Taking on the responsibility of a new pet is a major commitment and one that will indeed change your life for the better. There are certain responsibilities that come with owning a pet and caring for them properly. Your pet will return the favor by bringing an unconditional love into your life that you will be forever grateful for.
Whether you got a young or an adult pet, there will be some kind of adjustment period after your new pet comes home. Prepare in advance and be patient. Adult pets usually need more adjustment time, especially if they lived in a shelter for a while. On the other hand, younger pets usually need more training (especially house training).
Now that you're a proud pet owner, you must master the basics of pet care. At the very least, every pet needs proper nutrition, adequate shelter, physical care, and social interaction. Once you can cover the basics, you'll be on your way to giving your pet an amazing life.
Your pet is going to need stuff, there's no way around it. But how do you decide what your pet needs and what you want? Perhaps you get a bit of both. Carefully navigate your way through the world of pet toys, bowls, beds, leashed, collars, crates, accessories, and much more. Here at our store Slick Pet you can shop for everything you'll need for the new family member.
Whether your new pet is a puppy or an adult, there are yearly vaccinations that are recommended. The recommendations vary depending on age, breed and health status of the pet. It is always recommended that you choose a vet and take your new pet for a full health checkup as soon as possible.
For dogs it's also recommended that you have your dog micro-chipped, which is the placement of a micro-chip that enables you to locate your dog if he or she were ever lost. This can be done in the vet’s office.
Training is one of the most important parts of owning a dog. You should begin training your new pet as soon as you bring them home. Dogs respond well to discipline and it gives them a sense of security.
Exercise is very important to your pet’s physical and mental health. The amount of exercise that your pet needs is dependent upon the breed. A more active pet may require more vigorous exercise, multiple times a day. Pets with a lack of exercise have been known to have more health problems as well as behavioral problems. Lack of exercise can also cause your pet to become depressed.
The food that we give to our pets has a direct effect on their health. You will want to find a brand of food that is packed full of wholesome and natural ingredients that will give your pet the nutrients that he or she needs, without all of the harmful additives. Another important part of feeding is keeping your pet on a schedule. Try to feed your pet at around the same time each day. This helps their digestive system to naturally prepare for feeding time and gives your pet a sense of security.
What to do if your pet ingests something toxic? While prevention’s always the best goal, sometimes animals will get into things they shouldn’t. Your first move should be to call the vet. They’ll give you a clear idea of how serious the issue is. If your 60-pound dog eats a small chocolate bar, they’ll probably tell you not to worry too much, but if it’s a serious emergency they’ll let you know what to do.
If your vet’s not available or you’d rather reach a poison specialist right away, you should call the ASPCA (Animal Poison Control Center) at (888) 426-4435.
Household Dangers for Pets
The average home is filled with items that could potentially harm a pet. If you toss old razors into your bathroom trash can, your pet could get into it and end up with cuts. If you leave chocolate where a pet can reach it, you’re likely heading to the vet soon. When you make the decision to own a pet, keeping them safe becomes a part of your responsibility. You should take the time to research and understand what items you have around that could hurt them. These may include: Insecticides, batteries, fertilizers, prescription and over-the-counter medicines, household cleaners, detergents, antifreeze, rat poison and traps, razors and sharp utensils, exposed electrical cords, any item small enough to be a chocking hazard, mothballs, tobacco, kerosene, string, rubber bands, and floss just to name a few. All these items can cause problems if your pet gets a hold of them. Some of these are everyday items you need to keep around, but you can make a point to store them somewhere where your animals can’t reach.
How to Pet-Proof your home?
There’s no uniform way to pet-proof your home. It varies by pet and home. To get a more personalized idea of what you can and should do to make your home safe for a pet, you may benefit from talking to an expert.
The kitchen is probably the most dangerous room in your house for you and your pets. You at least know what items to avoid, but animals don’t see the same risk in a hot stove, sharp knife, or indigestible trash items that you do. The most effective way to make your kitchen safer for your pets is to make it inaccessible to them. For some pets, you can install a gate to make it impossible for them to enter the room without you letting them in. You can buy special garbage cans with lids that lock to keep them out. You don’t have to worry much about the individual items in the garbage or cabinets as long as they’re stored in ways that make it impossible for your pets to access them.
Pet Safety during a Natural Disaster
Making sure everything in your house is pet proofed is a start, but with natural disasters affecting the lives of people around the world with a growing frequency, you should also take moves to be prepared to protect your pet if one comes your way. While the disasters your area may be prone to will vary based on geography, the main steps you can take in advance to help make sure your pets are protected are pretty similar across the board.
Make sure your pets are wearing collars with tags that have your contact information on them. If your pets get lost in the process of fleeing a natural disaster, these simple steps will vastly increase the chances of them finding their way back to you.
A dog or cat that spends time outside when you’re not home will be at greater risk during a storm or flood. Find a good spot inside for them to stay when you’re not home so they won’t be left to the whims of the weather.
Think of all the things you’d need for a few days of travel with your pet. Food, a leash, clean-up bags, water, any medications they take, and the paperwork that shows they’re up-to-date on shots. If you keep everything together, you’ll have an easier time grabbing it in a hurry if you need to leave suddenly during a natural disaster.
How to make sure your Pet is cared for when you die?
For most pet lovers, they aren’t just property. They are best friends, companions, and family members, so why treat them as anything less? Just as you would make provisions in your will and establish trust for the humans you love, so too should you for your animals. Failure to think ahead about what will happen if you’re not there to provide care means that, sadly, many pets end up in bad situations.
People have a psychological block against doing estate planning since it isn’t a pleasant topic. This means when owners pass away, a lot of animals end up in shelters, and depending on where you live that could be a death sentence. But that doesn’t have to be the case if you do some planning.
Name a beneficiary in your will who will inherit the pet and, ideally, some money as well, contingent upon the recipient accepting the caretaker role. If you don’t have a designated caretaker, you can simply add a line to your will as “statutory pet trust”. This means that a probate court will enforce this provision by picking a a caretaker and trustee; the latter is an individual or corporation that will manage the trust’s assets prudently and make sure the caretaker is doing a good job. Avoid transferring too large a sum of money or other property to your pet trust, as this can cause heirs to contest the trust, and a court could reduce the amount.
Pets give us so much. They help lower blood pressure and heart rate; decrease the risk of heart-disease; ease stress, anxiety, and the effects of depression; and provide a consistent source of love and affection. In exchange, it’s our job to take care of them and make sure nothing we put in their path causes them harm. Being a responsible pet owner is about committing to your pet for life and accepting responsibility. It means taking proper care of your own pet while respecting your community. If you can do this, then you are surely on the right track.