February is not only the month of love; it is also Responsible Pet Owners Month. In the eyes of the law, we own our pets instead of them being part of our family. Since I disagree with that sentiment, I will be referring to it as Responsible Pet Parent Month.
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• Provide a quality food
It is important to become a label reader when you are selecting a food for your dog or cat. With all of the recalls lately, it is a good idea to do some extra research before buying a particular brand.
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• Clean water
This may seem like a no-brainer, but fresh water means more than just making sure the bowl is full. You need to wash food and water bowls on a daily basis with hot water and soap to kill germs and bacteria.
Dogs and cats need regular grooming to keep their coat healthy. Depending on the breed, daily brushing is a great routine to begin as soon as they arrive home. It is also important to keep their nails trimmed. This can be done at home or you can have your vet or groomer take care of this task. Dental health is extremely important for the health of your pet.
It is important to train your dog in the basics such as walking on a leash, coming when called, sit, and basic manners. This requires consistency on your part and it is very important to keep any training positive. This includes potty or litter box training. Never yell or strike your dog or cat. In no circumstances should you stick their nose in their “accidents.”
Pets need to move and they depend on you to provide that exercise. This is one of the best ways to bond with your dog or cat. You can take them for walks, runs or play games but the main thing is that they are getting much needed exercise.
• Veterinarian Care
You should choose a veterinarian that you trust before you bring your pet home. They will need to have a check-up at least once a year until they reach “senior” status when they visit the vet twice each year.
• Proper ID
Microchipping saves lives. It is that simple. Each week as we search for our BFTB NETWoof News, there are always stories of pet being reunited with their families because they have a microchip. Always make sure to update your pet’s information in the event that you move. A collar with proper identification is also very important. You can choose from thousands of collars but I love designing mine from PrideBites.
Never allow your pet to travel in your vehicle without being secured by a pet-friendly seat belt, harness, carrier, or inside a kennel. Left unrestrained, your dog will become a projectile if you are involved in an accident. It doesn’t matter if they are great at riding in the seat; they need to be secured for their safety and yours.
• Pet-Proof Your Home
Pets are naturally curious and that can be a very dangerous thing. You need to get down on your hands and knees to explore your home from their viewpoint. Make sure wires, plants, and anything else that can be dangerous or poisonous to your pets are out of their reach. A pet gate can keep them from areas that might pose a problem. Remember, a safe home is a happy home.
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