Can you picture a large, golden-colored dog romping through your backyard, sleeping on your couch, playing with your children and joining your family with whatever they are doing? If so, you might be the perfect candidate to get a Golden Retriever as a pet. Golden Retrievers, often simply called Goldens, are as friendly and fun-loving… Read More
How to Take Care of Pets
If you want to welcome a pet into your home, it’s important that you understand the commitment you’re making, and are ready and willing to be responsible for them. A puppy or kitten might seem cute when they’re really small, but they can easily live 10-20 years. The song of a feathered friend might seem like a beautiful way to greet each day, but many birds have life spans as long as humans.
What pets need
While different species will have different needs, there are certain things that all pets need in order to thrive.
A protected and clean living environment is one of the most important things for a pet to have. You can’t bring a pet home and not have a space for them. Dogs thrive with a crate or bed, cats enjoy a hidey hole or cat condo, birds and rodents require a cage, and fish and reptiles should have a tank or aquarium. Ensure that any bedding is changed or cleaned regularly, and that any enclosures are properly sized for the animal, as well as secure.
Food & Water
Food is just as important for pets as it is for people. In fact, feeding your pet a high quality diet can help maintain their overall health and prevent costly trips to the vet later in life. If your pet is overweight, work with your vet to help them lose weight. Ensure your pet has access to adequate fresh food on a daily basis, and be sure to wash the food bowl regularly.
Water is essential for our pets, and having access to a constant supply of clean, fresh water is one of the best ways to take care of your pet. Be sure to wash the water dish regularly.
Like their human counterparts, exercise is another key component for caring for pets properly. This could mean regular walks, playing with toys, time outside their enclosure, or engaging in puzzles and games. Nearly every pet benefits from having toys to play with when their favorite toy (that’s you!) isn’t around. Be sure to inspect toys regularly for damage and deterioration, and replace when necessary.
Health & Dental Care
Taking care of a pet also means taking it for veterinary care, not only when they become ill, but for preventative care as well. At a minimum, pets should see a vet on an annual basis for routine wellness checkups and any vaccinations. As they get older, dental care will become important.
You might not consider it, but love is another important aspect of caring for a pet. In order to thrive and connect with their owners, pets need gentle, respectful handling and to actually spend quality time with you. This can be as simple as going for walks, watching TV together, spending time working on training, or just saying hello to them before you leave for work.
Some pets require regular grooming in order to maintain their health. Trimming a dog’s nails means they can walk without pain, while clipping a bird’s feathers ensures they won’t be able to fly away should they escape from the safety of your home. Many animals bathe themselves in some manner, but they might also require your assistance as they age, or if they get particularly dirty.
Caring for a pet throughout its lifetime also involves caring for it when its life is nearing the end. One of the most compassionate last acts a pet owner can provide for their animal family members is to say goodbye humanely, especially if the animal is in pain or suffering. Your vet can help you decide when the time is right.
Finally, consider a plan for your pet’s care in the event that they should outlive you. This isn’t always pressing for owners of smaller animals such as hamsters, guinea pigs, or even cats and dogs, but is especially relevant for animals with longer life spans, like birds and turtles.
Labrador retrievers are popular pets for adults and children alike. They tend to be healthy, gentle, playful, and energetic. Labs, as they are often called, have certain needs that are a bit different than what is required for some other types of dogs. It is important to learn about what you should do to take… Read More
Parakeets, which are also called budgies, are a popular type of bird to keep as a pet, particularly for those who haven’t owned a bird before. They are usually cheerful, require less maintenance that some of the other pet birds, and aren’t as susceptible to illnesses as some other types of birds. If you are… Read More
Gerbils are small rodents that are popular pets for families with children. They are clean and somewhat friendly. Gerbils generally don’t bite people unless they are very frightened or being hurt, and they are quite low-maintenance. All of these features make gerbils a good choice for a first pet for a child old enough to… Read More
Ferrets are adorable, affectionate, and act much like a kitten, which makes them a popular pet. Contrary to popular belief, ferrets are not rodents; they are in the same family as the mink, the weasel, and the skunk. They are usually brown, black, or white (or some combination of those colors), and they love to… Read More
Mice can make adorable and fun pets for adults and children alike. They can be trained to be friendly and they are kept in a cage or aquarium, so they are ideal for apartment-dwellers or people who are looking for a low-maintenance pet that will provide them with affection and entertainment for one to two… Read More
Nobody can resist the allure of a soft, snuggly, adorable kitten! Cats are the most popular pets in the world, and they all start out as little fluffballs with sharp little claws and big, curious eyes. Kittens are great pets for many different types of households; they are as happy on a farm as they… Read More
Guinea pigs, sometimes called cavies, are hardy, funny, easy-to-maintain pets that are growing in popularity. Affectionate and good with children, guinea pigs don’t require a lot of special care. Still, with any pet, it’s important to know how to keep them healthy and happy. Read on to learn about how to take care of your… Read More
Hamsters are one of the most popular small pets because of their cute appearance, petite size, and docile nature. With several varieties to choose from such as the long-haired Teddy Bear or the very small Dwarf, it is easy to find an affordable pet at a nearby pet store or hamster breeder. Because of their… Read More
Are you considering getting a bunny as a pet? Bunnies make popular pets because they’re quiet, they don’t take up much space, and they bond with their owners. Rabbits can be trained and they’re fairly low-maintenance, as far as pets go: You won’t have to walk your bunny and they do just as well in… Read More