8 Ways To Be A Responsible Pet Parent
February is the month of love, so it is fitting that it is also the month of responsible pet owners. After all, what better way to show your pet that you love them than giving them the best possible life? Being a responsible parent goes beyond just showing affection – it’s all you do to make sure they live long and happy lives.
Feed them healthy and balanced
Eating your pet’s healthy, balanced diet is the first step on the road to becoming a responsible parent. If your pet isn’t already eating Freshpet, it’s time to make the switch. Each of our Freshpet recipes consists of fresh, whole ingredients that are gently cooked without preservatives. Our ingredients are carefully sourced and delivered daily to our waste-free, wind-powered kitchens in Bethlehem, PA. This allows us to steam them while they’re fresh to absorb vital nutrients, all in accordance with FDA and USDA standards.
Pet-proof your home
Home pet protection isn’t just needed when you adopt a new puppy or kitten. Pets of all ages are curious beings who can get into trouble if potential hazards remain open. First, walk around your house and look for items that could be dangerous if your pet gets inside them – think cleaning products, small decorative items, wires, plants, and the like. When you’re done, find ways to eliminate the risk, such as: For example, keep cleaning supplies in closets or decide whether certain items need to be completely removed from the house. If you need different plants after this process, check out our list of pet safety options.
Schedule regular veterinary appointments
Pets, especially cats, are very good at masking signs that they are not feeling well. Unfortunately, this means that many diseases can go unnoticed until they become serious. To make sure problems are spotted early, it is important to schedule regular checkups with your veterinarian. Most veterinarians recommend that pets be taken for an annual wellness exam, where they can do a physical exam and ask you questions about your pet’s diet (such as what natural dog foods they eat), fitness, and general health . If being taken to the vet is a source of stress for your pet, you can always speak to your clinic about the possibility of a home visit.
Keep your pet’s ID up to date
If your pet is wearing a collar with an ID, check regularly that the information is correct and legible. Tags can wear out or be lost over time, which can make it more difficult for you to get back with your pet if they are lost. The best way to avoid this is to swap the ID tag for a microchip. Microchips are inexpensive, don’t wear out over time, and make your pet more likely to be found if it’s lost. Dogs with microchips were reunited with their owners 52.2% of the time, compared with 21.9% without microchips. In cats, these numbers are even more drastic: 38.5% of cats with microchips return home successfully, but only 1.8% of cats without microchips!
Make sure they are getting enough mental and physical exercise
Traditionally, our pets were bred for specific tasks such as hunting and guarding – activities that allow them both mental and physical training. However, today our pet’s days can be very quiet if we aren’t actively looking for ways to keep them occupied. Try to make small changes in your daily routine that encourage you to stay active, such as: B. regularly planned walks or toys and thinking toys that they can play with independently or with you.
Be prepared for an emergency
Whether it’s an unexpected storm or a home emergency, responsible pet parents are ready for anything. When a disaster strikes, every second counts. So it’s important to have the essentials in a bag and be ready to go. This bag should contain items such as vaccination records, additional ID, a first aid kit for pets, and enough food and water for two weeks. You should also organize an emergency contact who will conveniently take care of your pets temporarily or the person who will keep them safe when you are not available. For a full list of the ways you can prepare for an emergency, see this blog.
Understand their non-verbal communication
Our pets use a combination of posture, facial expressions, and other body language to express their feelings. The ability to decipher this is an important part of the responsibility of being a responsible pet parent. While many people are familiar with the common body language, like a wagging tail, they may not know that a wagging tail can mean different things. For example, a wagging tail in dogs could mean they are happy, but when paired with a perfectly calm demeanor, this is actually their way of showing that they are fearful. And in cats, a wagging tail is their subtle way of saying they are upset and want more personal space. This is why it is important that we learn to understand the different ways our pets communicate with us as a package.
Keep them at a healthy weight
Helping your pet maintain a healthy weight is one of the best ways to live a long and happy life, as just a few pounds of extra weight can increase the risk of health problems. Start by taking your pet to the vet so you can get a base weight and create a plan to follow to help your pet reach or maintain a healthy weight. This plan includes things like weighing meals, setting a daily exercise goal, trying alternatives to traditional bowls, feeding your pup healthy dog food, and more.
February is the month for responsible pet owners, but responsible pet ownership is a year-round event. We hope these eight examples give you some ideas for new ways you can become an even better pet parent than you already are!