US households invariably have pets, mostly dogs or cats. Pet parents are usually aware of how to take care of their pets. Taking care of your pets may not be very different from the way you bring up your children, though they are chalk and cheese. You can indulge them but have to be strict when needed. Many of these dos and don’ts can be learned through experience, but if you know them in advance, it can save many avoidable occurrences in your household.
Which are the steps essential to take care of pets and which ones should be avoided? First, let’s check out the things you should do as a pet parent.
Feeding the Pet is Very Critical
The food that the pets consume varies with the animal and the particular breed they belong to. You must first study and learn that before you even bring your first pet home. The important aspect is that pets should not starve but at the same time, they should not be overfed either. Remember that like humans, overfeeding of pets can also make them gain weight. Overweight in animals like dogs can result in heart problems for them.
Some breeds of dogs are very fond of food. The pet parents should be careful in not giving them food whenever they want. This develops a bad habit in the pet. If you are not exercising the dog sufficiently, it could turn obese. The portion you feed them on each occasion is important too. If you are not very sure of these details, you must go with the advice of the vet. You can attend orientation courses that train you to take care of pets the right way.
So take necessary actions while feeding the pets and give them food at the designated hour. Feed the pets what is best for them depending on their breed, age, weight and so on. Each time you feed them, ensure the quantity is neither more nor less than what is prescribed or is the norm. Avoid feeding them between meals, except a biscuit here and there just to get them to do an activity.
Take Care of Their Living Environment
Whether it is dogs or cats or any other pet you have chosen to have in your home, ensure they live comfortably. If you live in a cold place, the pets must be provided with a warm enclosure. They must not be exposed to a dirty environment.
The provisions for the pets must include water for them to drink when they feel thirsty. Keeping the pets hydrated is a must.
Get them to grow healthy habits. In the case of cats, they can be potty-trained quickly. They will use the litter box and stay reasonably clean. If you are having a dog as the pet, you will have to take the dog out and clean its poop. You can try and bring in a set timing for this so that you and the pet feel comfortable with it.
Take Care of Pet’s Health
If you feed your pet properly and offer a healthy living place, half your problems may be solved in ensuring your pet stays healthy. However, there are other actions needed to protect the animal from contracting any disease. One requirement is to visit the vet periodically with your pet. The vet will conduct the routine examination and advice you accordingly. Here, the dogs may need more frequent medical attention than cats.
There are scheduled vaccinations to be administered to the animals and your vet will be able to provide that schedule. In the case of dogs, deworming and external parasite control is to be carried out. Dogs are also prone to certain dental issues. Having them examined for this is also necessary.
Grooming pets can eliminate many potential health issues. Give the pet a bath to get rid of any bacteria or dirt. This is important from your family’s health viewpoint as well.
There are also aspects like reproduction and in the case of dogs spaying or neutering are suggested as alternatives. Again, the veterinarian is the right person to guide you properly depending on what your choices are.
The Social and Relationship Perspective
Every pet owner develops a bond with his/her pet(s). It grows over time and both the pet parent and the pet have to work for this. As a pet parent, you must spend sufficient time with your pet. If you have to take it out for a walk in the park or elsewhere, you should do that regularly and should not ignore the pet. Most breeds of dogs have to be put through certain exercises, making them run a certain distance or for a certain duration. You have to keep communicating with your pet so that it behaves well in front of visitors, outsiders, children, and other pets. The responsibility for the pet’s actions lies with you.
Things You Should Avoid Doing with Your Pets
Several things are not necessary or have to be avoided if you have pets. Mainly, these relate to the way the pets are fed, especially since they have no way of communicating to you if something is wrong. The mistakes pet owners have been observed to make are listed below.
- To feed the pets human food; the pets roam around the dining area when the family is having food and this is a regular scene in many households. Feeding like this should be avoided. Ideally, give the pet its food just before you eat so that it does not feel hungry when you are eating. Pet foods are specially prepared, considering their requirements and animals can be harmed by certain contents in human food.
- Some cat owners feed them fish and normal milk. This should be avoided.
- Some people leave their pets alone in their cars – this is wrong.
- Others yell at their pets or punish them – this is not necessary.
The bottom line here is that having a pet in your home is a healthy habit. However, taking the right care of the animal is much more important than that. You must equip yourself with the knowledge of what is best for your pets and act accordingly.