Pets are universally recognized to give their owners numerous health benefits including reduced stress levels and increased fitness. In fact, the bond between humans and pets is so deep and profound that some pets, such as dogs, even help reduce symptoms of depression.
Whether you are an experienced pet owner or have just gotten your first pet, it is always a good idea to constantly educate yourself on the best ways to take care of your non-human companions. After all, they are an integral part of your family.
Before getting a pet, however, it is important to know estimated costs in terms of money and time that you will need to invest in the health and well-being of your pet. Having decided that, the next step is to take on the responsibilities associated with having a pet. In this article, we have highlighted a comprehensive guide regarding what you should consider when bringing home a dog, cat, bird, fish, hamster, or any other pet.
Get Pet Insurance To Cover Their Health Needs
Perhaps the most important job is to make sure that you register your pet with a veterinarian, second to find the most suitable insurance for your pet. It’s best to find a pet insurance marketplace, such as Pawlicy Advisor, that allows you to compare different insurance policies and find the best one that fits your pets’ needs and requirements at the lowest available rate. Getting pet insurance is a great way to avoid any unexpected financial burdens in case your pet gets sick or has an injury from an accident.
Secondly, as soon as you get a pet, schedule a trip to the vet and ascertain what vaccinations they require and if they need to be spayed or neutered. Your vet should always be your first point of contact and you should ideally arrange regular yearly visits that involve a full health check-up of your pet.
You may also want to get a microchip implant to help you easily ID your pet in case they get lost. Usually, dogs, cats, and rabbits are microchipped, but it is best to consult with your vet before making that decision.
Ensure Grooming and Cleanliness
It is extremely important to take care of your pet’s hygiene, grooming, and overall cleanliness to avoid them getting sick or spreading diseases to you or your family members.
Grooming requirements will vary according to the pet you have. Generally, most pets need to be bathed twice a week in lukewarm water using a shampoo that has been specially formulated for pets. You may also be required to regularly brush your pet, such as a dog, to make sure that their coat is not brittle or flaky. Additionally, always check for ticks and fleas to ensure that your pet isn’t carrying any parasites.
Some pets will also require brushing their teeth and trimming their nails. Regular brushing two to three times a week is excellent for preventing oral health problems and maintaining good breath. Similarly, if you have a dog, cat, or bird, you may need to get special nail clippers and cut their nails when you hear clicking or tapping sounds as they roam around.
This also involves regularly cleaning their bedding, clearing out the cat litter, cleaning fish tanks and birdcages, and washing and replacing any toys they might have.
Maintain A Balanced Diet
Just like humans, every pet has certain dietary needs to maintain their health. For example, for your cat, you may need to decide between canned wet food or kibble, and ensure that whatever you get doesn’t contain harmful preservatives such as BHA, BHT, propyl gallate, and ethoxyquin.
Similarly, when choosing the best food for your dog, you need to maintain a balance between meat, vegetables, grains, and fruits because, unlike cats, dogs are not strict carnivores.
Buy Reef Aquarium
Likewise, choosing food for reef aquarium fish will involve giving them adequate amounts of either frozen food such as plankton, dry food such as flakes, pellets, or granules, greens such as anacharis, or freeze-dried food such as worms.
Ideally, you should set a schedule for feeding your pet to avoid them overeating and suffering from obesity-related problems. Plus, depending on your pet and their breed, you may need to adjust the quantity and the number of times you feed them. For this, we advise consulting your vet so that they can come up with a detailed nutrition plan.
Pet Proof Your House
Before bringing your pet home, it is extremely important to make it pet-friendly. This usually involves taking care of loose wires and electrical outlets that may be in their reach. It will also include clearing your kitchen and bathroom of cleaning products and medicines that may contain harmful and toxic substances. It is best to lock these in a cabinet to avoid your pet inhaling or ingesting them. You may also want to invest in a no-chew spray if you are worried that your pet will end up scratching the furniture.
Pet proofing also involves keeping food items such as chocolates locked away in cabinets as they can be poisonous for some pets such as dogs and cats. Additionally, close the toilet lids at all times and ensure that your dustbins and garbage have secure lids to avoid your pets rummaging through them.
Take Care Of Your Pets Exercise Needs
Regular exercise is integral for the physical and mental health of your pet. This allows them to stay in shape and ensures a healthy digestive and circulatory system. Plus, it allows them to lose some calories in case they seem to be putting on some weight.
For example, you can walk your dog, take them with you on a run, or play with them for at least one hour every day. For cats, it is best to get some cat toys such as feather teasers to keep them active and entertained. Similarly, if you have a bird, make sure that you regularly let them out of the cage so that they can spread their wings and legs.
A pet will truly change your life and allow you to become a more caring, giving, and responsible person. In time, you will simply forget how you ever lived without them! If you have kids, pets can be an absolutely brilliant way to teach them responsibility and empathy to shape them into becoming better human beings. Just make sure to give your pet ample time and tender love, and care. We are sure you will make a wonderful pet parent!