Know What You Are Getting Into
When you adopt a pet, you need to know you’re making no small commitment. Pet ownership is a life-changing commitment, and can even be a lifelong one if adopting certain pets, such as birds which can live up to 80 years. Part of being a great pet owner is knowing what breed or species fits your lifestyle, as well as the unique characteristics of the pet you have, to help with proper care and training to set you up for a lifetime of success.
Practice Makes Perfect
Proper training sets every pet up for success and will make both of your lives much easier. Choose a good trainer right from the beginning, and be consistent with the training methods they teach. Keeping up with proper training methods and increasing their level of difficulty down the road keeps your pet active and engaged. This helps pets to learn commands faster and apply them more consistently.
Grooming isn’t just important for your pet to look and smell fresh; it is also essential for proper health. Regular baths and trims for pets with long fur are necessary, and a good brushing is also essential to prevent matting, which can cause circulation issues.
Taking care of your pet’s teeth is also necessary to prevent dental diseases and trouble with eating for your pet. Don’t forget about ear cleanings, as well as nail, claw, and avian beak trims. These can be done at home with the proper tools, by a groomer, or at your veterinary appointment. Regular upkeep is key to prevent painful overgrowth which has the potential to pierce the pads of your pet or cause imbalanced eating and use of beak in birds.
Take Time to be Present
Distractions abound in this modern age, and it seems like time flies with our busy schedules balancing work, family, and friends, but don’t forget about the commitment you made when you adopted your furry friend. While you have the choice to go where you want when you want and see who you want, your pet does not have this option.
Make sure to set aside some of your undivided attention each day to show your pet that you care. You can make this goal-oriented, like exercising your pet by taking them for a daily walk or teaching them a new command, or it can be a casual snuggle or grooming session that will help you both feel relaxed and happy. Whatever you see as the best way to bond with your pet, do that in a distraction-free way every day!
Ask the Professionals
Part of the commitment you made when becoming a pet parent is to take your pet for annual checkups. This can not only prevent diseases by getting your pet up-to-date vaccinations, but also catch health problems early enough that they are easier to treat.
This is also a great time to take care of a few grooming requirements such as nail trims (in addition to doing these periodically at home or the groomers throughout the year), beak trims, ear cleaning, anal gland expression, and professional dental cleaning if necessary.
You can also rely on your veterinarian to give you advice and tips on topics such as exercise and feeding to prevent weight gain, training recommendations, and unique care required for your pocket, exotic, and avian pets.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to ways to be a better pet owner. For more great tips on how you can make 2017 the best year yet for your pet, give us a shout at 701.757.3500.