Pet ownership is both a privilege and a responsibility. There will be days when you will find it rewarding, and there will be days when you will find it excruciatingly challenging. On tough days, you still have to continue providing your pet with the resources and support it needs to stay healthy and happy. You have to commit and stay responsible for the welfare of your canine or feline. If you are thinking of getting a pet, below are the responsibilities that come with it.
#1 Verifying your breeder
Technology has changed how pet buyers and sellers transact with each other. Not long ago, potential dog or cat buyers would visit the home of their desired animal, meet its parents and litter, sign contracts in person, and pay outright.
Today, a majority of transactions are made online. While the setup is more convenient for pet buyers, it is also riskier. Luckily, there are ways to verify if a breeder is registered. One of these is through a breeder’s ID number or breeder’s supply number. This number is often found in the advertisements of the breeder, except in states outside of South Australia, New South Wales, and Queensland.
Without this number, a breeder cannot sell, supply, or advertise an animal. As a pet buyer, it is your responsibility to ensure that you check for your breeder’s ID number for verification.
#2 Providing your pet with a comfortable shelter
Being a responsible pet owner means providing your dog or cat with a warm and safe place to live in. Your pet’s space must be clean, well-lit, well-ventilated, and secure. There should be bedding, enough room to roam around in, and a secure outdoor area to romp.
You should pet-proof your home, ensuring that all hazardous items, like household products, wires, and certain food, are put away. Extra precautions should also be taken to make certain that your pet does not run away from home.
#3 Scheduling regular vet visits
Sometimes, it can be difficult for a pet parent to recognise if their animal is sick. This is why regular vet checkups are a must. Routine testing and physical examinations detect hidden diseases and medical issues before they become significant problems. Through annual checkups, pets also get to receive their regular vaccines, flea and heartworm preventatives, and medications.
Similarly, routine screening of pets identifies early-stage illnesses so that they can be treated right away. Early detection and intervention will help extend your furry friend’s life and give the two of you more years to spend together.
#4 Feeding your pet properly
Another way to provide your pet with the best level of care is by making sure it is fed a complete and balanced diet. Good nutrition is particularly important in the first stages of an animal’s development. It plays a huge role in proper brain function and gives pets the energy they need for their daily activities. This is why it is advised that you choose well-known, high-quality pet food, as these contain ingredients that have been researched and analysed to have exceptional nutritional value.
When it comes to feeding your furball, you must take into consideration its age and weight. Dogs and cats, in particular, have different nutritional requirements at different stages of their life. By choosing a diet that is formulated specifically for your pet’s life stage and size, you help your animal function optimally. To better understand what works best for your pet, it is recommended that you speak with a veterinarian.
#5 Giving your pet regular exercise
Animals are full of energy. If they are unable to expend their energy, they may end up obese, leading to medical issues such as high blood pressure, poor digestive system, and weak muscles. Additionally, pets that are unable to exercise may become bored, resulting in behavioural problems such as chewing, digging, and snarling. They may even become depressed, anxious, aggressive, or frustrated.
The good thing is that there are numerous ways to exercise a pet. Dogs, for instance, like to walk, while cats like to play with strings. Rabbits like to climb on boxes, while hamsters like to run on wheels.
#6 Properly training your pet
A pet should bring joy, not frustration, into its owner’s life. This is why pet parents need to make it their responsibility to properly train their animals at an early age. Otherwise, their dog or cat may become disobedient or exhibit behavioural issues.
Training builds trust and respect. It is also a great way to bond with your pet. You can consider training your pet or have it enroled in an obedience class. Through training, your pet will be able to understand voice commands so that it stays safe from harm when unrestrained or become lost. Training also encourages good behaviour and provides mental and physical stimulation.
#7 Socialising your pet
Pets can greatly benefit from early socialisation as it can help boost confidence and eliminate nervous tendencies. By socialising your animal, you allow it to live peacefully with humans and other household pets. You teach it to stay friendly and relaxed when interacting with new people, visiting a strange place, or dealing with an unfamiliar situation. You also reduce the likelihood of your pet experiencing anxiety, fear, or aggression.
Some ways to socialise your pet are by taking it to public parks, play dates, and daycare. Take it to places where it is sure to encounter people and other pets of the same type. If your dog or cat shows signs of fear, nervousness, or aggression, remove it from the situation and return it to its comfort zone. It is important not to push your pet into a situation that it is yet to be comfortable in.
#8 Spaying or neutering your pet
One sad truth is that there are many animals in shelters that deserve to be in loving homes. By spaying or neutering your pet, you help reduce the number of animals that are euthanised or left alone in shelters.
Luckily, there are benefits to spaying or neutering an animal. Many unwanted behaviours, such as crying, fighting, and roaming, go away. Furthermore, both procedures help prevent breast cancer in females and testicular cancer in males.