5 Tips to Become Better Pet Owners

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A Brief History

Today, being a pet owner is unarguably one of the most fulfilling jobs in the world. By having a pet, you learn to appreciate important values such as responsibility and companionship. Owning a pet is a lifetime job that is full of joy and love, which is why the month of February is also “Responsible Pet Owner Month”. Pets are our trusted companions that need devotion, care, and love.

Here are some tips that could help you to become a better pet owner, whether you are a first time owner, or have a lifetime of experience.

Digging Deeper

1. Caring for The Pet

Caring for our pets is an important aspect of pet ownership as it will set the foundation of our relationship with them. By providing necessities such as food and water, you as a pet owner will be establishing a strong bond with your pet. You should, however, have a schedule with set times for feeding and play that will let your pet know when it is time to eat and time to play. And sometimes it can get a bit frustrating when your pet shells poop everywhere like all the time. Apart from training them, Mike Powell from the Dog Embassy says that finding the right food for your dog (or cat) could be the solution to your poop problem. He asserts that when your dog poops more often than usual, there’s a high chance you’re feeding him low-residue food if at all its not an infection. 

Also, cleaning after your pet will make your home manageable for your family as well as your pet. Removing your pet droppings and spilled food from your pet’s sleeping area, putting your pet toys in one place (they are smart creatures, they will find them) and replacing your pet’s drinking water will go a long way in making his/her life happy and comfortable in your home. 

2. Make Adequate Time for Grooming

Grooming time for a pet is vital for it ensures that its hygiene is maintained. A good pet owner will ensure that the pet’s nails are trimmed, the pet is bathed, and their coat is well-brushed. Establishing this routine will enable you to spot any abnormalities such as bumps, lumps, and parasites like fleas and ticks,  make your pet uncomfortable, stressed, or even ill. Practicing this preventive care will not only ensure your pet is healthy and comfortable, but it also reduces the medical budget of the pets. After all, prevention is better than cure. 

3. Regular Visits to The Vet

Visiting a vet regularly will make you a great pet owner as it will give you a sense of how your pet is doing health-wise. This is important as pets’ instincts include hiding pain and discomfort to avoid showing weakness openly. As Dr. Leslie Sirmons puts it: “Because of your pet’s short lifespan (averaging about 14 years), it is extremely important that your pet receives preventive care at least once per year and twice per year for pets over nine years of age “.

4. Exercising Your Pets

To be a good pet owner, you should take your pets to exercise regularly. While this will not make them Olympic champions, it will maintain their good health and prevent lifestyle illnesses like high blood pressure and obesity. You should first check with your veterinary doctor to assess your pet’s health before embarking on any physical exercises to avoid any injuries or other medical-related issues.

Exercising your pet gives them exposure to the outside world and widens their scope of thinking about it. This will help your pet to be able to learn how to socialize with other animals and humans. It can also help prevent them from being too shy or overly aggressive in unfamiliar places. Exercise for your pet should start at a young age as this is the optimum time to be the most receptive to different scenarios, places, people, and other animals.

5. Deciphering Body Language

To be a good pet owner, you also need to be able to understand your pet’s body language. Pets communicate the loudest through their body language, hence knowing what your pet is trying to tell you is crucial in your relationship. Cats rubbing their bodies against you and dogs wagging their tails are examples of ways that pets try to communicate to you. It is by understanding this language you will be able to determine when your pet is stressed, not feeling well or does not want any interaction. Dr. Wailani Sung points out that these dog behaviors and cat behaviors are easy to misinterpret and elaborates on their meanings for you to understand what your pet is telling you.

Pet ownership is a huge commitment. It is not the easiest of jobs, especially considering the busy world we live in today. Professional and social pressures, as well as other stresses of life and the mere lack of pet care knowledge, can make pet ownership an overly challenging task. Thanks to the above tips, however, you will be well on your way to becoming a great pet owner.

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Historical Evidence

For more information, please see…

Grier, Katherine C.  Pets in America: A History.  The University of North Carolina Press, 2006.

The featured image in this article, a photograph by guvo59, is licensed under the Pixabay License.

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Abdul Alhazred

“But I don’t want to go among mad people," Alice remarked. "Oh, you can’t help that," said the Cat: "we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad." "How do you know I’m mad?" said Alice. "You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn’t have come here.” ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland