How many times have you seen or read about the horrific treatment of dogs, cats or other pets by their “owners”? I have and unfortunately, its sad to say that its been way too many times. But did you know there is more to being a responsible pet parent than just not abusing your pet?
Take the time to research the pet you want and the different breeds. Make a list, look at your families wants, lifestyle, activity level and the area that you have to offer your new furry family member. There are many options for pets. So taking the time to properly select one that will fit your family will prevent any regrets and the need for a wonderful pet ending up at the shelter later on.
When you chose to adopt, rescue or even “purchase” a pet from a breeder you are agreeing to take care of that pet for its full life. Just like having a child, you cant “trade” your child for a new model so why should you think that your pet can be traded for a younger or different “model” years later. Dogs are pleasers, all they want to do is make their owners happy. So why shouldn’t we treat them in the same loving and caring way.
Fulfilling your pets needs comes in many forms. Keeping your pets up to date on their immunizations is a must. This will not only protect your pet but any pet that they come into contact with. Whether you live in the city or the country, all of our pets are exposed to wildlife. These wild creatures can carry diseases that can be spread to our pets even with non-confrontational encounters. AND, making sure that your pet is regularly groomed. Regular brushing and bathing will help reduce and may prevent fleas and ticks from making a home on your pet. If your pet has longer hair, daily brushing and monthly trims are necessary to maintain a mat free coat and reduce the chances of skin issues.
If you have no intentions of breeding your pet then you should have them spayed or neutered. The most obvious reason is for their health. But a bonus to this is that they are less likely to roam and it will calm more hyper pets. There are a countless number of unplanned litters every years, we can help reduce that by simply spaying or neutering our pets.
Even if your pet is an “indoor” pet you should have him or her microchipped. Accidents can happen, pets can get spooked and slip out the door at a moments notice. Take the time to have your pets chipped, and then remembering to keep the information up to date on the chip is very important. On a daily basis we are seeing pictures of lost pets on Facebook and other social media sites.
If your pet is left outside take the time to make sure they have constant access to fresh water. During the day they need to have access to a cool shaded area. Chains can be dangerous, so if you do tether your pet, please make sure that the chain is not heavy and pulling around the dogs neck. In addition take extra time to assure that the pet can not get tangled around something and restrict their access to their water and food. Especially take the time to assure that they can not hang themselves.
Kennels are great, but they should not be used as a holding cell for any dog all day long. If you do need to crate your pet during the day then make sure that they get a good walk prior to being crated. Then, when you get home take Fido for a long walk, at least 30 minutes if not longer. Retrievers, for example, are balls of energy, so if they are able to find ways to utilize that energy outdoors they may take it out on your furniture.
Using a dog trainer for unruly pets can be one of the most responsible actions a pet owner can take. This will not only assure that Fido will learn proper manners, the owners will learn how to redirect the energy in to a positive outcome. This will make for a much better living environment for both pets and parents.
Finally, one that many pet owners forget. Ask yourself this question… Do I scoop? Being a responsible pet owner includes taking the time to pick up after your pet and properly disposing of their waste.
IF you are thinking of getting a pet or already have a pet, join us September 26 and 27, at our 3rd Annual Dirty Dogs Extravaganza, for seminars, microchip and rabies clinics, games, certifications, food trucks and more.