“Having a pet has it’s joys & it’s struggles, but the exchange can be so worth it.”
This post may seem a bit long, but wanted to share as much as I could try and cover. Please enjoy the information and share this article so others can be aware as well.
In the past decades I’ve had all kinds of pets from A-Z and I could say, I love all kinds of animals and I am an animal advocate. However, those whom have loved, cared for and had many pets, just like me can still question what to do and how to do it in the best way, with the least amount of stress. Trying to figure out, the proper food to the proper care in knowing and learning the best ways in handling our pets, (at least the most efficient). The take away here in this post is that, there are things to consider before, during and after wanting and having a pet, that will make the journey of pet ownership (no matter what type of pet) more worth it and much happier for both pet and pet owner. Even an avid pet owner will still have hurdles now and then to endure. We all can learn and educate ourselves as there is always more things to know.
As in everything, people have different views and this can cause much conflict. Subsequently, there is a lot of useful, valuable and good information out there, but it takes time to read, review and find answers and it can be overwhelming and get confusing.
“Using Common Sense” in all of our choices and decisions in life would help, but often obvious notions or prioritizing may not be well thought-out. Even in acquiring or owning, the right type and number of pets for which you can provide appropriately care for. There are basic, standard, and necessary things needed for pet ownership, as in any type of responsibility.
There’s countless information in books and on the internet in helping us, but where do we start? *Here are some basic things that should be considered in preparing for a better journey in pet ownership:
Choosing a pet: There are different needs, for different types of people and pets….Where you live, the climate, such as do you live by the water (for safety reason), as most people tend to believe all dogs know how to swim and they don’t, some need to be taught how to swim and stagnant lakes and ponds cause possible places for dangerous microscopic organisms or mosquitoes, your housing size (for the size of pet), whom lives with you (how will they and your new pet get along), what kind of plants, trees or bushes are around where you live (could they harm your pet if they ingest them), do you or will you have a fence enclosure to keep your pet safe and contained and other animals and strangers out, what are the laws and ordinances where you live (pertaining having your pet and where you can bring them), what kind of food will your pet require, will you be able to lift your pet by yourself if needed and to help them if they are hurt or need to be transported. As well as being able to handle your choice of pet’s temperament and personality. Are you willing and able to fit your pets needs into your budget, transporting (if need emergency care) and including your time required for the daily care and attention of the pet. If these things are considered carefully and are addressed properly, there is less frustration later. Issues may arise, but most of the time it is a matter of learning more about the proper needs and care of the pet.
Cost of a pet: The cost in purchasing a pet may vary, some are gifts, some have a price to purchase….Yet, whether you are given a pet as a gift or pay to own a pet, it will be of your responsibility to their lifelong commitment in you giving care and relationship of your pets needs. There’s the cost of nutritional needs in feeding your pet, accessories you will need such as cages, tanks, leashes, harness, bowls, crates, bedding, blankets, toys, training pads and other possible accessories needed depending on the type of pet and if the pet requires and has special needs. Crates are for helping your pet have a place of their own and for keeping them safe (Crates should never to be used for any type of punishment it’s their safe-haven)! All pets should have their own special area or place. There may also be costs for additional medicines, supplements and treating illness. Having pet insurance and/or a (care-credit card) can come in handy for pets vet visits (check and see which veterinarian offices are participating ones to honor care-credit , many do). Also, If your pet for one reason or another doesn’t work out, you must know or consider what you will do to ensure the safety and ongoing love and care of the pet, even if it did not work out with you or you are no longer able to care for the pet..
Pets Emotions and Feelings: Pets genuinely have feelings and emotions, just as humans do and can be effected and affected the same way a child can be, in such ways in which they are treated, handled and cared for as in creating their trust and personality. All they really want is to please us, be praised and properly cared for…..Your pet may have an issue that is undetectable, by just looking at them. Your pet may not be feeling well, they may need or want something and they may be trying to tell you (since they are unable to talk) they often will-act out, they may keep bothering you and won’t rest or calm down or they may act different then they usually do or they may not want to do much and they may do something annoying or even behave badly. Subsequently, 99% of the time your pet is trying to communicate with you, it may be something that (you as the pet owner), had done or had not done, need to do for them or may need for you to assist them or help with resolving, whatever it is that caused the incident. There may be something that you will need to figure out and take care of (especially in the way of miscommunication or misunderstanding your pet). Your pet may be trying to alert you to something; it could also be that the pet owner is not doing something efficiently, incorrectly or just out of sync with the pets needs. Many a times a pet just wants comfort time with you. Some pets will self-soothe themselves by licking their paws or clean areas of themselves. They may just need your attention and lovin’ for a moment to reassure them, all is ok.
