being a good pet parent

Your pet, your vet & early decisions

Waiting to see the Vet

A good veterinarian is more than just an animal doctor; based on the vets I’ve met over the years, they tend to love pets more than the average person and appreciate it when people invest time and money to ensure the health of their pets, as it leads to longer and happier lives for their furry little friends.

When you first bring home a new pet, you should try to get your pet scheduled for an initial Vet inspection as soon as possible.    

You must make sure your pet is vaccinated your pet against any
diseases that are known to be fatal, including as distemper, parvo and rabies.

Additionally, regardless of the health status assurances you received from the people who sold you your pet, getting this initial Vet inspection done sooner rather than later could save you thousands of dollars in the long run and potentially a lot of heartbreak.

For instance, if you find out from this initial inspection that your pet has a rather serious illness, you will need to know what your options are.

As much as it’s unthinkable to even discuss this possible scenario, if you purchased your pet from a credible pet shop, you should be able to return your pet for a full refund or exchange and your Vet will be able to provide you with documentation to assist with this process.

Very sick Pet

You must be able to afford regular Vet visits

Or, if you have already established a strong bond with your pet and are fully prepared to provide all the care he or she will need, your Vet can shine a light on the costs associated for caring for a Pet with that particular ailment.   

If it does work out you can afford everything required, your Vet can often set you up with a care plan that you can have deducted from your bank account.   This way when your Regular Vet Visits occur, you may not need to pay much at all.

On the other hand, if you are a low income or welfare dependent family and are sure these costs would be beyond your financial means and you’re unable to return your Pet, your Vet may be able to assist you with advice or options for re-homing or possibly taking your pet to the RSPCA to see if they can take your pet off your hands.

I understand all of this sounds dreadful, but if you can’t afford the time or money to care for a very ill pet, please don’t let your pet suffer from a lack of medication or therapies; it’s far preferable to put a ‘Plan B’ in place as soon as possible.

 

Keeping your pet safe from Day 1

Pet Identification

We love our cats and dogs as if they were our own hairy little children, despite the fact that they might not be little humans, they are our little mates and we’ll do just about anything for them.

As soon as possible after bringing a new pet home, be sure to put a couple of things in place to help your pet/s get back home safely if they should ever wander off.

Make sure your pet gets a microchip and registered with both (1) Your local council, and (2) Central Animal Records (CAR).   Purchase your pet a nice
comfy collar and be sure to attach both the council tag, the CAR tag as well as
a personalized tag (optional), the idea is make sure they are walking around
with all the information someone would need to make sure they get returned to you.   

This is why the microchips are so important, all vets and councils will have RFID readers and you can even buy them yourself, so if you were to happen upon a wayward pet that is without the all important collar, you
can scan the microchip and get those worrying parents back in touch with their much loved pet.

Something I’ve not done myself yet but recently learnt about is that it’s apparently possible to (1) Purchase Reflective Collars & (2) Apply reflective tape to the outside of your pet’s collar.    Both options sound like great ideas and I can visualise how they would definitely make your Pet safer. 

Not only could this small action save his or her life if they go out into the street, but it would also make it simpler to find your pet at night if he or she is allowed free reign of the backyard.

Pet Exercise is not something you should ever overlook.

dog running in the forest

Keeping your pet in great shape requires some effort on your part, and if you sometimes struggle to get motivated to walk your dog around the block after a long day at work, you’re not alone, even though we all know that walking our dog at least once a day is essential.

To help get you motivated for walking your dog every day, keep a few motivational tips at eye level around the house and keep things simple with a walking routine that’s going to be easy to stick to.  

The hardest part is establishing your routine to begin with, but once the routine turns into a habit, it becomes second nature (like going to the gym).

We’ve all experienced how excited our dogs get when you indicate that it’s time to go for a walk.   It’s a really important time for them and they absolutely look forward to it.   Our dogs don’t get to decide when it’s time to go for a walk; they rely on us and the walk you give them when you get home from work is the highlight of their day.

 

A walk isn’t just a chance for our dogs to get some exercise; it’s also a chance for them to get out and explore the world.

walking dog in the country

Remembering how happy your canine buddy is when you go for a walk every day may also help you keep to the routine as well as keep them happy and healthy.

Many dog breeds are prone to a variety of health issues and daily exercise can make a huge difference in their overall health. It also gives them a chance to burn off a buildup of excess energy that’s built up through the course of the day with proper physical activity that’s also mentally stimulating.

Combining your daily exercise with correct nutrition and lots of affection, assures good overall health.

 

A daily routine is beneficial to our pets. Bedtime, playtime, meals, and bathroom breaks should all be scheduled around the same time each day.

Get your pet hooked up on their local social scene

dogs catching up after work

Regardless of their personality or how much time they spend around other animals at home, every pet needs to interact with others of similar species and other people.

