25 Essential Gifts for New Pet Owners
Being the parent of a pet is a lot like being the parent of a human: there sure are a lot of things you need to buy. Bowls, beds, leashes, poop bags, and litter boxes are just the necessities but, as with kids, the real shopping fun comes with buying all the extras. Gifts for new pet owners, especially those who don’t know about that latest toy all dog or cat owners swear by, can be a huge help to new “parents” trying to occupy their energetic new pup or kitten.
And even better than a gift is a gift basket with an assortment of must-haves. If you can’t decide what to get, create a gift basket stocked with things a pet owner might need, or even make something from the heart. Their lucky pets are sure to thank you.
Gift ideas for dogs, cats, and birds
Dog Gift Ideas
Dogs (especially puppies) can be a real handful, since they are more dependent on their owner’s care and attention than, say, a cat. Knowing exactly what products to buy for dogs can be a little overwhelming for new owners. An assortment of these items will help give the pet and its owner some comfort:
- Tennis ball or chew toys
- No-spill dog water bowl
- Gourmet dog treats or bones
- A brush or comb
- Customized dog tag
- Dog stairs for a tall bed
- Picture frame
Cat Gift Ideas
Cats will go crazy for the items in a basket made especially for them. Add yarn and catnip for playtime, plus homemade treats in their favorite flavors!
- Yarn ball
- Feather toys
- Catnip or treats
- Cat condos
- Cat chew toys
Bird Gift Ideas
Bird owners, birdwatchers, and their feathered friends alike will love the tasty DIY suet cakes and cozy new “homes” in this basket.
- Bird cage
- Bird books
- Accessories for the bird cage, like a mirror. Trust me, birds love mirrors as much as humans do.
5 Homemade Gifts for New Pet Owners
You could also consider making some pet-related gifts yourself. Everyone loves a cute homemade gift that reminds the recipient and their pets of you, plus you’ll get the warm fuzzies knowing you made something special for a friend.
Homemade Dog Treats
If you are looking for a homemade gift idea for a new pet owner (a friend or even yourself), consider filling a jar with dog-treat cookie cutters, along with the instructions for making the treats. You just might make a dog’s day.
Customized Cookie Jars
Customize a “cookie” (treat) jar with the pet’s name, using vinyl letter stickers. This will make a cute keepsake that also doubles as a home decor piece.
Create this do-it-yourself, easy-to-make, and pretty felt-braided rope dog toy. It’s a great DIY project to do with kids as well.
Dog-Inspired Tea Towel
Stencil an adorable tea towel for yourself or your dog-loving friends. You can even wrap it around a canister of tea for a more unique gift.
Make a Patchwork Pet Bed
Cut out squares from old blankets and sweaters to make a comfy, cozy patchwork dog bed.
Everything to Know About Getting a New PetThinking about getting a new pet? Consider these important elements of pet ownership:
The first question you should ask yourself before buying or adopting a new pet is whether your current lifestyle allows you enough time to train, walk, exercise, care and feed it. In particular, young animals require ample time for activities like feeding and training.
Search around on the internet or ask a friend for a recommendation for a veterinarian near you, and make sure that the vet is the right fit for you and your pet. Treat this vet search with the same seriousness you would for finding your own doctor. You want a trusted professional who can deliver the level of absolute, high-quality care your new pet deserves.
Remember that it is perfectly fine to change to a different vet if you feel that the one you first chose is not a good fit. Plenty of people have changed veterinarians during their pet-owning experiences.
Owning a new pet is much like having a baby in the house, in that you’ll need to make sure your home’s open spaces are free and clear of objects that could hurt the pet or that they might accidentally swallow. You should also close off areas that you don’t want your pet to explore.
We decided early in the pet-owning process that we didn’t want our dog going up to the second level of our house, so we purchased a gate and placed it at the bottom of the stairs. Years later, we were able to remove the gate, yet our dog still does not go up the stairs to the second level. This shows that taken early on, preventive measures help “train” pet behavior.
It’s no secret that being a pet “parent” is a big financial commitment, with frequent purchases of food, toys, accessories, medicines, vaccinations, and other health care needs all part of the deal. You’ll need to set aside some money before your pet arrives so that you’ll be prepared.
You’ll also need to factor in travel considerations when planning a pet-related budget. If you are not traveling with your pet, you will need to either hire a pet sitter, or make arrangements at a day care or veterinarian that boards pets overnight.
Kid and Family-Friendliness
If you have children or other pets, do some research on the best family-friendly breeds. It’s also important to think of the size of your living space in relation to the size of your pet, and then estimate the amount of space your pet might need to feel comfortable.
Show Some Pet Love
Hopefully your pet (a puppy as it was in our case) will become a full-fledged member of your family, but it probably won’t happen overnight.
Your pet will need time to acclimate to its new home, so you’ll need to be patient, affectionate, and compassionate. Things won’t be easy at first, especially with a dog adopted from an animal shelter or rescue group.
Give your pet three to four weeks to break out of its shell, become familiar with its new surroundings and routine, and start trusting you.
In addition, being fully prepared for your new pet’s arrival will allow you to focus on bonding with it as soon as you bring it home.
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