how to survive with new pets
I would describe myself as an animal lover who was never meant to be a pet owner. I love animals, all animals and I’m filled with compassion for them – but – I really dislike cleaning up after them. I already have two kids, why do that to myself? Well, sometimes life has other plans for you and when my husband came home with an ownerless Chihuahua he rescued in traffic, I couldn’t turn the little rat away. And then when Savannah’s school recommend buying a little lizard for science class, I came home with a bearded dragon. *heavy sigh* Pets are awesome for kids, though, so I appreciate the extra life they bring to my home and I love the happiness they bring to my kids.
I never planned on being a lizard lady, or I guess in this case, mother of dragons, but before I knew it, I was on Amazon ordering things like “lizard hammocks” and “repti-vine” and a LOT of live crickets and meal worms… what? The thanks I get? a stink eye!!
While the happiness they bring to children is great, I’m not thrilled that they bring something else – a mess – hair, poop and other yucky stuff. Our Chihuahua, Diego, may have short hair but he sheds that short hair a lot and it adds up! It collects on the couch and on the floor, driving me crazy. Our home is already dusty. Seriously, I have to dust, vacuum and mop every day to keep the house clean. Here in the windy desert, there is just so much sediment in the air. It covers our floors and fills our air, mixing with the Chihuahua’s hair and the dragon’s shedded skin *insert creeping chills*. I have a fix for that, though.
So how do you survive that first week with a new pet?
- buy everything. Before the pet even enters your home, make sure you have everything your new pet needs from practical things like housing and food to toys and other entertaining products. You won’t want to be scrambling around town looking for necessities once the animal is already loose in your home. Like the Boy Scouts say, always be prepared.
- research. If you are planning on adopting a pet, do as much research ahead of time as you can. Key things to know – temperament, preferences, health and safety risks, etc. If you are an impulse pet owner, like myself, do your research after they are in the home. It is important to know everything you can know about the breed of dog or species of fish – this will ensure happiness for all.
- be forgiving and patient. Just like with any other baby or toddler you have brought into your home, new pets (especially young ones) require patience from you. Do not expect them to follow your rules right away, in fact, expect them to be a total nightmare, peeing and pooing all willy nilly, acting up and doing the total opposite of what you want. Normal.
- clear your schedule. It is best to pick an adoption time during a week where you don’t have a lot going on. Your regular routine is fine, but it will be important for you to be available to your new pet. This isn’t really relevant if your new pet is a goldfish, but if you have a new puppy that you need to start training, don’t wait – start that first week.
- hand feeding. If you want your pet to trust you, feeding them is a great way to get there. Hand feeding creates an important visual connection for the pet – you are who feeds him and can depend on you for regular feedings. What could be more important than that for your new puppy or lizard?
- cleaning and deodorizing products. Yep, pets are messy, circling back to that. When you are at the pet store buying whimsical toys and habitat décor, make sure you grab products like urine eliminator spray for carpets, dusting cloths for hairy floors and deodoraizing sprays and candles. All animals have a natural scent that, well, I could do without, so I always keep my home filled with pretty scents.
- wine. Kidding, or am I?
Is that a baby bearded dragon in a Bona Disposable Dusting Cloth?! It is. He loves it. These dusting cloths from Bona are so much fluffier than their competitors – more room to trap more dust and therefore, more efficient! They have a larger surface area, so when I’m swiping areas like under my bed, I have to spend way less time working on it. These Bona Disposable Dusting Cloths are great for hardwoods, but also laminate and tile, which is most of my home.
Clean faster and clean more efficiently with Bona Dusting Cloths. They are also great for tacking onto your kids’ chores because they are really simple to use. I just tell my 3 year old – go attack the dust bunnies!
Dust bunnies, filled with human and pet hair, is the bane of my existence. They grow over night and multiply inexplicably fast. You can imagine I go through a lot of dusting pads and my absolute NEW FAVORITE is Bona Disposible Dusting Cloths, which pick up every bunny in sight + dirt, hair and everything else I want off of my floors. I found mine at Bed Bath & Beyond!