*Luckily today, if we are having an issue or problem with our pets we can reach out upon the internet to others that have (the same type of pet or issues) and ask for advice. Pets can get excited, sick, scared, be fearful, feel pain, be sad, depressed, bored, lonely, hungry, thirsty, need to go to the bathroom, need to feel being loved, want to play, need exercise and need to be happy, etc..
*Pets should always be and are needed to be treated Humanely, with Compassion, Proper Care and Love. All over the world, abuse and cruelty towards animals has been recognized and it is now a felony crime to mistreat an animal. “Pets can be similar to children, but age much quicker”. Pets emotions and feelings can also be helpful because they can often sense our needs and some are trained to do specific things to help us. As well, it can be heartbreaking to go through the sadness of caring for a pet that has become ill, is aging or has a terminal illness. Yet, this is a crucial and utmost important time to understand the need to be considerate to your pet. In recognizing their needs, quality of their life and appropriate end-of-life-care palliative care hospice or peaceful passing’s, euthanasia. Don’t abandoned them at these times. Even if it’s to much for you to bear, think about them and please, if you going through this don’t let them die or take their last breath alone.
Feeding your Pet: Feeding the correct amount and the most nutritious type of food to your pet, will be extremely important and the costs will vary depending upon the pet…..As in humans, the best nutrition is not always readily available and many-a-times, pets don’t receive or may also need additional and nutritional, “Add-In’s” into their daily foods to ensure a balanced diet. When choosing your pets food, you need to consider, the amount needed (according to size, activity level daily and healthy weight of pet), the ongoing availability in the foods being stocked in stores or having it delivered, the time for preparation and the overall cost. Just as in humans, it seems the most nutritious foods are usually more expensive, there are some foods that ‘both humans and their pets can both eat’ and that can be cost efficient (lots of articles on what foods can be safely given to your type of pet). Pets like treats as well, either after their meals, as rewards or just as a treats. You can find many healthy treats for your pet (always read the label’s before you buy or give anything to your pet to ensure there is nothing in the ingredients that could get your pet sick, “just cause it’s out there to buy, doesn’t mean we should”). The food and nutritional needs can also change as the pet gets older, as so can the care for your pet. Pets should never be fed food that is outdated, highly fatty, left over and possibly spoiled foods (some people think it’s okay to feed food a human won’t eat, if its old, moldy, fatty or etc) and this is wrong. Pets can get a hold of something bad for them, if they get into the garbage can, out on a walk or by others (someone living with you), the wrong things ingested by your pet could cause a blockage or cause kidney, liver and digestion problems to your pet and can end-up causing costly surgery or pancreatitis and become fatal.
*Pets health is just as fragile as anyone else in your family and what you would consider not good, too fatty or spoiled food, is also not good to give to your pet. Clean Fresh (preferable purified and some fluoridated water, once in awhile for their teeth) water needs to be accessible at all times and keep your pets water and food bowls clean, designate towels and dish cleaning brushes just used for your pet (their food and water bowls can get slimy and cause bacteria and germs can spread to your pet and make them sick).
*I have spend many years and many dollars, learning a method of creating balanced life and proper diet for all types of pets (even on a tight budget). I have been fortunate that my pets have all lived a longer than average lifespan, even if they had become old or sick, I researched, learned and experienced the best possible care to give to them. You can read more about nutrition with pets on my post Pets & Allergies.
Pet Care Costs: If your pet is getting proper nutrition and good care, there will likely be less costs in veterinarian bills. One must also consider having a dog or cat spayed/neutered, so not to contribute to our nation’s pet overpopulation problem. Also Just as humans, all pets need a reputable doctor that you can take them to. All pets, just like humans can get sick and may need medical attention…Pets need check-ups and as your pet grows and becomes older they may need supplements, vitamins or medicines. Some pets require supplements, vitamins and medicines even throughout their life, for a more quality life. Some pets need more grooming than others; this can be done by teaching yourself how to properly groom your pet or taking your pet to have them groomed. Some pets need their nails trimmed, some types of pets may need their teeth filed and some have lots of hair and need that taken care of. All pets need to be cleaned and washed, but not to often and some may need to be cleaned more often if they get dirty more often, most require washing every month or every 2-3 month or more. Just depends upon the weather, lifestyle or their needs (It will vary from pet to pet). Some pets live in cages, some pets live in water, some pets have bedding of their own and all of these need to be cleaned on a regular basis (just as we need to clean our own bedding and home).
