Having a pet is a fun and rewarding experience. You get to enjoy the companionship of other creatures aside from humans, and depending on what kind of pet you have, each has a different kind of personality — some are bubbly, some are shy, and some are even grumpy! No matter what their personality is, your pet is special to you and you always find them amazing. You get that rewarding feeling of gratefulness and satisfaction that you can only get from bringing home a furry (or not-so-furry) friend!
Pet owners should return the love they’re given by providing their animals with proper care. Taking care of pets is fun, yet a little hard because you have new responsibilities – but you won’t mind doing a few extra chores for your best four-legged friend!
To make your pets happy and healthy, here are the basic necessities that all responsible pet owners need to provide:
Pets need healthy food.
In order for your pet to grow up healthy and live a longer life, give them food that meets their nutritional needs! For example, the diet of a senior dog may differ from that of a puppy. Senior dogs may have problems with chewing and/or digestion, so it’s more recommended to give them a soft or wet diet. You won’t be giving the same food to every pet.
Don’t forget to give pets the right amount of food, too! Overfeeding your pet or giving them too many treats could lead to obesity, which could consequently trigger more health problems such as heart disease, renal problems, and more. Weigh your options when it comes to pet food to avoid these kinds of illnesses — and if you don’t exactly know what foods are best for your pet, it’s a great idea to ask the opinion of your vet!
Give your pets cool, fresh water to drink.
Just like human beings, pets need water in order to survive. Always provide a clean, fresh bowl of water to any and all animals in your care! Make it accessible to them by placing it near their food bowl, and remember to refill your pet’s water bowl at least two times a day. This will keep them cool, hydrated, and healthy!
If your pet lives in water, like fish and turtles, clean aquariums at least once a week. Failing to do so could lead to smelly tanks and sick pets!
Provide them a cozy shelter.
Many pets enjoy the great outdoors, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need a safe shelter when outside! Protect dogs, cats, chickens, and more from the weather – including extreme hot and cold temperatures – by putting kennels or houses with roofs in your backyard. Fresh water should also be kept outside at all times for pets when they’re not indoors.
You may also want to bring your pets indoors when really bad weather hits, or once it gets dark. Predators like coyotes tend to lurk at night, and they might find your pets as suitable prey. Keep your pet safe (and close!) by bringing them indoors with you.
Pets need to go to the bathroom, too.
Many types of pets can be housebroken, allowing them the opportunity to roam the house without the worries of accidents. Cats should be provided at least one litter box, and dogs can be taught how to use doggy doors, potty pads, or to wait for walks to relieve themselves.
No matter where your pet’s bathroom is, be sure to clean it regularly. Observing proper hygiene and sanitation will prevent dirt and bacteria from piling up, and help protect your pet’s health. Your pets will greatly appreciate having a clean area to do their business, too!
Pets require doctor visits and healthy habits.
To ensure that your pets are healthy and nimble, you should take them to a local, trusted veterinarian for wellness check-ups at least once a year. If your furry friend is showing signs or symptoms of being sick, take them to your vet or animal hospital right away to get them feeling better sooner rather than later!
Along with a proper diet, also make sure that your pet gets the exercise it needs. Proper diet plus exercise equals minimal vet visits! Another way to keep your pets healthy and happy is to regularly groom them (if needed). Dogs and cats may not like it, but baths, brushings, nail trims, and flea/tick removal are necessary parts of life!
Pets also benefit from socialization, whether that’s regular interaction with you, having guests come over, or trips outside of the house. Expand their horizons and improve their people skills by helping them to safely experience new things!
With the above tips, you and your beloved pet are well on your way to a lifetime of happiness together!
Jordan is the lead content curator for Coops And Cages, and a regular contributor for a couple of other pet-related blogs. His passion for animals is only matched by his love for ‘attempting’ to play the guitar. If you would like to catch him, you can via Google+ or on Twitter at @CoopsAndCages.