
  • Odor neutralizer
  • Poop baggies/litter box
  • Absorbent house-training pads
  • Treats
  • Toys
  • Baby gates
  • First aid supplies

You’ll Need Routine/Occasional Acute Medical Care 

Getting a pet and caring for them can be pricey if you don’t plan ahead. When it comes to medical care costs, you’ve got options—here are a few:

  • Pet health insurance requires you to pay a monthly premium for the treatment of illness or injuries. How much you pay will depend on your pet’s breed, age, location, and the plan you choose. Typically, pet health insurance does not cover routine care like teeth cleaning or annual exams. There may also be exclusions for pre-existing conditions, age or breed, so make sure you read the fine print.
  • Wellness plans help you cover the cost of routine, preventative care like vaccinations and flea and tick medication.
  • Emergency funds can be used during a life-threatening incident like a pet being hit by a car or suffering other major internal or external trauma.
  • CareCredit is a credit card that you can use to pay for pet care without worrying about the upfront costs.

And don’t forget about Airvet—we’re available 24/7 to help you take care of your pet. Download the app, become a member and get unlimited video visits with world-class veterinarians.

Having a pet is a commitment, but one that will bring you great joy. Pets help reduce stress and anxiety and help create a more fun and much more cuddly household. Congratulations on your new venture! We’re excited for you and we’re here to help whenever you need it.

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