No big intro needed… Here are a few tips to help you be the greatest pet parent this world has ever seen!
1. Give them lots of positive, appropriate attention. That might be through cleaning their cage, talking to them, taking them for walks, or just lying together reading.
2. Spay/neuter your pets. Millions of homeless pets are euthanised every year around the world, which shows we have more than we can home! Sterilisation can also lead to better behaved pet/s who are less prone to wandering off and getting into fights to compete for mates.
3. ID your pet with a microchip, collar, and tag with their name, your name, and your phone number. Also, consider getting a bell for cats who like to hunt birds.
4. Train your pet with positive reinforcement. Boundaries are one of the keys to happiness for all pet/s owners. This is especially true of the most integrated of our beloved pets – cats and dogs. A cat or dog that knows where it stands in the pecking order will be much happier than one that doesn’t. P.S. Puppy school is misnamed – it should be called Dog school and for the duration of a dog’s life. There are probably schools for cats in your region, too. Try it. We dare you.
5. If you have a dog, help him socialise by gently exposing him to other dog friends. Pack animals need to learn to live with others of their species on both a permanent and temporary basis, at home and in foreign territories. This way they learn to deal with different dog temperaments and enjoy some time away from the owners.
6. Keep your pet/s vaccinations up to date but DO NOT over-vaccinate!
7. Treat for ticks, fleas, and worms regularly (ask your vet how often because it can vary).
8. Feed them the food that’s right for their lifestage, size or special needs.
9. Know thy pet poisons. You may be surprised what can kill a cat.
10. Do not smoke or vape around your pets.
11. Like people, older pets need annual check-ups – blood, blood pressure, EKG (heart rate).
12. Keep their living and sleeping areas clean. Cages especially need regular cleaning. Blankets and toys gather germs all the time; regular washes with pet-friendly shampoo can help keep everything fresh and fluffy.
13. Exercise your pet! This could also go under ‘Medical,’ but the fact that lack of exercise can cause depression is often overlooked. And that goes for mental well-being as well as physical health.
14. Include them in family activities that suit their temperament and species, whether that’s your human family or your feather and furred one.
15. Update your microchip details and tags as they change (e.g. moving, new phone number).
16. Put fences/barriers around danger zones in the house such as stoves, pools, driveways.
17. Take out the financial stress associated with unexpected illness or injury by getting the best veterinary cover for your pet. Take a look at our affordable pet insurance plans to see how you can protect you and your furry friends! Then you’ll be reading further to be the BEST pet parent possible!