In the US, 67% of households own a pet. That’s a lot!
Unfortunately, many of these owners aren’t exactly responsible for their animals. Being a pet owner is about so much more than buying them feed and making sure fresh water is available.
Sadly, many people don’t realize that. If you’re new to owning an animal or just want to make sure you’re doing right by them, this is everything you need to be aware of.
Veterinary visits are one of the basic responsibilities of a pet owner. This, however, doesn’t just mean you should take them whenever they’re sick.
Your pet should have a visit with the vet, at minimum, once a year. This means the vet can check them for health conditions and give them booster shots to protect them against diseases.
For many animals, you should also keep up with flea and tick prevention. Fleas can be a nuisance but can lead to even more serious problems if left untreated, and the best way to deal with them is to keep up with medication every month or so.
Good Quality Diet
If you’re just becoming a pet owner, you may not realize that part of being a good pet owner is choosing a good diet. Buying the lowest quality food off the shelf or overfeeding your pet can cause health issues later.
Not every food is created equal! Some foods have more fillers than nutrients.
- Therefore, you should research the food and make sure it’s of good quality. You can also ask your veterinarian for food recommendations.
Product Suggestions: Happy Dog Food Review and Recommendations for 2021
Training and Socialization
If you have a dog especially, training is very important. You should focus on teaching them how to listen to you, because it may end up saving their life.
Party tricks are fun, but a good recall and the verbal cue “leave it” are the things to focus on first. These can take months to be reliable but will keep your animal-safe.
Socialization is important for most animals. Having them meet a wide variety of people and animals will keep them used to and open to new things.
You can check out The Pet Savvy for more posts on how to effectively do this, as well as other tips.
You should always remember to advocate for your animal! Never put them in an unsafe or uncomfortable situation.
For example, if someone wants to pet your reactive or clearly uncomfortable dog, it’s okay to just say no.
Being a Pet Owner Is About More Than Meeting Basic Needs
You can meet all of the basic needs of an animal and still not be a good pet owner — or as good as you can be!
It’s more than giving them food and water. It’s about advocating for them and setting them up for success through training or socialization. This will keep them happy and confident, which is what they need to be to thrive.
For more tips about pet ownership and other animal subjects, take a look at the rest of our blog.