There is much more to owning a pet than simply providing it with water and food. If you want to be a responsible pet owner, there are many more things you must consider.
Responsible Pet Care is a Lifetime Commitment
Dogs and cats are living beings with wants, needs and feelings much like humans. With that said, before you choose to add a pet to your home, make sure that you can meet the following requirements:
Commit to a Lifetime of Care
It can never be stressed enough that if you want a pet, you must be ready to commit to a lifetime of care. Depending on the breed, pets can live anywhere from 10 to 16 years or even longer. If you are not willing to provide proper care for a dog or cat for the next decade or longer, you should reconsider pet ownership.
Obtain Proper Veterinary Care
Just as with babies and children, pets need regular vaccinations and medical checkups. Proper veterinary care will not only keep your pet healthy and happy, but it will prevent your dog or cat from developing any diseases that can be spread to other pets as well. In addition to vaccinations and checkups, pets will also need regular dental care, grooming, wormings and parasite control treatments.
Spay or Neuter Your Pet
Every day, there are literally millions of kittens, puppies, cats and dogs put to sleep in animal shelters across the country. There are simply not enough homes to accommodate all of these helpless animals. However, you can be a responsible pet owner by spaying or neutering your cat or dog and preventing it from adding to this ever-growing problem. Know the main benefits of spaying and neutering your pet.
Do Not Allow Your Pet to Roam
Roaming pets can create many problems, even if you think that your dog or cat is well-behaved. As a responsible pet owner, it is essential that you keep your pet indoors or within a secured yard or kennel. Just some of the problems that roaming pets can cause are listed below.
- Dog Bites/Attacks
- Unwanted Breeding
- Getting into Neighbors’ Trash
- Eliminating in Neighbors’ Yards
- Destroying Neighbors’ Yards and Gardens
- Lost Pets
Bring Pets in During Extreme Weather
Extreme heat (Dog Dehydration) or cold (Frostbite) is not just uncomfortable for your pet, but it can be deadly as well. Never leave your pet outdoors during extremely cold or hot weather. Additionally, do not lock your dog or cat inside a car during the summer. The temperature within a closed car can skyrocket within just minutes, even if a window is cracked. Prevent weather-related hypothermia in dogs and cats!
Maintain a Pet-Safe Home
Finally, if you want to become a pet owner, it is essential for you to maintain a pet-safe home. This includes keeping chemicals locked away, taping electrical cords to walls and putting away any objects your pet may try to chew/damage. Additionally, child gates can help keep your pet out of any restricted rooms or areas in your home.
Being a pet owner is an exciting experience; however, it should never be taken lightly. There are many responsibilities associated with owning pets. As such, before you choose to bring that cute puppy or kitten home, make sure you are ready to be a responsible pet owner. February is devoted to Responsible Pet Owners Month!