All you Need to Know Before Having your First Pet

4 tipos de mascotas

Translated by Nick R

Whenever you think of getting a pet you think of fun and companionship. And you’re right, but there are more aspects to consider before deciding to get one. So, here I will tell you in detail everything you need to know before having your first pet.

Are you worthy of owning a pet? 

Should you have a pet? It is important to analyze the role you will have. What is your personality and how do you act? Do you know the needs that the animal requires? Is your responsibility higher than your desire to have a companion?

If you have a busy schedule and are not attentive to your surroundings in detail, forget the idea of owning one. Also, if your lifestyle is not suited to being protective and affectionate, you don’t want a pet that needs that from you.

It is not only the attitude; you must at least know the basic needs of a pet. That is to say, if you are willing to invest time, money, and care for your pet, it would definitely be a factor on your side. If you’re not, it is preferable that you continue to take care of yourself.

A great motivation to make your pet happy is a plus. However, beyond motivation, you need responsibility. Remember that it is a new member of your family that requires your time and care.

What aspects must you consider to get your pet? 

If you are worthy of having a pet, now you have to consider some aspects that will change your lifestyle. Of course! Only if you are willing to change it.

Responsibility and affection 

Responsibility and affection go hand in hand. You must balance them. You can’t just give your dog affection and ignore the responsibility of, for example, feeding them when it is due.

Nor can you focus on their physical needs and treat them with little love. Harmony between the two will ensure your pet a good life.

Financial  solvency

Money becomes a major issue when it comes to caring for your pet. Your expenses may now double with the needs of your pet.

Think carefully if you really have the economic means to take on another responsibility. On the other hand, keep in mind that expenses on pets such as dogs are high in some respects and on cats in others.

For example, the costs of bathing and grooming your dog varies according to its size. The frequency to which you take your dog to these services is also important. And pets such as cats, rabbits, or even hamsters usually do not require grooming.

These pets generally do not require bathing as they do it themselves. In that case, you can do it at home.

Regarding accessories, deworming or anti-fleas, and ticks for canines, the cost is higher. This can be seen in a pet store like “Laika” (in Colombia).

To compare: the cost of deworming ranges from $80,000 COP to $120,000 COP for dogs. While the cost of the same product for felines goes from COP $30,000 to COP $50,000 in the same store.

Nevertheless, the contrary occurs with cat food, which is more expensive than dogs’.

The news portal in Mexico, “Excelsior” gives an overall of the expenses of having a dog and a cat. Per year, it costs more to maintain a cat with a value of $8,572.12 MXN. While the maintenance of a dog would cost $7,954 MXN. However, they clarify that the initial expenses are higher for dogs. This will help you to know the budget more thoroughly to know which pet you can keep.

How much company time needs your pet? 

For rather independent pets, the time factor is not so vital. Daily walks aren’t that important for these animals.

Now, when it comes to canines, they clearly demand more time. Not only for taking them out to do their needs but also for playing at least 10 minutes a day with them to prevent stress.

1 to 3 hours a day are ideal to spend with your dog. You better help your dog spend its energy. If you can devote a whole day to them would be great.

I have 4 furry dogs at home, which means that I spend between 1 and 2 hours a day with them. This time I distribute mostly in the morning (20-40 minutes) and evening (20-40 minutes) when I take them out to relieve themselves while I walk them.

In my case, as a student, I rarely have time in the afternoon. However, I use short moments to play with them for at least 10 minutes or to pet them. When I’m just too busy, my mom or brother takes care of them. This is why it is strongly recommended that you discuss shared responsibilities with your family or roommates.

Discussing in family about having a pet 

If you live alone you can ignore this issue. So that there is a common agreement about acquiring a pet, you need to talk with your relatives and get to know their positions regarding this new responsibility.

Another factor to consider is any health limitations that a member of your family may have towards an animal, the most common being allergies. Once these issues have been addressed, group responsibility will be the best way to handle this commitment. You and your family need to be committed from the beginning and for life.

Keeping a clean space 

Now you need to further entrench your cleanliness habit. Always keep your pet’s living space clean and tidy. A dirty place could cause future health problems for your pet, including allergies, and fungus, among others; it is essential to think about these from the beginning.

The size of your pet 

Dogs can be classified in three different sizes: small, medium, and large. Each size and breed implies different care.

Take as an example breeds like the German Shepherd. Because of its size and physiognomy, it is prone to suffer from hip dysplasia. You need to pay closer attention to their behavior, and if it changes. If this happens, take the dog to the veterinarian to determine if it has started to suffer from dysplasia.