Dogs definitely benefit from socialization and allows them develop into healthy, well-adjusted pets.

You should start introducing your dog to new people, animals, locations, and experiences as soon as possible, especially if he or she is still a puppy.

If you’ve recently moved to a new area and don’t know many other pet owners in the area, there are plenty of phone apps and web based social media based pet playgroups you can connect with.

The apps can even assist you in finding a playmate for your dog.

This is not only an excellent method for pets to meet new people, but it may also give you with some socialization opportunities.

 

Pet social interactions help them to practice important training skills and learn new behaviors.

Try not to let the pet population get out of control.

lots of cats on city street

Most of us are good with allowing our pets to socialize but not every pet parent thinks about the consequences of letting their cat or dog socialize a little too much with other animals, especially if they are not sterilized.  

Every year, thousands of unwanted litters are born via unsterilized dogs or cats and too many of them end up in shelters, dumped out into forests and become feral, or are placed outside, ignored and end up wandering the streets trying to find food and possibly a new home.

 

By having your dog or cat sterilized, you will do your part to prevent the birth of unwanted puppies and kittens and prevent some of these truly sad situations taking place.  Unless you are going into business as a registered pet breeder, you should be getting your pets spayed or neutered as soon as possible.

DIY Home check-ups in between Vet Visits

Dog feeling a bit sick

Don’t wait for your pet to become ill before introducing them to a vet, dogs, like us humans, require regular medical exams to stay healthy.   Dogs require more regular exams than people because they age faster.  Give your dog a quick and easy home exam in between your planned vet appointments.    It is ideal to do your checks while your dog is calm and in a quiet area of the house away from any commotion. 

If you do identify something that’s not quite right at home during a check up, please refrain from spending too much time trying to web diagnose the problem/s; get your pet booked in with your vet as soon as possible.   

Do some research on how to best feed your pet.

feeding kittens

Learn about the right types of foods for your breed of pet, as well as foods that can harm cats and dogs.

Feed your pets the best-quality food you can afford and establish a specific feeding location and times from the start.

Feeding your pets at the table is bad etiquette, and it raises the chance of accidentally giving your pet something hazardous, especially when it comes to your children, who lack your understanding of what’s safe and what’s not.

The pet food aisle is a bit overwhelming; you are inundated by labels advertising that a particular brand is the best for your pet. However, just because something is vegetarian, grain-free, or certified organic doesn’t mean it’s nutritious. Many of us overlook the importance of portion size and calorie density in their pet’s food.

cats eating food

For example, more expensive brands that promise to be healthy by replacing grains with animal products are usually higher in calories and should be portioned out proportionately.


Instead of guessing at your pet’s serving sizes at mealtimes, use an online pet calorie calculator to get the exact number of calories your pet should consume each day.


Measure out the perfect amount of food for them using this information and the nutritional values on the back of the pet food packaging.


Make sure your pet’s meals are always served first to minimize the chances of them from begging for some of yours.


Reducing separation anxiety experienced by your Pet.

sad puppy missing his humans

It’s hard going to work when you know that your pet is experiencing separation anxiety, knowing that emotionally it’s tearing them apart, it’s just so heartbreaking and hard not to think about during the day.

Destructive chewing, urinating on everything, almost non-stop barking and whining are some of the ways pets exhibit their stress.   It’s not just dogs who experience this problem; cats can also be distressed, though they tend to exhibit their worries in more subtle ways, such as excessive grooming.

 

Leave something with your smell on it for your pet to help them cope with separation anxiety. When you’re not around, a blanket or piece of clothing that smells like you can help them feel less lonely.

Dogs love Bath Time, who doesn't?

dog having bath

Some dogs may prefer not to be bathed, but you must be disciplined in this area because bathing is necessary for the health of your dog’s coat and skin, as well as keeping your dog clean and free of dirt and parasites. Bathing also has the added bonus of making your dog more enjoyable to be around.

Baths should be taken on a regular basis, even though they can be stressful for both of you.   The regularity of the baths depends of a number of things such as your home and backyard environment and the type of coat they have.

I personally think once a fortnight works well but you will need to do some research or preferably ask your vet about the optimal bathing routine and specific do’s and don’ts when bathing your particular breed of dog.   The last thing you want to do is create problems for your dog by stripping away natural oils from your dogs coat or causing skin irritation by using the wrong shampoo etc.

Having said that, if they stink, let’s face it, they are getting a bath.

 

If your dog doesn’t like bathing, try feeding them while they’re getting a bath as this will help your pet link bath time with something they love. 

dog wash in progress

Because some of your dog’s shampoo will be absorbed into his or her skin or licked off, and the rest will be washed down the drain and eventually end up in waterways, it’s a good idea to look for non-toxic and biodegradable options. These shampoos are just as effective at keeping your dog clean, silky, and smelling nice.

