alaskan malamute puppy and scottish kitten lying together in autumn park.

4 Essential Tips for New Pet Parents

Do you have a new furball in the house, or even just thinking about getting one? If this is your first pet, there’s a lot to learn and consider — even if you grew up with a cat or dog. In order to create a great initial experience and overall happy household for both you and a new four-legged friend, run through this list.

alaskan malamute puppy and scottish kitten lying together in autumn park.

1. Research the breed you’re bringing home

Before you commit to being a parent to a new cat or dog, the most important thing is to understand what it is you’re getting into. If you do research, talk to multiple trusted sources, and find out about certain behavior or personality traits that you’re confident won’t jive well with your home, lifestyle, or family, it’s best to not take the gamble and bring the animal home (no matter how cute). There’s a right home for every pet, and taking the time and responsibility to find the one that’s right for you is an essential first step.

Once you’ve done your research and made a decision…

puppy paw

2. Prepare, prepare, prepare

This doesn’t just mean buying the necessary bed, toys, accessories, litter box, food, and anything else you may need (though you should definitely have these on hand right away). It means you should plan out a routine and contingency plans. If you think you’ll need extra help training a new puppy, look into private trainers or puppy training schools. You’ll also want to make sure you’re aware of potential boarding options for daycare or weekend sitting. While you’ll want to spend all your time with your new little love, it’s equally important to source out other care resources for those times when you need some extra help.

dog in action

3. Find a great veterinarian

One of the very first things you’ll do with your new pet, whether they’re a puppy/kitten or an adopted older animal, is take them to the vet to make sure they get all the shots they need and are in overall good health. When you’ve found a reliable vet, keep their contact information readily available — in your phone, on your fridge, in your wallet — because you never know when and where you’ll need it.

And most of all..

young female vet examining dog by stethoscope at pets' clinic.

4. Be patient!

Accidents will happen. Training difficulties will happen. That doesn’t mean that you’re not going to be a great pet parent, and have a happy household with your new four-legged plus-one. Getting the dynamic down will take a little time, but it’s well worth it.


yellow labrador retriever on the walk in rural landscape. dog is holding his plush toy of the dog in mouth.

About the Author:

Written by Casey Dickson, community member. Rover is the nation’s largest network of 5-star pet sitters and dog walkers.

2 replies
  1. Tiffany
    Tiffany says:

    Thanks for all the useful tips. For cats, I would like to share some experience of my own: Once you’ve introduced a new cat to the family, you want to make sure they feel at home as quickly as possible. A cat’s ideal refuge is a place where they can go and be with their things. A soft bed, food and water, a scratching post, and plenty of toys. Their area should be away from the rest of the house and out of the line of traffic.


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