Small breeds are prone to suffer from body temperature control as they are sensitive to the weather, particularly dogs with a little fur. Then, constantly feel your chihuahua’s neck to check its temperature. Afterward, you can take it to the vet so he or she can tell you how to keep an ideal body temperature.

Therefore, you need to consider the size of the dog you can handle and take care of. Lastly, another aspect that goes hand in hand with this one, in short, is space.

However, the physiognomy of other pets such as cats, rabbits, and even birds, does not differ that much. They usually have a standard size, so don’t worry about it if you are choosing one of them.

Space adequacy 

Now that your pet will be roaming around your home, you will have to make it suitable and organize it for the comfort of it, you and your family. Avoid fragile objects in areas frequent by your pet to prevent future accidents. You may want to designate a play or resting area according to your dwelling’s size and type of place.

Likewise, designate fixed places for your pet to eat and drink. This is to get your pet used to one place and avoid clutter. of course, considering the available space.

Ample spaces 

If possible, allow a large resting and play area where your dog can feel the breeze and the sun. Dogs love this type of environment to relax.

You don’t need to think too much about the size of your canine for this type of space; just don’t forget the organization of the space. Nor does it matter for standard-sized animals like cats, since you will designate the place where they will be.

Small spaces 

If your home is small, do your best to clear as much room as you can so that your pet doesn’t feel cramped.

As for canines, try to adopt one that suits to the available space. Think about the comfort of the animal and your family.

Limited space won’t be a problem with pets that are usually medium and small: cats, rabbits, etc.

Basic supplies for your pet 

These items are usually not expensive, but complementary objects or accessories may have a high cost.

Here we include things like bowls for pets to drink and eat their aliment. Its size will depend on how big your pet is. You better get them separately so the food does not get mixed up with the water.

Another important article, at least for dogs and sometimes cats, is a collar to go for a walk with your pet. The price may vary according to the design and size. Breast collars are the most comfortable for dogs and for cats, these collars are of a standard size.

The bed could be considered another basic item for your pet, so choose it according to its size and padded design for its comfort.

Your pet goes to the doctor too 

Taking your pet to the veterinarian is necessary, even mandatory. The frequency with which you should go to the vet will be determined by the doctor who sees you pet. There you will know if your pet is healthy or has any special condition.

In addition, Get to know some data about your pet’s health, such as its weight and physical condition to determine the amount of food and physical activity it requires. This information is also useful when deworming your pet.

Another very important aspect that you should know when you go to the veterinarian is the information related to vaccination. For example, dogs require more vaccines at certain times, so the veterinary professional will guide you on which ones you need and how often they should be applied. Other pets such as cats or rabbits require a minimum of vaccinations.

First things you must teach your pet 

This does not have a great impact on independent animals such as cats. However, you always have to teach them where to eat as well as the place where they can do their needs, such as their litter box.

On the other hand, canines require more training on various aspects since they are more dependent.

Your dog will arrive in a new environment where it is not familiar with anything. So, as a first action, let them explore and sniff everything so they can recognize the place. From the beginning, you will have to teach him some habits and the areas where he can and cannot go.

Where to relieve itself 

One of the first skills to learn is to relieve themselves outside and not inside the house. This is important so that the canine will eventually get used to it and, as far as possible, will not dirty the house. Once they have adapted, your pet will let you know when it needs to go out.


Another habit, which is optional to teach your dog, is mealtime. Some pets have a set schedule and others simply eat throughout the day whenever they feel hungry. This is up to you or the recommendations given by the veterinarian.

Off-limits areas 

It is important to teach your pet to stay away from certain areas. One of these is the kitchen, as it is a dangerous place for your dog or cat and it could get hurt. As the owner, it is up to prohibit these spaces to them. If you got them a bed, teach them that if he wants to lie down, he should always do it there.

Also, teach your pet not to scratch or chew your furniture.

Socializing your pet 

Likewise, socialization with other animals as well as with people should be carried out in a calm way. This process involves being calm and slowly approaching your pet towards the other participant or letting your pet sniff and approach on its own.

How long does it take for your pet to adapt?

Each pet is different when it comes to adapting according to its breed. So this is a process that requires all your time and patience. Don’t overwhelm your pet to do what you ask only two days after its arrival.

The development of your relationship with your pet will depend on the way you treat it, so it is an extensive process to finally make your pet feel comfortable with you and the environment around it.


Aspects such as responsibility, money, time, and the environment where you live, among others, are fundamental for making the decision of having a pet. You must be constantly committed and above all provide your pet with lots of love.

From now on it will be your companion and your faithful friend. Try to give it the quality of life it deserves and remember, adopt, don’t buy. This way you will help these animals even more.