The decision to get a pet is one that can change your life. Caring for a dog, a cat, or another animal can give you a new sense of purpose and a new joy in life—not to mention a new companion to spend your time and share your memories with. Pets mean the world to their owners, and pet owners would do just about anything to give their pets the very best care.
We’re here to help you do that. Below, we’ll lay out a few tips for making the best decisions for your pet’s health and future. From the right dog harness or collar to the best way to schedule veterinary appointments, here’s what you need to know about taking great care of your pet.
Fueling Your Friendship
You are what you eat, and the same thing is true of your dog, cat, or other pet. So when it comes to food, don’t skimp out and get the lousy stuff. Some pet food is full of weird ingredients designed to mask tastes or simply take up space. The best pet food has the same sorts of traits that the best human food has: It will tend to have more natural ingredients and fewer processed ones, and it should be full of vitamins and minerals that your pet needs. Don’t forget to consider specialty foods for specific times and needs, such as food geared toward puppies when your pet dog is young. Choose wisely! When in doubt, ask a veterinarian which type of food would be best.
Getting Out There
Some types of pets are content to stay inside, but others want to get out and explore the world. Make sure that your pet can do so safely!
This means fencing in dog runs and other areas that you want to let your dog loose in. It could mean having an outdoor cat, though you should weigh the risks and benefits before you decide on that. And, of course, it means that dog owners should walk their dogs.
You may think that all you need for this purpose is a leash and a collar, but that’s not necessarily true—or, at least, it’s not necessarily what’s best. The sort of collar or harness that you put on your pet can make a huge difference in their health and comfort, explain the expert dog-focused designers behind the popular Joyride Harness. Collars can hurt a dog’s neck, and some types of harnesses aren’t much safer. Choose a harness that is approved by veterinarians and dog owners alike; that’s the closest you can get to one that’s been approved by the dogs themselves!
Minding Household Dangers
It’s important for you to keep your pet safe. Sometimes, though, dangers can come from unexpected places. Your pet could get injured or fall ill at home.
You should familiarize yourself with the foods and substances that could hurt your animal. Most people know that chocolate is poisonous to dogs, but don’t forget about less obvious dangers, like grapes.
Be wary of pest control steps, too. Rat poisons and mousetraps may be great ways to catch and kill vermin, but they can also be very dangerous to your dog or cat, not to mention young humans. It’s best to consult with experts in residential pest control before you take big steps on your own.
Working With Pros
Keeping your pet healthy is important to you, but you’re not the only one who can help your pet. In fact, you should be working with others to keep your pet happy and healthy. Your most important ally will be your veterinarian.
Go see a veterinarian as soon as you can after adopting your cat, dog, or other pet, and come back regularly for follow-up appointments. Work with your vet to develop a schedule for visits, and set up a pet-centric calendar that keeps you on top of appointments and other responsibilities (like restocking the dog food or changing the cat’s litter). Staying organized will help you better care for your beloved pet!