What does it mean to be a responsible pet owner?

It means thinking first and then acting! Don’t get a pet on an impulse. Think about it carefully. Can you afford it – now and later? Have you got the space and time? Do you know someone who could take care of your pet should your circumstances change? Can you afford regular preventative treatment against parasites and vaccinations? And what about an emergency surgery or when your pet needs intensive care costing you hundreds or even thousands? A PET IS FOR LIFE! When you get one, then you must commit to taking care of your pet as any other family member.

It means being empathetic. Pets feel emotion, they feel pain, they deserve to be respected and loved. But be careful not to over-humanise your pet – a dog is a dog, a cat is a cat, a guinea pig is a guinea pig, and none of them are human. They have their own set of requirements, and it is our job as pet owners to provide them with these.

Here are just a few of these requirements, which are known as the 10 commandments:

  1. Annual Health Assessment and Vaccination

Cats and Dogs required yearly vaccinations throughout their life.

  1. Feed the right food

Good quality food is essential for a long healthy life.

  1. Neutering

Neutering of cats at 4 – 5 months and dogs from 6 months (depending on the breed) will prevent unwanted pregnancies and serious health issues in later life such as testicular cancer or uterus infections.

  1. Pet health insurance

Health insurance is a great way of financing your pet’s treatment.

  1. Parasite Prevention

Year-round flea, tick, worm and lungworm treatment is essential for you and your pet’s health.

  1. Train your pet well

Whilst a lot of us see our pet as a family member, it is still important to train your pet. Training provides physical and mental stimulation, is fun, helps you to integrate your pet into your family successfully and is essential for you and your pet’s safety.

  1. Microchip Identification

Microchip identification in dogs is required by law. Your contact details are registered to a unique number so if your pet goes missing, you can be contacted by someone who finds them.

  1. Dental care

Dental care of your cat and dog is as essential as it is for yourself. There are many ways of taking care of your pet’s teeth, but daily brushing is usually the best.

  1. Keep slim, fit ’n’ mobile

No question, obesity is a huge problem in pets and limits their quality of life significantly and life expectancy. Make sure to keep your pet slim and trim.

  1. Most importantly – HAVE FUN

Having a pet means having fun! Enjoy their presence and have fun, but don’t forget, it is not all about you but also about your pet, so do something he/she enjoys too.

So, what do you think? Are you a responsible pet owner? In the current environment, many people are purchasing new pets.  It is important to consider that a pet is for life.  Use this as a guide to help give them the best life possible in your family.

If you have any questions about your pet’s requirements, please contact one of our nurses on 071-9631043.