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Adopting a new pet is one of the most exciting times in our lives. They bring us so much joy and happiness, and enrich our lives in endless ways. I remember the first pets that I ever took care of all on my own, my two “fancy rats” Dottie and Zoey. They had come from a hoarding case – living in a van full of other rats with their “caretaker.” I was timid and cautious with them at first, until we both came to trust each other. Since then, I’ve had five rescued rats and each one is special in their own way.

If you’ve never had a pet before, choosing the best pet for your life is a big decision. Once you’ve figured this out and are bringing your new pet home, get ready for some changes! To give you a little heads up, here’s five things you might experience as a new pet guardian. Lucky you!

1. You start to see the world in terms of pets

Getting a new pet can be so super exciting, your human friends fall to the back burner a little bit. That’s okay for a while, they’ll understand when they see how cute your new pets are! When you see someone who has a pet similar to your own, the topic of your conversation steers towards your new pet, and what they like to eat, and how they sleep, etc. Many people even become a champion for their pet’s species and get involved in advocacy work after becoming a pet guardian.


2. In many cases – get used to watching the fur fly

As much as you can pet-proof your house to get ready for a new pet, unless your pet is hairless/fur-less, get ready for some hairy times ahead. Invest in a swiffer and daily brushing routine, or you can just collect your pet’s hair and craft with it, you know, if that’s what you’re into…


3. You suddenly have a new voice

It’s your “pet” voice, reserved specifically for your new companion. You’ll probably ask them things like, “Oh, max, what are you doing?!?” or “Maaaax, do you like this toy? Oh yes you dooOooOO” often in this strange tone. It’s okay, no one is listening. Probably.


4. You might try to get your small animal (rabbit, rat, ferret, etc.) to walk on a leash

If you have a small animal, you’ll probably attempt this at some point. You want to bond with your pet, and those little harnesses at the pet store just look so darn cute! If your pet really likes this, we’d love to see those pictures. Especially if your big pet (like your dog) likes to go on walks with your small pet (like a ferret), we’d LOVE to see those pictures.


5. Meal-time has a whole new meaning 

Your pet is going to be all-up-in-there, trust us. You know how people say to pet-proof your house? Pet proof your FOOD people – claim your kale. Or if your pet is say, a vegetarian bird, you can happily share mealtime together. My pet rat Boo was a wonderful little eater of my dinner scraps, he loved to eat a little grape tomato in his paws!


 Image Source: PhotKing/Flickr

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3 comments on “5 Things You’ll Encounter as a New Pet Guardian”

Click to add comment
Brooke Persich
4 Years Ago

Matthew Shawver

Linda Brown
4 Years Ago

This article is uninformative and unhelpful. Let's start by saying, if you plan on adopting a cat or dog - go the the local shelter first. There are great pets there of all ages and breeds. They are not there because they were bad; they are there because of people who have a "throw away" mentality. Don't expect everything to be smooth sailing - the pet may need to be house trained or not know how to walk on a leash (because no one took the time to teach them or they are a baby). If you have other pets, gradually introduce them. The greatest reward you will get out of this is UNCONDITIONAL love. Please do not get a pet if you are never home - that is just cruel.

22 Dec 2013

Thanks for putting this so succinctly. I believe in caring for the uncared for and not breeding more. Babies are cute, and like men changing their wives in for 2 twenty's when the wives turn forty / fourty Animals get abandoned and neglected. It is a warm fuzzy article though. We can never do enough to properly care for our furry, feathered and hided friends.

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