Being a pet parent is no walk in the park, yet it’s also deeply rewarding.
Pet mum Rachel (who featured with her dog Maisy on NZTV contest, Dog Almighty) shares her thoughts on the topic in this article. She says “They’re just so amazing as really good companions. They’re never going to leave you or say bad things about you. They’re always loving, never judge you and are constantly there for you no matter what.”
Aww. We completely agree with you, Rachel.
Cracking the pet parent code
Our pets are the best! So how can we be the best pet parent to them? Believe it or not, there is a formula. It comes in seven handy steps which we’ve outlined for you here.
So put your best paw forward!
#1. Plan your pet’s diet
Pet diabetes is a food-related problem many pets face today. Over-eating and poor nutrition can cause your pet to pick up weight – a gateway to complications like obesity. Obesity is one of the leading causes of pet diabetes however, there are ways to safeguard your pet.
It can be as simple as changing your pet’s diet. Pet foods have become more complex to fulfil specific dietary needs. But be aware – there are also filler foods whose bulk is bigger than their bite. By this we mean some foods may claim to be full of nutrition but they’re not.
Ask your vet what to feed your pet and when, according to their age, size and breed. If you keep to this at mealtimes your adorable little pet will grow up to (the right amount of) big and strong.
While we’re on diet, if you’ve ever wondered why do dogs eat grass, not to worry if yours does. Though there are some other plants and even foods to read about here in our article about things that can poison your pet.
# 2. Give your pet a regular workout
The wonderful thing about exercising your pet is that you get a workout too! Many cats are self-sufficient in this department, opting to walk along roof tops, fences, neighbours’ yards and so on. But the number of felines opting to go for a walk on a lead is on the rise!
Most dogs on the other hand HAVE TO have regular workout sessions. Dogs need different levels of exercise, depending on their breed and access to play space. Exercising your pet will keep them at a healthy weight and reduce the risk of diabetes and stress to their joints.
And with COVID-19 restrictions eased (at the moment anyway), getting your pet out of the house is a walk in the park.
# 3. Be aware of pet separation anxiety
Separation anxiety in pets is real. It happens to dogs, cats, and even separation anxiety in birds is a thing. Lockdown and social isolation meant many pets had direct access to their pet moms or dads while they WFH. Going back to work and leaving the house (at any time) can leave your bundle of joy distressed and lonesome.
As a pet parent, it’s important to recognise signs of distress caused by your absence. The next step is to help them using strategies from our separation anxiety in pets guide.
# 4. Protect your pet from summer heat
Hot days can be tough when you’re permanently in a fur coat or feather boa (speaking of which, check out our post about National Dress Up Your Pet Day).
It’s important to remember that while pets are people too, they don’t sweat like we do, so fans don’t help. Fans use our sweat to cool us down (moving air dries our sweat, which has a cooling effect). There are some workarounds, like wetting down your fur kid.
Other tricks include:
- Limit pet exercise to mornings or afternoons, away from the midday sun
- Keep multiple sources of water around the house.
- Add ice to their drinking water
- Keep them in the shade
- Get pet sunscreen to avoid sensitive ears from burning
Now that you know how to beat the heat this summer, you’re a top-notch pet parent.
# 5. Consider adopting a pet
If you’re ready to become a pet parent, consider giving a rescue animal their forever home. HUHA (Helping You Help Animals) rescue, foster and nurture animals who are abandoned, seized, abused or homeless. HUHA helps find these animals their forever homes through a responsible adoption process.
PD Insurance donates a portion of every insurance premium to HUHA. So if you support us, you support even more animals than your own.
# 6. Understand the link between your pet and your vet
Wondering how your vet’s wellbeing is connected to your pet’s wellbeing? According to Time magazine, vets are 3.5 times more likely to commit suicide than the general population.
Vets in New Zealand are at high risk of struggling with stress, burnouts and suicide. Figures in Australia show vets are nearly four times more likely to take their own lives than other people. Important to remember – our pet’s health and wellbeing are directly linked to our vet’s mental health.
Vets are under enormous pressure. They live with the guilt of euthanising pets or having them pass away in their care. Not being able to treat pets whose owners can’t afford vet costs or who don’t have pet insurance adds to this. As a responsible pet parent, having pet insurance relieves your pet and your vet of needless pressure. It also saves you money on vet visits, medication, vaccinations and more.
# 7. Give your fur baby pet insurance
Your pet deserves that special feeling of protection that insurance provides and so do you. Vet bills can be as expensive and sometimes more than doctors’ bills. Anything can happen to your pet and they could end up needing surgery or hospitalisation. If you have pet insurance, it could mean the difference between proper care or losing your pet.
PD Insurance offers affordable, flexible, and easy to use cat insurance plans and dog insurance plans. Our online claims portal gives you access to dedicated support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Contact us today for a no-obligation quote.
How to be the purrfect pet parent – over to you
As famous French novelist Colette once said, “Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet.” And Kiwis agree. New Zealand is the second-largest pet owning nation in the world. Wait for it… our pets nearly out number our people, with 1.2 million cats, 851,000 dogs and counting.
We’d love to hear from all you pet mums and dads – what do you think makes the purrfect pet parent? Tell us in the comments below.