Pets are fantastic. Everyone loves their pet, be it a dog, cat, bird, or hamster. Animals provide a special kind of companionship and they can even become part of the family. Growing up, most kids will ask their parents for a pet as a present, because the idea of owning a small furry companion has so much appeal.
But the important thing to keep in mind before you adopt a pet is the commitment you’ll need to make to your animal friend. A pet is not an accessory, it’s a living thing, and it needs to be cared for every single day. Different pets require different amounts of care, but you need to be willing to meet all of their needs every day of their lives. They will be depending on you not just for love, but their basic means for survival.
Animals need food, just as all living things do. More than making sure your pet is fed every single day, sometimes a few times a day, they need the right kind of food. They also need food that is of good quality. Low quality pet food may be cheaper, but it’s also the animal equivalent of human fast food. Too much of it poses health risks like obesity, and you don’t want that for your furry friend as much as you don’t want it for your human kids. Read the labels, do your research. Make sure your pet is getting the best kind of food they can get, and make sure you’re feeding them the right amount: not too much and not too little.
Animals also need exercise as much as humans do. If you’re feeding them too much and not giving them a chance to run around, your pet will get fat and lazy and that is dangerous to their health. Take your dog out for a walk at least once a day. Let them run around a dog park. Buy toys and play with your cat. Make sure your hamster cage has a wheel for the hamster to run on. Every animal gets exercise in a different way, but they all need it, and you need to provide it to them. This will ensure that your furry friend will live as long and as happily as possible.
You are also responsible for helping your pet maintain a good set of teeth. Depending on the kind of pet, and the pet’s overall temperament, you can brush their teeth with special toothpaste or you can find alternatives like dental treats and toys they can chew on. Your pet’s dental hygiene is just as important as yours!
Bring them to the Vet
Animals require regular check-ups, again, just like humans. Not only can your vet assess your pet’s health and give advice for their care, but they can also detect diseases in your pet before they get too serious. That way if your furry friend doesn’t feel well, they’ll be treated as soon as possible. Just because your pet “seems” fine, it doesn’t mean there might be a problem. Always check with your vet, no matter how much your pet hates to go!
Of course it’s just as important to give your pets love an affection. Spend time with them every day, give them some social interaction. You can give them treats, but not too many! You can even help them relax by cuddling, or even by massaging with essential oils. Be careful, though, some essential oils are toxic to certain animals and large amounts can irritate them as well. Make sure to dilute them, and use the scents that are safe, like frankincense or copaiba essential oil. Check with your vet before using them, just to be extra safe.
A well-groomed pet is a happy pet. Brushing them will get rid of dead hair and skin. Coupled with a good diet, your pet’s coat will be shiny and healthy! You can bathe your pets, but some need it more than others. Dogs for instance need it more than cats. Cats groom themselves, though the very occasional bath doesn’t hurt either. For other smaller pets such as hamsters, you can get them a sand bath. They’ll take care of the rest from there. Just like it is for humans, maintaining good grooming will help your pet smell better, feel better, and stay healthier.
Before you consider getting yourself or your family a pet, be sure you know everything there is to know about caring for it. And make sure you’re willing to commit the rest of your pet’s expected lifespan to its care. A pet is not a toy, and it’s not an accessory. It’s a living part of your family, and you need to treat it as such.