When we own an animal, it is our responsibility to give them a life that is as happy and healthy as possible. When we keep the perspective that it is not our right to own our pet, but instead our privelege, we tend to treat the relationship with more respect and trustworthiness. Here are some simple things to keep in mind in order to provide the healthiest life for your pet.
First, before bringing a pet into your home, evaluate whether you have the time and finances to care for them adequately. Most pets are social animals and require the care and attention you would give a young child. If you currently have a pet in your home, remember:
- Yearly check-ups for your pets are essential.
- Vaccinate your pet according to your veterinarian’s recommendation. Some vaccines are required by law, and depend on the county you live in.
- In the spring, have your dog or cat checked for heartworms. You can put your pet on a simple heartworm preventative medication.
- Check periodically for intestinal parasites.
- Ticks carry Lyme Disease and other blood diseases. If you live in an area with ticks, use tick control year round.
- Do not feed your pet from the table. As a rule, people food is not pet food. Instead, feed your pet healthful, nutritious food made just for them.
- Unless your dog is on voice command, always keep him on a leash. Use a canine seatbelt when he rides in the car with you. And, in the mountains especially, keep your feline indoors.
Finally, and possibly most important, enjoy the relationship you have with your pet. Savor the adoration you see in your dog’s eyes, and happily receive the purring love you get from your oh-so-picky cat. They love you. You are their world.