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A new furry friend can be fun, exciting, frustrating, and exhausting, all at once. But whatever type of pet you’re thinking about bringing home or have already brought home, you’ll want to keep them safe from harm, in good health, and trained. Below are a few tips to get you started with your newest addition to the family.

Get your paperwork in order

Register your new pet with your state and pay any necessary licensing fees. A license will also help you reunite with your pet if they get lost.

Schedule your first visit with a vet for an initial checkup

Make sure you discuss neutering, spaying, and vaccinations with your vet to determine what choices are right for your pet.

Consider pet insurance — vet bills can be costly

Make sure your pet and your wallet are covered with pet insurance before their first visit to the vet.

Microchip your pet. Sadly, it’s not uncommon for a pet to run away.

In case this happens to you, a microchip will allow any shelter or vet’s office to identify your pet.

Sign up for training

If your new pet is a puppy, sign them up for dog obedience training as soon as possible. Putting this off can lead to bad habits. In addition to helping your dog, part of obedience training is teaching first-time owners how to properly walk their dog in public and introduce them to other people and pets. No one wants an out-of-control dog.

Play! Play! Play!

Have fun with your new pet, and don’t forget to include your dogs’ or cats’ paws in playtime. New pets need to get used to having their paws handled, and this will also allow you to more easily trim their nails in the future.

Consider tracking technology

Microchips are useful for storing information, but they cannot track your pet’s location. If this is something you are concerned about, look into pet tracking devices. These can be attached to your pet’s collar and provide an easy way to find your pet if they run off. Keep in mind that tracking apps provide their own set of cyber risks. For more information on the cyber risks, click here.

Set a grooming schedule

Different breeds require different levels of maintenance. Do your research to see how often your pet should be groomed.