You don’t need anyone to tell you that it is really important to look after family pets but if it is your first time of having one, you might not be fully aware of some of the essentials. Having a pet is wonderfully fulfilling and you will want to give your pet the best life you possibly can. Pets are one of the family and they need to be well cared for from their diet to flea treatment and everything in between.
Here are some of the essential elements of caring for family pets:
Diet – For all types of pets, it is important that they are fed appropriately and as frequently as recommended. This will vary greatly depending on the type of pet that you have and even the breed of dog for example. A balanced diet is particularly important for all pets and should be right for the level of activity and age of the pet. Overfeeding can seem like you are just spoiling them but you could be really affecting their health. Always make sure that your pet has access to fresh, clean drinking water every day. You should ask your vet for advice on the best diet for your pet. Also, be careful if you share human meals with your pets as some food like chocolate, onions and raisins can be poisonous to dogs and certain flowers can be dangerous for cats.
In the home – Providing a comfortable and dry place for pets to sleep is just as important as you having a comfortable bed at night. Many dogs and cats prefer to sleep on your bed but if you want to keep them out of your bed then it helps to get them a bed that they like to sleep on and keep it in a warm place. Cold, hard floors can be felt through thin beds so make sure the bed you buy for your pet doesn’t feel the cold through it.
Pets also like to be playful so that they don’t get bored. If you provide them with toys they are also less likely to start biting/scratching/chewing/eating things that you don’t want them to. Try to keep small items out of reach of dogs in case they try to eat them. It is also vital that your pets get company and human attention so that they stay happy. Many vets recommend that guinea pigs and other small animals like gerbils are kept in pairs for company.
Outside the home – Whilst most cats will happily roam about outside, they can often get trapped in neighbours’ sheds and garages. So if your cat goes missing, make sure you ask your neighbours to look in their outside buildings and sheds if they have any. If you have guinea pigs, make sure that they are safe from predators.
Always put pet tags on your cats and dogs so if they get found they can easily be returned. The RSPCA advises people not to keep dogs outside, as they can get ill if they pick up a cold.
You should never leave your dog alone in a car, it can get extremely hot in cars and it can have fatal results. Always take water for your dog if you do go on a long journey and make sure that you stop for breaks so they can exercise and go to the toilet.
Exercise – Dogs need to get exercise and certain breeds of dogs require a large amount of exercise. You should not get a dog if you are unable to give it the right amount of exercise and if you are struggling, ask friends and neighbours for help or pay a dog walker. Otherwise, the best option is to let your dog go to a home where they can get all of the exercise that they need.
Medical – Vets can be expensive but if you can’t afford vet bills it is not fair to get a dog. Dogs and cats need to be vaccinated and have other essential treatment like getting neutered. If you notice any physical changes in your pet, see a vet to get advice and a checkup.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.