 

Brush your dog before bathing, since matted hair retains water and can cause skin discomfort.

Take your dog to a grooming business or call a mobile service to come to your home if you can’t brush or cut the mats out yourself.

 

Because your dog’s skin differs from ours and hot water can easily burn them, use lukewarm water. Bath water should never be hotter than 38 degrees Celsius, and even cooler for some larger breeds of dogs that can overheat rather easily.

 

Always rinse a few times, never just once as any soap left in their fur can irritate your dog’s skin once they’re dry and please don’t use your hair dryers to dry them off, that air is far too hot and can harm them.

 

You can buy specialized blow dryers for pets if you want but most will say that after you’ve toweled them off, just let them air dry, it’s the safest option.

Training your pet requires patience but is very rewarding.

dog jumping through hoop

Even if the desired results aren’t always simple to obtain, it’s critical to teach your pet manners. Positive reinforcement and consistency are important aspects of training your pet since they help them maintain their newly gained skills for the rest of their life.

 

Trying to do the right thing and making a few mistakes is far better than do nothing and raise an poorly mannered dog.   A well trained dog is a pleasure to be around and makes life easier for everyone concerned as it can follow basic commands like ‘sit’, ‘stay’, ‘come here’, ‘down’ or ‘drop it’.   In addition, you will need to teach your dog loose leash walking as soon as you can, this will make you exercise sessions a lot more enjoyable.

 

There are many things to learn and get through, and all of the good stuff won’t happen right away; it will take time and a lot of effort on your behalf, but it will be well worth it. 

very clever dog

Set reminders on your phone, just like you would for any other daily activity, to keep their routine consistent. It won’t be too difficult to fit your pet’s schedule around yours if you stay organized.

Your pet’s first potty break of the day should always be a few minutes after you wake up.

This will make your life easier as they won’t develop a habit of waking up before you if you do it this way.

Get your Dog his own bed and you both can get some sleep.

dog sleeping

Although your dog may disagree, Pet Parents require some personal space from time to time. Many Pet Parents who have sleep issues let their pets lie on their beds every night. If you dare to decide that your bed is now your personal space, you will first need to be your furry buddy a dog bed.

 

Make sure it’s a comfy one too, otherwise you better just get used to sharing your bed with your dog every night. It is harder than you might think to find a dog bed that they love. Dogs are not all the same, and they will all have different needs for a comfortable place to sleep. When picking on a Dog bed, keep their personality, agility, health concerns, and available space in your home in mind.

Happy dog with comfy bed

There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all Dog Bed; huge and tiny breed dogs, puppies, and old dogs all have different needs. You’ll need basic information like your dog’s age and weight to locate the perfect bed for him. But you’ll also need more specific information, such as their sleeping habits, whether they get hot easily, whether they chew objects, if they pee when they’re scared, or if they are covered in dirt and other filth 24/7. And, just like you would when buying a mattress for yourself, you should examine what seems to make your dog the most comfortable, especially given how much time they spend sleeping.

 

Start off your bed search by measuring your dog from nose to tail and adding a few inches for safety. It is better if their bed is a little too big, since this will allow your dog to stretch out more. However, with so many various types and brands of dog beds to choose from, narrowing down your options will take some time.

Dog is very happy with their bed

The majority of dog beds include a foam base mattress or polyester fill. Solid memory-foam beds provide extra support and are available in a variety of hardness levels. Polyester-filled beds are soft, fluffy, light, and prone to squish, but they can provide support for smaller and lighter-weight dogs if the material is tightly packed. You should look for something hard enough to protect your dog’s spine and joints while yet being soft enough to lull them to sleep. To protect big, heavier dogs from sinking to the floor, they’ll require beds with a lot of solid foam.

 

Thin dogs, which lack the natural cushioning of plump thighs and butts, require additional support in the form of polyester fill or softer foam. If you can’t feel the bed in person before buying it, user evaluations can help you figure out how dense the foam is and how good it is overall. Some dogs prefer to sleep curled up in a ball, others prefer the feeling of resting in a cave or tunnel, and still others, mainly giant-breed dogs or those with double coats, prefer to sleep on something cool and airy.

Whatever you believe your dog’s preferences are, the bed you buy should promote calm, security, and comfortable slumber. Plush coverings, soft bolsters, breathable materials, and even nooks where they can dig or hide a reward might entice dogs to choose their bed over the couch or a pile of clean clothing. If you’re not sure which style of bed your dog prefers, pay attention to how they act.

