Pet Care

How to be a responsible pet parent: Top tips on general pet care

A responsible pet parent ensures that the animal has a good quality of life by understanding and meeting the physical, biological, and emotional needs of their companion. Caring for a pet involves investing in essentials like veterinary care, food, enrichment, exercise and other necessities to ensure their well-being. This all starts before you even bring the pet home. Read more via this link.

Before welcoming a dog or cat, or another animal into your home, it’s important to consider your lifestyle, time availability, space, and finances. These factors not only determine if you’re ready for a furry companion but also which breed would be the best fit. If you already have a pet, it’s important to ensure they will get along. To make your decision easier, here are some helpful links: Things to consider before getting a dog and here. We also have a blog on the topic.

There are many factors involved when deciding whether to adopt or buy. Shelters are full of animals waiting for a new home. Every animal is unique, with its own special needs, potential health concerns, and unknown past traumas. This can be particularly true for shelter animals. When deciding to adopt make sure it’s from a reputable animal shelter, as animals there are also typically vaccinated, microchipped, and neutered. Learn more about adoption on this link. When deciding to buy a pet from a breeder, be careful to buy from a responsible and reputable breeder, be careful if you buy online and watch out for inherited disorders. Each year, numerous pets are bred under substandard conditions, prematurely separated from their mothers, and traded across Europe. Check also if the breed has any known genetic disorders and hereditary diseases. Ensure that the pet has not been prematurely separated from its mother and has been properly identified and registered (microchipped).

Preparing for the arrival of your new puppy involves gathering essential items to ensure their comfort and well-being. These include feeding and water bowls, a suitable collar or harness, the appropriate leash, a comfortable bed, and a selection of toys. It’s important to provide a variety of toys that offer both physical engagement and cognitive stimulation. Find out what food the puppy was eating before their arrival and continue feeding them the same food initially. While you have the option to change their food later on, it’s advisable to do so gradually. For pet owners with houseplants, learn which ones could be harmful to dogs. Make sure to make your home puppy safe! Find more information on how to prepare for a puppy via this link.

Before bringing a new kitten home, make sure your home is kitty-proofed. Every kitten needs food and water bowls, food, a litterbox, litter, a tower, toys, and scratching pads. Cats love to climb to higher surfaces, so make sure they are also safe when doing this. Find more information on how to make your home safe via this link.

There is a wide range of pre-prepared pet food to keep dogs and cats happy and healthy. All ‘complete’ pet foods, regardless of format, are carefully formulated to provide all the nutrients a healthy pet needs.

It is important to consider activity level, lifestyle and life stage (e.g. puppy or kitten vs adult), the pet’s preferences with regard to food format and the owner’s opinion regarding convenience, cost, variety and suitability of available pet food. There is no particular right way to feed pets, as long as the nutritional needs of the dog or cat are being met. Always ensure your pet has access to clean water. We suggest you read this factsheet and reference the Nutritional Guidelines. You can also read our blog on the nutritional needs of pets.

Regular visits to the vet are important for all pets. These visits can be stressful for both you and your pet. Here are some helpful tips to make your cat’s vet visits less stressful:

  • Have a good carrier; size appropriate, opens on the top, easy to clean
  • Put bedding in the carrier
  • Make the carrier a regular part of your cat’s space
  • Cover the carrier with a towel during the ride to the vet to keep the cat calm
  • Avoid swinging the carrier
  • You can spray the carrier with calming synthetic cat pheromones

Find out more via this link.

To make the visit to the vet a little bit less stressful for your dog we recommend bringing a favourite toy or blanket. To ensure your pet’s safety and the comfort of others, it’s essential to have a leash handy in busy waiting rooms. Find more information via this link.