Owning a pet can be a big challenge. There’s a lot of pleasure and reward for you, but it’s also a big responsibility. Today we’re sharing some of the most important advice for pet owners to give them the best chance of enjoying a long, happy and healthy time with their pets!
Get to the Vet
As early as when you’re even considering whether to get a pet and what sort of pet you might get, it’s worth looking into the vets in your area. If you’re planning on getting an exotic pet, you might need to look harder to find a good option that specialises in the species. It could be worth consulting online communities to find recommendations in your area that are worth travelling for.
It’s a good idea to register your pet at the vet as soon as possible when you bring them home: this helps you (and them) to start building a relationship with the vet so it’s easier to find a solution when things go wrong. It’s also worth looking into the other kinds of help available: online vet help, for example, is a useful resource for getting quick advice, especially if you’re not how serious a problem is and if it requires a trip to a brick and mortar vet.
This is important: if you don’t register your pet at the vet UK law may find you liable under the Animal Welfare Act of 2006.
Building a Home
One of the most important ways you have to influence your pets behaviour is the home you make for them. Unhappy, insecure pets can develop difficult or distressing behaviour, so it’s well worth looking into what makes your pet feel happy, safe and stimulated.
With cats, for example, you need to provide opportunities for exploration, and a wide choice of different places to rest, ideally at different levels. A combination of play and outdoor exploration helps to keep their mind stimulated. Dogs have less exacting needs from their environment, but require more structured time with you and your undivided attention – be prepared to play a lot of fetch!
For terrarium bound animals, like snakes and lizards, maintaining a comfortable temperature, humidity level and ensuring there water available are the key pillars to focus on, with enrichment like feeding live food to simulate some of the experience of hunting in the wild.
Before you get a pet, it’s a good idea to think about budgeting. A pet can impact your household budget quite dramatically – there’s food, toys, bedding, trips to the vet (which might strike as occasional big payments, or the monthly impact of pet insurance), and a pet can also affect your utility bills! If you need to keep your heating on longer to keep them warm in the winter, or use a heat lamp in their terrarium or a pump in their tank, you could see your bills rise by a not insignificant amount. Being prepared for this means you’re a more confident, better pet owner.