New pet owners take more than three months on average to get acquainted with a new puppy or kitten

When they first started welcoming their new pet, more than half of puppy and kitten owners (58 percent) had such a hard time with their furry friend that they wondered if they had taken the right decision – and one in five has had an argument with their family or partner. because of stress.

But despite the hard work, an overwhelming majority (87%) said welcoming a new puppy or kitten into their home was one of the best decisions they’ve ever made – and they’re so happy about it. have done.

Six in ten even said that they sometimes prefer to spend time with their puppy or kitten rather than their partner.

The research was conducted by Pets at Home, which offers free access to expert advice through its VIP Puppy & Kitten Club.

Karen Heskin, Head of Pets at Pets at Home, said: “When it comes to welcoming a new puppy or kitten to the family, there is a lot to love and a lot to learn.

“While we know this is one of the most rewarding experiences people can have, caring for a puppy or kitten is not without its challenges.

“From the day they come into our lives, until their first birthday and beyond, there are bound to be ups and downs, and it is essential that pets and their owners have the right support throughout. of their lives – making sure they and their pets are healthy, happy, and able to enjoy the amazing times that becoming a new puppy or kitten owner can bring.

“Having a place to turn for reassurance and practical advice from experts is essential, whether that is advice on training, help choosing the right food or learning about vaccinations. .

“That’s why we’ve created our VIP Puppy & Kitten Club, to provide owners with support and encouragement every step of the way. “

The research also found that two-thirds (65%) of pet owners underestimated the cost of their puppy or kitten during the pandemic, while more than half (54%) found their education. animal more difficult than expected.

And 46% of parents surveyed said the first six months with their new pet was even more difficult than the first year with their baby, with 13% also confirming that their new puppy or kitten had difficulty sleeping.

One-third (35 percent) reported scratched furniture, chewed shoes or slippers (33 percent), and small stains on rugs or rugs (32 percent).

And a quarter (26%) found their new pet was in the garden digging up grass or plants.

Despite these youthful issues, 85% say the arrival of their new pet has had a positive impact on their mental health.

Nine in ten (88 percent) loved the way they bonded with their new pet, and they now feel like part of the family.

Karen Heskin added, “Training your new puppy or kitten is no easy task, and we encourage all new pet owners to seek as much help and advice as they need – it can. really make a difference.

“For example, for puppies who might have trouble sleeping, it’s important that they exercise their brain as well as their body.

“So on a walk, try letting them stop to smell new smells – it stimulates their minds, which can help them sleep better at night.

“With the right support, the rewards of welcoming your new canine companion or feline friend home are limitless.”

TOP 10 MOST ANXIOUS MOMENTS FOR NEW PET OWNERS IN THE FIRST 12 MONTHS:

  1. The first time they leave their pet for a few hours
  2. Meet other animals
  3. First night’s sleep
  4. First visit to the vet
  5. Know how much to feed them
  6. First time away for one night
  7. Understand how much exercise they should be doing
  8. Trying to work from home while looking after them
  9. Organize pet sitters
  10. First married

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