You may try a cave like bed if they want to hide beneath the blankets. If they are sleeping on your hardwood floors or kitchen tiles, invest in a cooling bed. If they are constantly circling and digging holes in the ground, choose a bed with supports or one that is bagel shaped. Before you buy a new bed, consider what makes your dog distinctive. When you give your dog a treat and he takes it to his bed to enjoy it, you’ll know you’ve made the proper decision. Finally, because dogs come in a variety of shapes and sizes, the best beds are available in a variety of sizes.

 

Durability is a key thing to consider; if you choose one that they enjoy, it will be used frequently. Before you know it, the bed’s ability to withstand substantial wear and tear will be put to the test. Look for durable base materials like deep memory foam or aluminium framing, as well as cover materials like nylon, canvas, and micro-fibre that won’t snag, rip, or stain easily. Find a bed with a water-resistant cover for elderly dogs and puppies who are prone to accidents. This will preserve the inside bedding from stains and odours.

dog is very relaxed on comfy bed

Your dog’s bed will get dirty no matter what you do. While you may be able to wipe dirty paw prints on the spot, urine stains that aren’t adequately removed will cause your pet to return to the same location to pee. It’s not a good purchase if it’s difficult to clean. Check to see if the bed you buy has a removable machine-washable cover or if the entire thing can be washed.

 

If the dog bed you choose matches the decor of your home, you will be significantly more likely to place it in the centre of your living room. And if the bed is clearly displayed in an area where you spend the bulk of your time, it is much more likely to become your dog’s preferred place to curl up. Certain colours or patterns will always look better in one person’s home than in another’s. As a result, seek out beds in a variety of colours or prints.

Pet Parents guide for selecting the right Cat Bed

Cat with teddy

Are you tired of discovering your cat snoozing on top of your nicely made bed or a freshly washed pile of clothes? Perhaps your cat is always pinching your poor dog’s bed, forcing Fido to sleep on the cold hard floor. Whatever the cause, you’ve decided enough is enough and your cat requires their own sleeping space. When selecting the correct bed, three factors must be considered: the bed’s size, shape, and how will you go cleaning it. After you’ve made a good choice, you will need some luck in trying to get your Cat Overlord lured away from your very expensive bed and pillows and into their new bed.   So yep, you better do your research and pick a good one.

 

When selecting a bed for your cat, you should first evaluate the size that will be most appropriate. While you must ensure that it is large enough for your cat, you must also ensure that it is not too large, since this can be disconcerting for your feline companion. Add an inch or 2 to the length of their head to the base of their tail. If your cat prefers to sleep stretched out rather than curled up in a ball, the extra size will provide the extra space they require.

enclosed cat bed

Many cats would rather sleep in an isolated location than in a large open environment. Hooded beds give them more protection and make them feel more at peace. Although not always the case, bolster style bed that your dog loves are often avoided by most cats in favour of a protected sleeping arrangement. If you’re adopting a new cat, covered pod or log style cat beds are the finest option. Beds with a modest lip that are easy to get in and out of will aid elderly or less mobile cats.

 

While self-cleaning pet beds are becoming increasingly popular, they are still ineffective at removing lost hair and parasitic insects like fleas. Beds with zippered covers and removable inserts are great for tossing into the washing machine right away. When the other one is being washed, a spare cover can come in helpful so that your kitty’s bed is always available.

cat hiding in bed

It may be difficult to disrupt your cat’s current sleeping routines, but you must persevere. The alien factory scent of a new bed may turn them off, but washing it or putting a worn piece of clothes inside can help them accept it. Another important consideration is where to place the bed, which will be dictated by your cat’s tastes and personality. Most cats will be unable to relax in a bed in the house’s most noisy room.

 

When browsing for Cat beds, use whatever information you have on your cat’s favourite sleeping spots as a guide. Consider their daily and seasonal behaviours as well. For example, if it’s a beautiful day, are you likely to find them outside? Do you frequently find your cat snuggled behind a structure of some kind or high up and out of reach of other inhabitants of the planet? If your cat is a new family member, find a quiet location where they can hide in the bed while still observing what’s going on around them. Cats enjoy warm environs, so put it somewhere where the sun shines.

elevated cat bed

Cats like to be above the ground when they relax, so raise the bed a few inches off the ground. Make sure it’s nice and tight, and that your cat won’t fall, roll, slip, or slide off. If you locate a bed that your cat enjoys and then they tumble off the side of the bed a few hours later, it will be incredibly difficult to convince them that a Cat bed is better than your bed.

 

When buying a bed, make sure it is the correct size. A bed that is either too large or too little for your cat may be too stressful. A cat that is new to your home or is inherently scared may prefer a cave-like bed with protection from enemy combatants such as an enthusiastic puppy, however confident and relaxed cats that have implanted dread in the minds of all other species in the home may be quite content with open design beds. For easier washing, look for materials and styles that are easy to clean. Put an item of your clothing inside your cat’s bed to associate your scent with the bed, and exercise discretion when determining where to place the bed.

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