*There can be additional costs if you need to board you pet, if you cannot take them with you on a trip, vacationing or if having company and may need to board them just for the day or so, to help things be less hectic. When boarding your pet, often they will need to be up-to-date on some vaccinations and medicines if need be (dogs and cats are usually required to be on some type of flea and tick medicine as well). Many counties we live in require dogs to have update rabies shots (laws now; senior dogs 7-8yrs and up can be exempt as it can be hard on their health) . Make sure to keep a folder of all records of your pets vaccinations and any medicines given, etc.. and do not “over vaccinate or over medicate” your pet. Today there is countless information about what our pet’s really need as far as vaccinations (according to their lifestyles, size, weight and type of pet). More and More these days pet owners are and have been dealing with a lot of issues with allergies in their pets, diseases and cancers. I feel (just as in humans), it has been the overly processed food (out of convenience), may have been what we have fed our pets and not enough fresh foods or proper nutritional foods for the type of pet we have. Along with giving our pets (that are told by veterinarians to administer dosages of monthly flea, tick and heart worm medicine) given monthly for years at a time and possibly, over medicating and over vaccinating (it all just depends). There are many available and good products that are less dangerous to use to combat fleas and other pests. It will all depend on the area you take your pets or situation.
*Pets can live longer than ever today, with proper nutrition, cleanliness, being educated on their balanced nutrition and vaccinations. As well as any monthly supplements, vitamins and medicines given if needed. Always look for danger (awaiting to happen), check to make sure danger is away from your pet and anything that they could get into that could harm them; as in chemicals on lawns, poisonous plant, things left on the floor or in garbage cans and in-their reach where they can accidentally get to it and ingest something that could harm them.
Making Time, Getting a Routine and Exercise: Another necessary consideration, is making adequate time for your pet….This will include (one of the most important factors besides your pets nutrition) “a daily consistent routine” (consistent as possible). The more consistent in your routine daily with your pet, the better flow it will create between you and your pet you. Figuring out a schedule or routine will be very important because if you just try and fit in the pets needs as your day goes by, things will tend to get out of sync and this will make it difficult for your pet to know what to do and when. Then, it will get stressful in dealing with your pet and accidents could happen, things may not flow as well, nor in building your pet’s trust in you or creating a good close bond healthy relationship with you. Take notice, when you have a routine of feeding your dog at around the same times everyday they will usually eliminate (go poop and pee) around the same time each day.
*For instance, if you need to leave early for work, you’ll get up, then take them out to pee, make them their food, they eat and before you leave for work, take them to poop (bring a doo-doo bag of some sort) or you may have another routine similar that works out for you and your pet. I have never had any of my dogs have accidents (unless they were not feeling well or my fault off schedule) I take them out 1st thing in the morning after I get up and moving (I take my dogs out separately because one is much older than the other). If and when I have to leave to go somewhere, whether I am taking them with me or not, I take them out and make sure they go to the bathroom before we or (I) leave. When coming back from anywhere and whether they came with me or not, I take them out and make sure they go 1st thing (even if it’s just for them to alleviate themselves and pee or poo if it’s their time to and do a longer walk later or next time) before I get too involved with other things. Then always, before we all go to bed, I take them out once more (bring a flashlight of some sort if it’s getting dark outside) to make sure of you and your dogs path, don’t want your dog to get a hold of or into something they shouldn’t. This gives them several different times to eliminate. Besides the elimination routine walks long enough for your pet to go. They can also benefit and need greatly, additional longer walks for some exercise (at least once or twice a week as it helps us get some exercise as well).
*Another important concern in time and care of your pet care, is handling their elimination process (going to the bathroom). Some pets will require your assistance in getting them outside and directing them to when and where to go to the bathroom (and you will need to clean up their poop), whether they go out and use someone else’s yard (on a walk) or even if they use your backyard, you will need to consider picking up their poop, so they don’t run or step in it each time you let them out and then bring the residue of germs back into your home and try and lick themselves to clean it off (you may even need to clean and wipe their paws off as they come back into the house, so the bacteria and germs aren’t carried around with them) . Other pets will require you to keep an area with a designate box or such for them to go to the bathroom, which you will need to keep clean and other pets (such as a fish, gerbil, hamster, rat or etc.) their cage or tank will be required to be cleaned and/ or change their cage stuffing and all of their dropping and keep their cage and all that’s in it clean, so not for it to be building up and them living in their own waste.
