Pet ownership is a full-time job that requires full-time love, commitment and patience. Bringing home a dog from the local animal shelter can be as overwhelming as bringing home a newborn baby. Here are tips that new pet owners should consider doing the first few weeks of owning a dog or cat:
Dogs and cats do not know their given name yet; nor where they live (nor you, for that matter) and they can easily get lost if left by themselves for long periods of time. Be sure to register your new dog or cat; and get a collar on the new pet with your contact information.
Routine Veterinarian Visits
Dogs and cats will need to make annual visits to vets to make sure they remain healthy. As the pet ages, he/she will need to see a vet more frequently to ensure they are healthy - semi-annual visits, even sooner, will become necessary. Make sure pets are up-to-date with shots and vaccines and regularly groomed and checked for ticks.
Healthy Pet Foods
Pet obesity is on the rise according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. In 2017, 60% of cats and 56% of dogs are overweight or obese in the United States; and this can be prevented by pet owners with healthy foods for pets and reduced amount of foods. Read labels to know what foods are entering pets. Consult a vet if you aren't sure what to give your pet for weight control.
Eating right isn't enough to lose weight. Dogs and cats need at least 30 minutes of daily activity to stay fit and maintain strong bones/joints. Exercise becomes increasingly important as animals age and gives pet owners a good excuse to bond with pets. (Fence in dogs and cats from inside a secure pet fence for convenience at home.)
This February, spread the word about Responsible Pet Ownership and take small steps to improve animal health and wellness with your own pets.