Whether it’s Ginger, Fido, Mr Kibble, Puppy or Kitty all these pets have a special place in your heart as a pet owner and parent, so caring for them is important to you. Here are 8 important things every pet lover must know before becoming a pet-owner pro:
Feeding your pet is oh so vital. Consult with your veterinarian about what’s the best brand of pet food or processed food substitution for your pet. You would never go a whole day without eating so why leave Mr Kibble unfed? The number of times you feed your pet is based on your personal schedule, but twice a day is good for most pets. We suggest changing your pet’s water at least twice a day as well.
Exercise is important for any pet. Just like us, animals need to burn calories, work muscles and get some much needed run-up-and-down time for themselves. Taking your pet on walks, hikes, swimming or playing fetch or other games helps them to stay fit and active. Buying or making toys for your furry friend is also a wonderful way to keep them active – and too busy to destroy shoes and rugs you have at home.
Grooming your pet is especially important in such warm climates. Bathing dogs at least once a month and cats at least once every two months is a good way to keep them clean, cool and tick and flea free. Dogs and cats need to be brushed at least once every two days to rid them of excess hair they may have shed. These loose hairs often cause matting which can attract mosquitoes that cause heart-worm. Yes, a simple brushing can prevent heart-worm! Brushing your pet can also lessen the number of hairballs your feline friend can produce.
Sheltering your pet is just as important as anything else because pets need to be protected from heavy rains and hot sunny days too. Every pet wants somewhere to call their own, so a kennel, cage or space on the veranda Ginger can claim as her own, is important. These areas must be kept clean and comfortable for your pet as far it is possible. Dogs who are chained must be given chances to go for walks and to “relieve” themselves in an area away from where they sleep.
“Potty” spaces are necessary for all pets, whether big or small. Your four-footed friend will need somewhere to relieve himself – a litter-box, an area lined with newspaper, a box with dirt, a designated spot on the lawn or a hole in the back yard. Make sure you create a safe place for your pet to ‘go’ and make sure to keep the area clean by changing the newspaper, cleaning the litter box, picking up after them or covering their business with dirt.
Training your pet can be beneficial to both of you. Dogs more than cats need to be trained to listen to you and trained to know right from wrong by your standards. Yes, Bowser is your buddy, but he needs to know who is the boss! Setting up rules that all members of the family are privy to, can help your dog learn what he can and cannot do, such as taking the clothes off the line, going on the couch or chasing cars on the road. The best time to train your pooch is when he is a pup, maybe even taking him to an obedience class or learning from the Internet. But most importantly, be consistent and be patient with your canine companion.
Healthy pets make for a healthy home. Take pets to the vet at least twice a year for check-ups and whenever they may seem unwell. Make sure that your furry baby gets his shots and buy prescribed vitamins and worm medicine for him as is necessary.
Love and affection are the two invaluable ways you can be the reason Puppy wags his tail, or Kitty purrs endlessly! Just like children and spouses and parents and siblings, pets thrive in affection, so keep them happy by giving them plenty belly scratches, head rubs, hugs, kisses and “we time”. Give them treats for good behaviour and take dogs on outings to the beach or walks around the community.