A Guide To Caring For Your Pets

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Give Your Pet The Best Life

In America, pets are worshipped. In fact all over the world, pets give humans comfort, joy and company. We spend a lot of money and time on them and they give us all the love we could ever want. According to a recent study by the American Pet Product Association, the average U.S. pet owners spent 65 billion dollars on their pets in 2017. Obviously pets are important to us. Yes there is the occasional neglect of animals. This happens any where you go. But overwhelmingly, Americans love their pets.

Some people have even put into law protections for animals. Against cruelty, against neglect and even in some cases for custody in divorce settlements. This means that pets to some are more like children. And many families consider their pets to be one of their equals. Getting cheap pet insurance is another way that we as pet lovers protect our furry friends. In most cases, pet insurance is used in case an animal gets sick or has a large veterinary bill. In some cases, pet insurance is used as a sort of life insurance for our pets. Either way, it’s not a bad idea to invest in the ones we love with pet insurance.

Treating Them Right

Most people have the very best intentions when it comes to their friends on four legs. But most of us don’t do the research necessary to give them what they really need. Because every animal is an individual and every breed of dog, cat, bird or horse is so different, they need different things. It’s hard to lump all dogs into one category. Feeding your small house dog the same food as  Border Collie might not be the smartest idea. They might not be getting everything they need. Nutrients is one of the most important parts of taking care of any animal.

The basics of dog and cat care are this: feed them, love them, give them shelter and most importantly: spay and neuter your pets. There is an epidemic in this country of over breeding animals. Our shelters are full and more and more animals are being killed each year because of this. You will be doing your animals and the world a favor by getting them fixed and keeping them from breeding. 

Pet Care 101

Here are some basic care needs for any animal. If you do nothing else, follow these easy steps and you should have a healthy and happy pet on your hands. In rare cases, animals need special medical needs. Some dogs have skin allergies. Maybe your cat is declawed and cannot go outside. There are exceptions to every rule, but for the most part animals are fairly basic. We like to anthropomorphize them and think that they might need more of what humans want. But we must remember that these pets are animals and not humans. And their lives are much more basic than ours. We should treat them with the respect they deserve in the ways that they know and understand.

Every animal needs access to the outside world

It is hard to say this to those who live in apartments or in the city. But animals are born to be outside and not cooped up inside. If you do live in an apartment or are scared of your cat running away, there are things you can do. You can cover your porch or try a cat door. Dogs can do very well in apartments (depending on the breed), but you must take them on daily walks and let them smell the fresh air. Giving your animal the outside smells and stimulation they need will keep them healthy and happy for years to come. Make sure you have that cheap pet insurance you want in case of an emergency. If your animal is outside and lives near a road, there could be accidents. Animals get injured when living in the city because they are not bred to deal with that sort of environment.

The best part about seeing a dog playing outside is the happy expression on their face. Get into the groove of getting your pet outside and stop worrying about what bad things might happen to them. Animals are more savvy than we give them credit for. They are literally born to be outdoors. Honor this in some way. No one ever said being an animal owner was easy. But since you love your pet so much, give them the chance to be happy and free outdoors at least part of the day.

Nutrients

We feed our human bodies with things we love. Some of these are good and some not so good. But when it comes to animals, we need to be a little more strict. A cat, for example, is bred for their bodies to absorb proteins. They  literally cannot eat fruits or vegetables because their natural makeup does not allow it. If you want your cat to live long and strong, feed them a high protein diet rich in oils. There are many dry cat foods that can do this. Dry food also helps with keeping  an animals teeth clean. Wet food is very yummy to cats and dogs but does little to mimic how they might naturally eat in the wild.

Dogs can eat a variety of foods from proteins to vegetables and even some starches. One thing you should never feed a dog is grain or gluten. Their bodies cannot process this and it could lead to allergies or an upset stomach. Many dogs thrive off of a raw diet because in the wild this is all they eat. Cooked meat for dogs might be toxic. Every breed is different. Dogs that are high energy should eat more than a dog that lays around the house. Read the label of your dog food and understand that the first couple of ingredients usually makes up most of the meal. Stay away from substitutes and go for the real thing. Real chicken or beed with potatoes or carrots and blueberries. Eggs or egg yokes are also a healthy ingredient.

