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Here Are 3 Things Born To Be Wild Host Dr. Ferds Recio Wants First Time Pet Owners To Know

Whether you're getting a puppy, a kitten, or adopting from the local shelter, there are things you must consider before bringing your new furry companion home.

Having a pet is a huge responsibility. Whether you’re getting a puppy, a kitten, or adopting from the local shelter, there are things you must consider before bringing your new furry companion home.

While many think that getting pets is easy– you just need to feed them and make sure they’re drinking enough water– there are actually a few important you must do and prepare to ensure that your pet will have a comfortable stay with you.

Dr. Ferds Recio of Doc Ferds Animal Wellness Center and host of GMA Show Born To Be Wild shares some guidelines on how to take care of your first-ever pet– and whether having one is actually for you. Read on. (Read: Doc Ferds on His Most Unforgettable Animal Encounters)

What should you consider when thinking about getting a pet?

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Photo from Peanut Blossom

Doc Ferds said that first and foremost, one must know his/her personality. “It should match with the breed of the pet you want,” he said. Another thing is your experience in getting a pet– if you had a pet before, make sure you are ready to take care of another one. Doc Ferds also advises to consider how big or small your space is. “Will there be a place where you can safely keep your pet?” You should also consider the people who live with you on whether they are okay with you owning a pet. You should make sure that they do not have allergies or it won’t a pose a health risk to them.

And because having a pet is a huge responsibility, Doc Ferds advises on checking your financial capability on whether you can afford veterinary bills, hospitalization in case the pet gets sick, vaccinations, check-ups, food, and supplements. Lastly, a new pet owner should think about the time he/she would spend with the pet. “You may have ticked everything, but you’re always busy. Then maybe you should reconsider owning a pet,” Doc Ferds said. (Read: Checklist: 5 Things Responsible Pet Owners Focus On)

What if the person who wants to have a pet does not have a space for the pet to run around (ex. condo living), what can he/she do to make the pet comfortable?

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Photos from Doc Ferds Animal Wellness Center Facebook and (background) Dreamstime.com

“Consider smaller pets like pocket pets, fishes, reptiles (if you’re ready). Cats thrive well in small condos, just provide them with the essentials and they are good,” Doc Ferds said. However, if you wish to have dogs, he advises on getting a smaller breed as they require a smaller space to move around. “If you must keep a larger breed consider longer walks. It will help both the pet and you the owner. Different breeds will have different time requirements,” he added.

To be comfortable, Doc Ferds advises to walk dogs on the cooler times of the day but ask your vet first for health risks. Dogs that are put in a cramped space or cage all day can become destructive. Give them toys to keep them busy when you have something to do. But Doc Ferds said that “crating them for short periods can help keep your pet become less destructive.” (Read: 5 Tips to Keep Your Pets Safe During a Disaster)

What is your advice for people who want to have exotic pets? What should they consider?

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Photo from Doc Ferds Animal Wellness Center Facebook

“Know the species and the requirements for their keep. Do your due diligence in making sure the exotic pets were acquired and sold legally or you may get into trouble with the authorities,” Doc Ferds said. If you want to have an exotic pet, check the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List to make sure that your pet is not an endangered species and that you do not contribute to wildlife trafficking.
“Also, you may want to ask DENR how you can help ease the burden of our wildlife sanctuaries by donating or volunteering. They also give special permits to those wiling and able to keep wildlife that cannot be returned to the wild again because of certain issues,” he said.

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