by NativeRemedies on February 11th, 2011 at 7:00 am
The month of February is Responsible Pet Owner’s Month. Owning a pet can give you and your family a great deal of joy and happiness, but it is also a lot of responsibility. Below are a list of guidelines and tips for making sure you are the ideal pet owner, this month, and every other month.
The Perfect Pal
Owning a pet is a lifetime commitment. So if you are new to pet purchasing, you should consider doing some homework beforehand. Pets are not like clothing that you can take back if it doesn’t fit properly. Knowing which pet will fit you and your lifestyle is key to a successful relationship.
If your work takes you out of town a lot or you don’t have time to groom your pet, you should consider a low maintenance pet. These are the type of situations you need to factor into your purchasing decision. Also, make sure you have a great support system that can help you while you are away.
Being a responsible pet owner means making sure that your pet has everything he/she needs on a daily basis. Sure, it can be easy to feed your pet, but you want to make sure you aren’t over-feeding your pet. Obesity in animals is dangerous, and fortunately can be circumvented. Just like humans, pets need a meal plan to ensure they are getting the proper nutrients without the weight gain. Ask your vet to help you make a suitable meal plan for your pet.
Keep all your appointments with your vet, even if you don’t feel they are necessary. Monthly check-ups are important for a healthy pet and also a requirement as a responsible owner. If you are a new pet owner, get all vaccinations and tags required for your pet in a timely manner. Microchipping is also a good option for pet owners. If your pet loses his/her tag, it could mean the difference between someone returning your pet to you, or sending your pet to the pound.
When you come home from a long day at work going outside to play with your pet may be the last thing on your mind. However, daily exercise is important for any animal, on or off the leash. If you are lucky enough to have a fenced in yard, it’s easy to let your pet play outside for a while. But this doesn’t negate the fact pets should also be taken for walks. Learn your local and state leash laws and abide by them, this can save you from a potential future headache.
If the Weather Outside is Frightful…
Be aware of weather conditions, if your pet is outside most of the time; create safe havens. In many areas, winter serves for chilly outside conditions including snow and sleet. During this time, you may want to consider bringing your pet indoors. During the summer, heat stroke in pets is very serious and common condition in pets, especially dogs. Never leave your pet in a car, even though the temperature is mild outside, inside a car it can reach dangerous conditions- quickly. If your pet is outside most of the day, create shady areas, leave frozen water bottles in their kennel and leave plenty of water for hydration.
The Social Network
Don’t forget that pets need socialization. Pets need both human and animal interaction. Cats require less interaction than dogs but they still crave attention. The best solution for a cat is to play with them using toys around your home. For dogs, consider going to dog parks and walking them on the street frequently, this will ensure healthy socialization habits. A great way to start socialization for a new puppy is to take him/her to obedience training.
As a pet owner it’s your responsibility to make sure your pet is achieving his/her peak performance. Following the guidelines above can help you and your pet become closer and live a healthy, long life together.
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