Important Details when Caring for Your Cat or Dog

Any pet owner will tell you how important their pet is to them.  For many, a pet is a member of the family, a constant companion, a loyal friend that looks to you as their whole world.  Here at Invitation Homes, we love pets too.  Many of our residents are pet owners and love that our homes are pet-friendly (learn more about our pet policy here).

Creating an environment where your pet can be well cared for is an important part of being a responsible pet owner.  Sometimes caring for a pet requires as much attention as caring for a child.  On top of feeding and grooming, you have other obligations to consider when bringing a pet into your home.  If you are considering a new pet in your current home or bringing one into a new home, here are some things to think about to create the best home environment for your pet.

Cat and ownerSpace.

Does your home have adequate space both indoors and outdoors for the type of pet you’re considering such as a fenced-in yard?  Many dogs love to play in a yard, so how will that impact your housing choice or your choice of breed? Do you have a convenient place for a cat litter box?

Registering your animal.

You should register your dog or cat with the county or city (rules vary by jurisdiction) so that there is a record of your pet license if your pet is lost.  If you are moving to a new city, remember to transfer the license over to the new jurisdiction.  A vet’s office can typically provide you with details on how to obtain a license.  In addition, most vets offer microchips that allow quick identification in case your pet should start to roam around the neighborhood.

Dog and ownerSize and type of animal.

Consider if your pet’s mobility will be impacted if you live in an apartment, town home or single-family house.  For example, a large or older dog may have difficulty going up and down stairs in a town home, or having a breed of dog that barks a lot might disturb your neighbors if you live in an apartment.

Finding the right pet for your lifestyle.

In addition to grooming your cat or dog, other lifestyle factors should be considered to make the best choice of pet to match your family.  What type of personality in a pet do you think will be a good fit for you and your family?  Can you provide a lot of exercise for your dog? Does anyone in your family have allergies to pet dander?  Do you want an indoor pet?  Pet personalities vary almost as much as human personalities.  It’s important to carefully research breed characteristics so that you can be sure that your dog’s needs fit with your lifestyle.  For example, some dogs love people – just not children.  Others need to be walked and exercised for lengthy periods of time; that’s great if you have the time, but maybe you’re someone who would rather cuddle up with a lapdog and a good book.  Choosing an animal that fits your lifestyle will provide a long and healthy life for your pet.

Find a good vet.

Finding a vet that you feel comfortable with is just like finding a doctor for yourself.  Ask for recommendations from friends or neighbors about vets in your community.  Having a vet that is relatively close to you will be helpful in the event of an emergency.  Also, your vet’s office will provide you with a list of required vaccinations and annual visits you’ll need in the first stages and throughout your pet’s life so that you’ll be prepared when you bring your new pet home.

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