Social Animals

Another thing that must remember and often forget, many animals are social and need a friend. Dogs are especially social animals and even though they might be a part of your family, they need other dog friends. If you have one dog and work full time, that animal spends most of its day alone at home. They might be happy to see you when you arrive home and look forward to that walk to the park. But for so much of that dogs short life, they are alone. Getting them a companion would help ease anxiety and fear. Unless you work from home or can take your dog with you for most of the day, they want to be social and have other doggie friends. In rare cases there could be a dog who is aggressive with other dogs. In this circumstance, you will want to be very diligent about giving them time. You might even allow them to be around other animals but wear a muzzle. Most of the time, animals who are this aggressive are put down. Dogs like this can be a huge liability to others.

More on sociability

Cats on the other hand can get anxiety if another cat is introduced into their territory. Make sure that if you have a cat and you want him or her to be social, that you introduce another cat slowly or raise two cats together. In the wild, cats are very territorial.  Their territories also span for miles. So while you might want to bring another cat into the situation, the cat you already have might begin to wander. Cats wander and this is fine. You should let them. But understand that they can get quite stressed if they feel that their territory is being encroached upon. For this reason, many people choose to only have one cat. Cats and dogs can however be friends in a great way. Most cats and dogs will learn to be friends if they are trained to behave.

Insure Your Furry Friend

There is no doubt that at some point your animal will need a veterinarian. There is regular care which comes in the form of shots and exams. But there is also irregular care which can cost you much more. Having cheap pet insurance can save you a lot of money in the end. You insure your own health so why not the health of your other family member, your pet?

Pet insurance can help pay for large vet bills from an injury or disease. You can also get pet insurance which covers regular care and exams. Just like every other type of insurance there is a premium and a deductible. You can talk with a broker about what kind of pet insurance best suits you. There are some types of animals that cannot be covered. But for cats and dogs, this is a no brainer. Even horses and livestock can be insured. You can also insure your animal for their value. Many show animals have insurance just like we do on our lives and abilities.

Pet insurance can start at around $30 a mont for a basic coverage. There are multiple insurance companies that now offer this type of insurance. They realize just how important animals are to us. Most animal hospitals take pet insurance and some even offer it through their business. This insurance can cover x-rays, exams, shots, surgery and more. There is an age limit for most pet insurance. If a dog is too old, the company might not insure them. So get your cheap pet insurance while your loved one is still young and healthy. Watch is pay off big time as they develop through life.

The Best Feeling In The World

It’s true when they say that a dog is mans best friend. Cats are a close second. And in fact, any animal that gives you love and joy is treasured. The best feeling in the world is being able to help an animal with their health whether it be mental or physical. One way to ensure that your pet is happy is to train them. You might think that letting an animal “take over” your house is letting them do just what they want and like. Or maybe you feel bad for your pet so you let discipline slide. But for every animal in the wild there is a pecking order. You as the owner need to be the alpha over your animal.

Being the alpha in a human animal bond does not mean overtaking the animal or breaking their spirit. It simply means that you need to be more dominant than the pooch or kitty you bring home. Giving them this structure will make them feel secure. They are looking for a leader. And if you aren’t that leader then they will start acting out.

How To Set Boundaries

Setting boundaries with an animal or pet is the best way to position yourself in their life. There are a few very humane ways to show a pet just where they stand in the pecking order. First you as their owner must always remember to follow through with discipline especially in the first few months you bring your guy home. One way you can start this process is with feeding time. You set the feeding time. Make the dog sit and wait for their food. And midway through eating, take the dish away from them. Give it back when they sit or do a command and then praise your pet. This is what would happen in the wild. Dogs don’t always get to eat whenever and whatever they want in the wild. A pack of wolves will eat according to the pecking order. Those weakest eat last.

Another way to assert dominance is when you are playing with your dog or cat. When they are just babies, try rolling them over on their backs or holding them until they relax. When they get older, set boundaries about where they sleep. If you want your dog to sleep on the bed with you, only allow them in your room at night let’s say. Your cat is another story. They tend to eat and sleep when and where they want. But you can still set some parameters.

A Happy Pet Is A Loved Pet

Most importantly make sure that your pet knows they are loved. Give them a lot of time and attention. Tell them they are “good” and do the activities that they like to do. A well-loved animal will feel secure and less neurotic. You should only have a pet if you are willing to make it a member of your family. Even “working” dogs who have a job on a daily basis such as cattle dogs, get a lot of love and attention. Positive reinforcement works best. Don’t forget to make your furry friend a priority.

 

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