About sixty-eight percent of American households have a pet.
Furry friends are purr-fect companions, keeping us happy and physically healthy. Pets can help you stay fit, fight off depression, and even lower your risk of a heart attack!
Yet critical to our furry friends’ well-being is keeping them in optimal health. If you’re a pet owner or just wondering how to take care of pets before you consider adopting one, read on.
Pet Parenting 101: A Complete Guide on How to Take Care of Pets
- Basic Needs
Your pet’s basic needs include food, water, and shelter. It’s important to know exactly how often your pet should be fed, and what she should be eating. Many pets have special dietary needs, such as older dogs requiring softer food because it’s easier to swallow.
Be careful not to overfeed your pet, as this could lead to diabetes, heart attacks, or problems with their renal glands. Always have healthy treats available so you will not be tempted to offer table food.
It’s important to clean out your pet’s dish regularly. You should do the same with their water bowl. Fresh, clean water should be available to your animal at all times.
Pets need shelter, just as humans do. If your furry friend spends a lot of time outdoors, be sure that you have a kennel or a house with a roof for them in case they need shelter.
Your animal may need to be brought in when the weather is bad. You may also want to bring your pet inside each night, as this is when predators tend to be out and about.
Be sure to spend quality time with your animal, as this will likely help you to avoid behavior problems that are the result of attention-seeking. Some pets will require regular walks and time frolicking on the lawn. Others will prefer a quieter space.
Be attuned to your pet’s personality, and know what will make her happy and comfortable. The more satisfied your animal is, the better companion you will have!
- Dogs and Cats
Be sure to you do a little research when it comes to determining what you will feed your pet. Many dogs and cats need to be fed wet and dry food two times a day.
Some older pets have different requirements. Older dogs may need a different set of vitamins and minerals, including Omega 3, 6, and 9. Senior cat formula is created specifically to meet the nutritional needs of aging cats.
Healthy dogs and cats should be taken to the vet for well-visits at least once a year, or if they show any signs of being sick. Older animals should have bi-yearly visits.
If you find that these trips are a burden on your budget, you may want to consider getting pet insurance. It’s even available if your animal has a pre-existing condition. Find out more here.
Pay close attention to your pet’s dental health, as plaque and tartar buildup can lead to gingivitis. The bacteria can reach your pet’s bloodstream and damage internal organs, such as the heart and kidneys.
Chewing, drooling more than usual, bad breath, and not eating are all signs that your pet may have a dental problem, and should be seen right away by a professional.
There are special toothbrushes and toothpaste available for animals. The type that fits of your finger is the easiest to use.
Certain treats with enzymes can also help animals to break down plaque. Just make sure they are sealed by the Veterinary Oral Health Council.
If your pet has squinting eyes, streaming tears, or redness, they may have an eye problem. You can buy eye drops at your local pet store or veterinary clinic to help them.
Some animals also develop ear problems because of accumulating moisture and debris. You can purchase cleaner drops to put in your pet’s ear as well. Be sure that the ear canal is free of blockages before you administer the drops.
You will want to take your animal to be groomed at least once a year. They will need to be washed, brushed, trimmed, and have their nails clipped.
Breaking or hanging nails can be very painful for your pet. Dogs may even step on them. A well-groomed animal will be much more comfortable and eager to play.
If you have fish, it’s important to change their water at least once a week. You can also use a gravel vacuum to remove debris.
Fish food is available at your pet store. Be sure to supply it in the correct amounts.
Maintain the PH, nitrate, and ammonia levels in the tank as instructed by your pet store. It may be necessary to purchase a water heater for your tank.
You will want to be certain that you have a large enough cage for your bird, a lack of sufficient space can cause behavior problems. Be sure to keep them in a room with sufficient foot-traffic if they are sociable, or in a quieter space if they are nervous.
A healthy diet for a bird consists of about 75% pellets, and 25% human table foods. The right pellets combine grains, veggies, fruits, and seeds.
You will want to spray your bird occasionally for a “shower,” and make sure to get its nails clipped. They may also need wing-feather trims.
How to Take Care of Pets
If you were wondering how to take care of pets, as mentioned above be sure that you start with a healthy diet and a clean dish. Add regular exercise and groomings for a perfectly happy animal.
For more information on pets, read our blog today.