little girl with puppy

5 Tips for New Pet Adopters

In this last year, there has been a dramatic increase in pet adoptions. This is considered to have a lot to do with the pandemic and people working from home.  Perhaps some people want more companionship while they work from home. Others have adopted pets for their children. Whatever may be the reason; this has particularly been a good thing for rescues looking for forever homes. We would like to provide some tips on some basic necessities and things to consider when adopting a pet. 

1.   What to include in your budget

The expenses for a new pet can add up. In an article from CNBC, dog owners spend up to $1,201 a year on average on their dogs. Cat owners spend about $687 per year. So, we suggest you budget what you will need to pay to get started with your pet and then have a monthly budget.  Here are some items you want to include in your budget:

  1. Spay/Neutering
  2. Vaccinations
  3. A healthy diet
  4. Bedding and toys
  5. Parasite control
  6. Veterinarian Checkups
  7. Emergencies

2.   Schedule a Veterinarian Appointment for Your Pet

If not already done, your pet will need to be vaccinated and spayed or neutered. Especially if your pet is going to be exposed to other pets, you want to protect them with the proper vaccinations. Also, you don’t want to end up with an unexpected situation of adding more puppies or kittens to your family! Here are the average ages for sexual maturity:

Female puppies:  6 months, depending on size and breed.

Male puppies:  5 months (depending on size and breed).

Female cats: 6 months. 

Male cats:  between 6 and 12 months. 

3.   Microchips and ID tags

We highly recommend getting your pet microchipped in addition to having them wear ID collars. Even when pet parents do their best to keep their pets safe, a percentage of pets will somehow get lost. For example, someone might accidentally leave a door or gate open. Or, the pet frantically escapes when they become frightened by loud noises such as thunder or fireworks.  They can sometimes get out when you least expect it.  Microchips and ID tags won’t prevent these incidents from occurring, but they make it much more possible for you to get reunited with your pet.

A study published by the American Veterinary Medical Association included 53 shelters across the U.S. This study found a high rate of return of microchipped dogs and cats to their families compared to those animals not microchipped. The study also pointed out the importance of getting the microchip registered with a database. For your convenience, we have included an article from the Humane Society on Registering Your Pet’s Microchip.

4.   Grooming your pet

Most pets, no matter if they are long, medium, or short hair, need some grooming, such as brushing and/or getting nails trimmed. Brushing your pet’s fur will help to keep the fur and skin healthy. It can also help you bond more with your pet. PetMD has some good data on how to groom your dog or cat.

5. Have a carrier, crate, or harness for your pet

You will need a carrier, crate, or harness on hand for your pet at all times. For one, you will need a way to safely transport your pet to and from the veterinarian. Also, you want to have one on hand in case of an emergency and you need to evacuate your home quickly. Here are safety tips from the ASPCA  for traveling in the car with your pet.

Final Words

A new pet can add so much joy to your life.  We at Advanced Pet Care Clinic hope the above tips help you get started on your new relationship with your furry loved one. Contact us to schedule an appointment and ask us about our discount for first-time pet visits. 


Dr. Tammy Stevenson
Advanced Pet Care Clinic