*Pets need a dependable routine (of some type): Often pet owners get angry at their pet for having accidents (such as, going to the bathroom in the house), but just think for a moment; “If you had to go to the bathroom really bad and were not properly told or did not know when you’d be able to go, you’d probably just find a place to go eliminate because you needed too. This is what happens much too often and pet owner’s blame the pet or they punish the pet, when actually it was the mere fact that their pet just needed more guidance and training (time) until both pet and owner had a routine of some kind figured out. Generally, pets usually get into a routine of eating meals and eliminating around same time every day (especially their pooping) and they may need time to find a scent to help trigger their bowl movements. Meanwhile, if pet owners either put their pets needs last, wait too long to take them out to go to the bathroom the pet doesn’t have a dependable routine. They need a know and have a routine (if some type each day) that they can depend upon or it’s not their fault they have accidents. Some pet owners, don’t allow them enough time to go when they take them out, don’t take notice if their pet did go when taken out and then mishaps can occur. One must be considerate of their pets needs. Pets are living, breathing, active and loving creatures and their needs and feelings need to be considered, they are not a disposable items.
*If your pet requires you to take them on a walk or let them out to go to the bathroom, you should take notice when and if, your pet does go to the bathroom (just to be sure your pet did go, before letting them back in the house). Especially if you are going to have to leave them for any length of time, (no more than 6-8 hours for an adult dog) and generally dogs need to eliminate at least several times a day (3 times to pee and usually 1 for poop), it depends on what their needs are (some dogs poop 2 days a day), just make sure they relieve themselves of (urine) and they may need to go pee a couple times while they are outside(usually male dogs, but females can too), this helps to ensure they had a chance to go and empty their bladders and went.
*Just as Humans need exercise is the same reason, pets need exercise. Even if you have a large backyard or a fenced in yard that you let your dog out, so they can go to the bathroom, run about and get some exercise; there still will be a need to walk your dog on the sidewalk for a nice walk together, at least whenever you can (more the better). Dogs can become bored and this can cause may issues, even obsessive licking, scratching and chewing on themselves (and other things). In order to get enough or proper exercise and your pet may need additional equipment in their cage (if your pet is kept in a cage such as a hamster, gerbil etc), other pets will need leashes or harnesses. As, dogs seem to need more exercise than other pets and can end-up lacking it the most yet, their owners may not exercise much or don’t make much time for exercising or just don’t feel like taking the dog out for a regular walk and get exercise, but it is a health oriented requirement. However, as dogs get older (senior dogs are 7-8yrs and up) may need their exercise limited or adjusted (depending on the dog), in what they are capable of and may need more rest on a walk or less time out on a walk, but still should get out in the fresh air and get some exercise. The fact that humans need exercise, gives a great opportunity to get out and do it together.
Basic Commands and Additional Training: Take the time, practice , consistency and focus on mastering, one at a time….Training a Pet takes time in practicing, patience and consistency . If your pet is a dog, it will be very important to teach them basic commands, as these will be needed to help communication and used for safety as well. Some basic ones for them to learn and obey are; “Sit, Stay, Shake, High-Five, Kiss, Lay Down, Get Down, Roll over etc. and phone apps, such as “Puppr and GoodPup” you can use. “Work on mastering one command at a time, once mastered, go onto the next. Any pet can learn a command, some will be able to learn more, some can learn many commands and tricks, just depends on the time, patients one takes in and with the training.
*As in anything else, especially with our pets, the more compassionate, caring and understanding you are to your pet, the more positive experience you will have with your pet. I have had much success in talking sweetly to my pets (and plants!) I think they positively respond to those vibrations.
*I hope this can help others with pet ownership. If you know someone with a pet or thinking about getting one, share this article with them. Also I have another post-page about Pets and dealing with their allergies.
I have had many people ask me about reliable information from products to illnesses (pet owners of all kinds of pets, with many issues and concerns with their pet) and I have helped them. If you would like to tell me something or ask me a question concerning a pet or pet ownership, you can do so by leaving a response and I will send back a response. Let others know of my blog ..
Thank You for reading, there was a lot to tell and I have another article on what I feed my dogs and coping with and curing : click on menu “pets & allergies”.
C .Star. V