5 Tips for New Pet Owners


Today, more than 67% of homes own a pet compared to just 56% nearly 40 years ago. In the United States, 85 million households are home to some sort of pet, whether it be a dog, cat or even a horse. The pandemic accelerated this trend, as some places saw a 70% Increase in pet adoptions in 2022. Pets have even been shown to enrich the lives of their owners over the lifetime of ownership. 

If all this talk about pets has you wanting to explore the idea of bringing a new friend into your home, here are five tips to help you make the most of being a first-time owner.

1. Think about the pet that best fits in with your family

Before you head out to the local pet store or rescue shelter, talk with members of your family to discuss the pet that is best for your lifestyle. If you are an active family that is always on the go, live in a smaller space or otherwise, make sure that everyone is on the same page about what owning a pet means for the family moving forward. Everyone will have a hand in caring for this new pet, and having defined roles will help with the next step.

2. Prepare for arrival

We know that you’re really itching to get to that pet store or shelter, and we promise we’re almost there, but the next best thing you can do before you make the jump is to get your house ready. Remember, this is going to be a completely new situation for both you and your pet, so make the most of the time you have now by ensuring that your house is in tip top shape, and you know where all those new toys, crate and other items will go. Also stock up on the supplies you’ll need as that will also leave more time for the third tip.

3. Pay attention to everything, literally 

Ok, we’ve held you up long enough. Go out and get that pet and we’ll be here when you get back. Great, you’re a new pet owner. Congratulations! Now, the real work starts. It’s time to lay the markers for how this new space will work for everyone. And that includes paying attention to your new pet. And we mean as much attention as possible. Some pets may not need a lot of it, while others require it at significantly higher rates. Whatever your pet needs, this is the time where owners begin to set boundaries while your pets start to get used to being in your home. 

4. Find a vet and schedule a checkup 

Your pet deserves access to high-quality care throughout the duration of its life. Do your research and maybe reach out to some fellow pet owners for recommendations on veterinarians. Once you’ve landed on a vet, make an appointment soon after you’ve brought your new pet home. Setting this visit, and any yearly ones after this, means you’ll be on top of vaccinations and have a relationship with a vet that you trust and knows your pet nearly as well as you do.

5. Get pet insurance 

As you might have noticed throughout this list, pets are not cheap and come with a host of costs both seen and unseen. One thing you can do now to help give you and your family peace of mind is exploring pet insurance through Westwood. Spend more time enjoying all the love and memories that having a pet brings to your home. Speak with an independent Westwood agent today.

Please Note: This article is for general informational and educational purposes only. It does not represent any specific insurance policy and does not modify any provisions, limitations, or exclusions of any current policy.