Pets bring joy to our lives and become a part of the family. Yet, owning a pet comes with responsibilities. Here are ten things you can do to be a responsible pet owner for your family.
1. Make Your Home Safe
Animals love to roam around the house, so to ensure their safety, you want to pet-proof your home. Keep medications and household cleaning products out of reach. You want to research which products are harmful to pets and hide these away.
In your kitchen, use childproof latches on the cabinet. Also, keep trash can lids covered. Place any dangling wires in high locations and put away all your children’s toys. In addition, remove any house plants, such as lilies, which can be harmful if your pet ingests them.
2. Keep Your Pet Active
Pets need regular exercise to stay healthy. Even during those colder months, it’s essential to take your dog out for daily walks. How much exercise your furry friend needs depends on their type of breed. A golden retriever needs about 1.5 hours a day, and Boston terriers only need about 30 minutes.
Besides just walks, playing games like tug a war or fetch helps your pet release any pent-up energy. Another good activity is engaging their brain through mental exercises, like training. Daily movement can even prevent your puppy from developing negative behavioral habits.
3. Stay On Top of Their Long-Term Health
Besides just feeding and walking your dog, you need to keep up with regular medical visits. Your pet needs to visit a veterinarian at least once a year. A visit to the vet can spot any potential medical issues early on. During the check-up, your pet will also receive essential vaccines. Consider investing in pet insurance to prepare for any unexpected emergencies.
Also, keep up with your animal’s hygiene routine. Be sure to regularly groom and bathe your pet. Remember to brush their teeth to prevent gum disease.
4. Feed Them a Healthy Diet
Ensuring your pet is getting the right amount of food and it’s good for them is important. The type of food they should eat depends on several factors, like their age and weight. If you’re unsure what to feed them, consult a veterinarian. When buying food, check the label for a statement from the Association of American Feed Control Officials saying the product is balanced.
5. Ensure They’re Properly Trained
Training your furry friend is essential to teaching them discipline and can be a fun way to bond. Plus, your family will thank you later when your pet isn’t wildly running around the house. Teach them basic pet commands, such as sit and stay. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even train them to do more advanced tricks, like shaking hands.
During the session, find a quiet room free from any distractions. Consider breaking up the lessons into shorter intervals to keep your dog engaged.
6. Give Your Pet an ID Tag
An ID tag would help identify your pet if they were to go missing. Having identification also makes your dog more approachable to strangers. Place critical information on the tag, such as your phone number and your pet’s medical needs.
With advanced technology, microchipping your pet is another option. The electron chip is a permanent form of identification placed under their skin.
7. Spay or Neuter Them
By spaying or neutering your pet, you’re helping to prevent overpopulation. In fact, every year, over 20 million animals are placed in shelters. There are also health benefits to the procedure, such as preventing uterine infections. Your pet may even behave better and is less likely to wander away from your house.
8. Let Your Pet Play With Others
Social interaction can boost your pet’s confidence and make them happier. It also makes it easier to take them out for walks. Socialization is important to train your dog to react in a healthy way and be less aggressive.
To help with the process, expose your pet to a wide variety of people of various genders and ages. You want to start the process earlier rather than later. Attend a pet training class or head to the dog park to get them familiar with other animals. Make sure to bring lots of treats and pay attention to your pet’s cues.
9. Treat Your Pet Like Part of the Family
Once you bring a pet home, it’s your job to provide it with love and attention. Treating it as part of the family can increase your pet’s happiness and prevent them from acting out. Creating a special bond can even make taking care of them feel less stressful.
In return, your pets provide your family with many benefits, such as companionship. Pets can help to reduce anxiety and increase physical activity. They can also impact younger children by increasing their empathy and self-esteem. Having a pet will teach them responsibility as well.
10. Pick Up Your Pets Poop
When you’re out for a walk, be sure to pick up after your pet. It is respectful to others, and it prevents the spread of bacteria and parasites. Look for bags that are both thick and strong enough to hold the waste. If you want to go green, consider buying biodegradable plastic bags.
How to Properly Care For Your Pet
Owning a pet can provide companionship and endless cuddles! However, you should properly care for your pets. Keeping up with all your pet’s needs will provide a better home environment for your family. So, follow these tips to give your furry friend a happy and healthy life.