Having pets can be compared to keeping young children. A daily responsibility is to care for these creatures and protect them from harm. Since they bring so much comfort, happiness, and joy, among other benefits, they must get the best life possible. Currently, 70% of households keep a pet, and many consider these animals part of the family. In addition to all the proper things to do with your pet, here are some things you should never do.
Skip vet visits
Ideally, a healthy pet should visit the vet once a year. On the other hand, a pet that is a few weeks or months old may need it more often in a year. The same applies to an older pet that is five years and over. Even if your animal friend looks normal and seems healthy, you can never be too sure what may be happening within them. Their digestive tract, blood, bones, and brain may be at risk at some point in their development.
This is why skipping the vet can be costly in the short or long term. These professionals are trained and have experience in detecting medical conditions that may be masked in the early stages. Therefore, the best you can do for your pets is to follow up with their vet appointments to maintain their health.
Leave your pet in the car
Unfortunately, this is a sad experience that some pets have had with their owners. While this may be difficult to do when you have errands to run, experts say there is an easier and healthier option. It is better to leave your beloved animals at home than keep them in the car. In as little as five minutes, when the weather is hot, pets like dogs and cats can suffer heat stroke. Others may even experience brain damage or dehydration. Leaving pets in a parked car for a brief period can be dangerous, even in winter.
You need safety measures if you have to leave your pet in a vehicle. For example, pets like dogs cannot sweat to cool down their bodies. Therefore, they pant to release heat. Their paw pads and noses also play different roles in releasing heat in sweltering weather. So if the sun is out, park in the shade and leave the windows slightly rolled down to bring in enough oxygen.
Hit your pet
Experts say hitting your pet as a method of punishment isn’t a good idea. And there are several other ways to discourage bad behaviour. What it does is mar the relationship between pet and owner. In worst-case scenarios, repetitive hitting can cause feelings of insecurity in your animal companion. And sometimes, all it does is instil fear in them.
A better alternative is to use a firm voice. The last thing you want is to have your pet fear you because they assume you will cause them physical pain again. There have even been reports that some pets, like dogs, have nipped their owners after being hit. Believe it or not, effective communication can work wonders for pets and owners in these situations. You can also use positive reinforcements instead of hitting.
Overfeeding your pet
A chubby rabbit, dog or cat may look cute and make you smile, but there could be dire health consequences. Overfeeding your pets can be detrimental to their lifespan, which you want to avoid. Admittedly, overfeeding can be accidental, especially when the owner has no idea how much their animals should eat in a period. However, obesity in pets can quickly build unhealthy fats around their hearts and other internal organs.
Furthermore, the absence or lack of physical exercise can strain the joints tremendously, causing mobility issues. When it comes to nutrition, the ingredients and components of the meal also count. Therefore, aside from knowing how much to feed the animal, also learn what foods are best for them. For example, feeding your pets human food is not advisable. Depending on the type of pet you have or the breed, it is best to learn all about their dietary requirements. This will help you avoid any issues.
Using a crate as a punishment tool
Ordering a dog, for example, into its crate as punishment for bad behaviour isn’t that rare. However, it is considered unhealthy. According to experienced pet owners, it instils feelings of shame and depression. Also, it makes your dog attach negative feelings to the crate. Ideally, the crate is meant to be a comfortable space for your pet but, when used negatively, loses its original purpose. This applies to any animal.
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