Owning a pet is not just a privilege, but also a responsibility! Pets are more than companions, and they require special care, devotion, and love. Once you bring a pet into your life or home, you should commit to ensuring their well-being and health is protected at all times. Remember, your pet will offer you joy, happiness, companionship, friendship, and loyalty in return, so it’s only fair that you reciprocate by taking your responsibility seriously.
What are these responsibilities?
Pet ownership comes with rewarding experiences. As the owner, you enjoy mental stimulation, love, and warmth in your home. Before allowing a pet into your home and life, seriously consider the emotional, financial, and time commitment needed. Do an honest assessment based on your lifestyle.
The safety and health of your pet is a top-priority. Responsible pet owners will maintain routine veterinary appointments, preventative medication, and any other treatments as recommended by their veterinarian. This typically includes:
- Microchipping your pet for easy tracking so you can be easily and safely reunited if he or she were to get lost
- Ensuring the pet receives routine vaccination to prevent illness and diseases
- Spaying or neutering to prevent unwanted breeding
- Keep veterinary contact information in case of health emergencies to ensure the pet receives adequate and quick care. Always keep a copy of your pet’s health records should an emergency occur or if you are traveling.
Responsible pet owners will strive to keep their pets healthy by ensuring they eat healthy foods as recommended by the veterinary doctor. Additionally, it is important to keep away household products and foods that may cause harm to your pet. Maintaining a consistent diet and providing fresh, clean water to your pet can help promote a healthy, long life for your pet. Finally, making note of your pet’s sleeping, eating, excretion, and drinking patterns can help you establish what is “normal” for him or her as changes could indicate illness.
Always give your pet room for exercise to stimulate his or her body and mind. For dogs taking walks and playing outside can help you to bond with your pet while providing exercise for you both! If your pet is a cat, provide plenty of space for him or her to move around and play, and consider purchasing toys or towers to stimulate his or her mind.
Wash your pet with a gentle pet shampoo or take him or her for regular grooming depending on the environment in which you live and the breed of your pet. Regularly spray pet bedding and sleeping areas to prevent fleas, ticks, and other unwanted visitors. For dogs, consider providing hard dental biscuits, nylon chews, rope bones, or other specialty dental products to protect their teeth from gum disease or decay. Specialty treats, toothbrushes, and foods can be purchased for both dogs and cats to help ensure proper oral hygiene for your pet.
Most household pets need proper training to help make them obedient and learn to behave in specific environments. Training not only helps with obedience, but also with communication. A responsible pet owner will take the initiative to provide adequate training for his or her pets so they can thrive in their environment, and behave in a way that is safe and effective for the household. If you are unsure where to start with your training journey, talk to your veterinarian or consult with a professional trainer.
Socialize your pet
Socializing your pet is not only a responsible activity to do, but also fun! Allow your pet to meet new people and other animals to boost their confidence and further aid in behavior training. This is particularly important for young animals as they develop behavioral skills and manners, and extra playmates can help them release energy and improve their social interactions. If your pet is struggling with other animals or exhibiting fearful or violent behavior to other people or pets, talk to your veterinarian or consult with a professional trainer to ensure safe interactions.
Obey local ordinances and laws
Responsible pet owners are also respectful of local guidelines for pets. Some communities, parks, and businesses have restrictions and/or guidelines in place to ensure the safety and health of their members. Common ordinances require leashes for dogs when in public areas or require you to clean up after your pet. Remember that not all people are “pet people,” and be respectful of others. Violations may subject you to fines depending on your local ordinances and laws, which is a further reason to respect the ordinances and help instill harmony with other residents.
Responsible pet ownership creates harmony in the community by preventing unnecessary friction with other people and animals. By considering these tips and providing appropriate shelter, food, water, healthcare, grooming, socialization, exercise and training, you can be the responsible pet owner your pet deserves! Remember that you are your pet’s best friend, and the best and most important care you can give him or her is your love! For more information about how you can best serve your pet, contact Animal Focus Vet, Inc. today.