Although pets can bring a lot of joy and pleasure to your life and can help with mental health issues such as depression and loneliness, they can also cause a lot of stress, especially if you begin to develop pet owner anxiety. Rather than allow your pets to make you feel constantly tense, here are some of the steps that you can take to alleviate the stress that you might be feeling as a new pet owner.
1. Get Pet Insurance
Pets can put a lot of financial pressure on you. Although, in an ideal world, you would have thought about how much your pet would cost you before you brought them home, it isn’t always this simple, and your circumstances may have changed. This could mean that you start to put off taking your pet to the vet for fear that you might be charged an extraordinary amount in vet bills.
However, it’s important that your pet is able to get the medical attention that they need without you going into debt to pay for this. Then, you should consider taking out pet insurance as this can cover your expenses if your pet is diagnosed with a health condition or sustains an injury and needs treatment. This will take one worry off your mind in the event of an emergency. You should look around for pet insurance for cats online as soon as you can.
2. Find a Great Vet
If you find that you’re constantly googling the symptoms of serious conditions and fretting over every little change in your pet’s behavior, you should make sure that you’ve signed your pet up to a great vet’s clinic. By doing this, you’ll be able to put your mind at rest by booking an appointment with a professional that you trust. This vet will also be able to give you advice and practical steps that you can take to improve your pet’s care and prevent them from developing some of the most common illnesses in cats and dogs.
However, you shouldn’t just sign your pet up to any old vet. Instead, you should look around for a vet who’s reliable and who has a lot of experience and qualifications in the field. To find a great vet, you should consider asking other pet owners in your area and trying out a few different veterinary clinics before you find one that matches your and your pet’s needs. For instance, some clinics might be able to perform operations in-house, while others might need to send your pet to a different, out-of-hours facility that might be difficult for you to get to.
3. Get a Behaviorist
Often, your pet may be stressing you out because their behavior has gone down the drain and because they’re putting you and your family at risk. If this is the case, and you’re worried that they or someone else could come to harm, you should consider seeing a behaviorist for your pet. They may be able to iron out issues such as straining at the leash, ignoring commands, and biting people and other animals, as well as problems such as separation anxiety.
By hiring a behaviorist, you’ll be able to enjoy life with your pet more, ensure that your pet is not as distressed as they were previously, and make sure that you have the tools that you need to maintain your pet’s behavior and to deal with any challenges as they occur. Some of these behaviorists might also offer online courses, classes and one-on-one guidance that can help you no matter where you’re located.
4. Get a Pet that Suits Your Lifestyle
Rather than find that you struggle further down the line, you should try to find a pet that suits your lifestyle from the get-go. By thinking more about your lifestyle than your ideal pet, you’ll be able to ensure that their needs don’t clash with your routine and that you have the time and ability to look after the animal in question.
For instance, if you like to spend a lot of time outdoors, you should look for a dog that loves walking and exercise, whereas you might search for a smaller, low-maintenance dog or a cat if you only have time for the minimum amount of exercise per day. This will help both you and your pet to be happy and will mean that you’re not constantly hassled trying to fit your responsibilities as a pet owner around your current routine.
5. Try Relaxing Exercises
If you constantly feel tense and uptight, this isn’t your pet’s fault, and rather than take it out on them, you should try relaxing exercises that might be able to help you to stay calm and level-headed. For instance, you might take up yoga or meditation, or use an app that can help to put your mind at rest and allow you to organize your thoughts. You might also consider creative activities such as art and journaling, or going on a walk in nature, which can be the perfect option for those with energetic dogs.
If you’re struggling with stress and this is impacting on your mental health, you should consider visiting a therapist. A therapist can help you to develop strategies that can stem panic, reduce anxiety about your pets and their health, and allow you to take life one moment at a time.
6. Create a Will
You might be worried about the future when it comes to your pet, especially if you’re in your senior years or have a chronic illness. This means that you should create a plan for your pet that can be referred to in the event that you’re no longer able to look after them. This plan should include who will look after your pet and what they’ll need to enjoy the rest of their life.
You should also mention your pet and what you want to happen to them in your will, as this will mean that your wishes are respected and that your pet isn’t abandoned if you pass away suddenly. It’s important that you get a lawyer to look over this will for you so that it’s completely legal and there are no loopholes in it.