How To Be A Responsible Pet Owner

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February is Responsible Pet Owner Month, and it’s a great time to brush up on your pet ownership skills! Owning a pet isn’t just about having a furry companion by your side—it’s a lifetime of responsibilities. Once you bring a pet into your life, you are required to provide them with love, care, and attention […]

February is Responsible Pet Owner Month, and it’s a great time to brush up on your pet ownership skills! Owning a pet isn’t just about having a furry companion by your side—it’s a lifetime of responsibilities. Once you bring a pet into your life, you are required to provide them with love, care, and attention so that you both have a mutually beneficial relationship.

Although there isn’t an exact guidebook about good pet ownership, there are a few ways you can be a responsible pet owner. Read on to learn more about how you can make your pet feel happy and loved!

1. Pet proof your house.

When you bring your pet home, they will naturally be curious about the world around them. They may explore every inch of your home, poking their noses into cabinets and venturing into rooms uninvited. And while this insatiable curiosity may subside as your pet grows older, it never fades away.

That’s why it’s crucial to pet proof your entire home. Research what household products and foods can harm your pet. Make sure every door in your home is closed before letting your furry friend roam. Check that the backyard is free of pesticides and other harmful hazards so that your pet doesn’t get sick or lost.

Pet proofing a home takes a lot of effort but it comes with its benefits. Once you pet proof your home, you can ensure that your pet is safe and sound at all times.

2. Give your pet the care they need.

Your pet depends on you for love and care. As a pet owner, it’s your responsibility to make sure your cuddly friend is happy and healthy at all times. Of course, there are telltale signs that give you insight on your pet’s health, but we still recommend taking preventative measures, such as:

  • Regular visits to the vet. A physical exam performed by a licensed veterinarian provides you with valuable information on your pet’s health status. If it’s your pet’s first time at the vet, check out our blog, Your Puppy’s First Vet Visit to learn about what you can expect.
  • Vaccinations and parasite control. Vaccines give your pet extra protection against numerous illnesses, like rabies and distemper. Through preventative methods, your vet can also lower the risk of parasites in your pet.
  • Pet insurance. Emergencies can happen at any time and place. Therefore, it’s highly essential to get your pet insured as soon as possible. This can ensure your pet receives the medical help they need no matter the cost.

3. Always keep an ID on your pet

We’ve already talked about how important keeping an ID on your pet is on other blogs. Allows us to repeat it once more time: ID your pets! Whether it’s microchipping, ID tag, or both, an ID of any kind provides your furry friend with complete safety.

Let’s say your furry friend escapes the yard or runs out after the front door is left open. Your pet’s ID and microchip will ensure that they’ll get back to you soon. An ID tag also lets others know if your pet suffers from a condition or health issues so that they’re handled with care before they’re returned to you.

Fortunately, all Petland puppies are microchipped, with activation starting at purchase. Just remember to keep your contact information up-to-date on the database so that your pet can be properly identified.

4. Train your pet to follow commands.

Obedience training is an important step to raising a well-rounded pet. We know it’s more work than you would like, but trust us—you want a pet that can follow commands (not just for party tricks either!).

Puppies, for example, should be taught basic commands like “sit” or “stay” early on in their youth. Knowing these tricks can provide an understanding between pet and owner. It tells your puppy who the boss is in your home, making them less likely to commit bad behaviors. You also have a chance to get to know your puppy better, which helps deepen the human-animal bond.

5. Exercise your pet as often as you can.

Many pets, especially dogs, thrive off of regular exercise. Like in humans, exercise gives pets the right amount of activity to stay fit and healthy. It also prevents boredom, which can lead to bad or anxious behaviors.

Now, your pet doesn’t need to run an entire marathon on a daily basis. You can switch up your pet’s exercises with fun games like hide-and-seek or fetch. A trip to the dog park or a playdate can also help your puppy release their energy. Of course, if you’re active, you may include your furry friend in your exercise routine around the neighborhood!

6. Feed your pet a proper, nutritious meal.

One of the best things you can do for your pet is feed them nutritious food. Young puppies, for instance, need a well-balanced meal to grow into healthy adult dogs. Skip out on the table scraps and give your pet the meal they deserve on a regular basis.

You can start by choosing the right food for your pet. Your pet’s food shouldn’t contain any toxic ingredients nor large amounts of fat. It should also match your pet’s age, size, and activity level. Don’t be afraid to ask your vet for their advice on what your pet should eat. You can also ask our Pet Counselors whenever you stop by Petland—we’re more than sure they can help with any inquiries you may have.

7. Socialize your pet with others regularly. 

Meeting new people and pets should be a normal part of your pet’s life. Without consistent socialization, your pet may not develop enough confidence. This can lead to barking, growling, or even biting when guests are over.

If your pet is a puppy, make sure you socialize them with your neighbors, guests, and their pets. It can take a while before your puppy warms up to unfamiliar faces but it’ll get easier with practice (we promise!).

A well-socialized pet is a pleasure to meet, touch, and play with. As part of our commitment to puppies’ health, all Petland puppies are socialized since birth, which prevents aggressive or timid behavior. You can meet and play with our puppies any time you visit our store.

8. Spay and neuter your pet.

Spaying and neutering your pet is a safe way to ensure your pet lives a long and healthy life. Through these procedures, you can prevent your pet from having unwanted litters as well as lower their risk of contracting diseases such as:

  • Mammary tumors (breast cancer)
  • Uterine infections
  • Testicular cancer
  • Prostate problems

Sometimes, spaying and neutering can reduce aggressive behavior in dogs. Male dogs, for example, tend to show less aggression after they’ve undergone the procedure. Female dogs have also displayed similar shifts in behavior. Spaying and neutering is not a full-scale solution to your pet’s behavior problems (should they have any). 

For more information about spaying and neutering your pet, check out our in-depth guide, Spaying and Neutering Dogs: What You Should Know

9. Love your pet every chance you get.

Your pet loves you—without question, you are their most favorite person in the world. Occasionally, your pet may show you through their quirky behaviors just how much they appreciate you. 

What you can do for your pet is simple: love them back! 

Shower them with tons of kisses, cuddles, and praises. When your pet follows your commands, give them a yummy treat! Make some time in your schedule to take your puppy to a doggy park. Cuddle together on the couch while you watch TV. Regardless of activity, your pet will always be happy to spend their time with you!

Owning a pet is a huge responsibility that most people don’t realize. Pets aren’t meant to be thrown away or forgotten when they become inconvenient to us. Because of this, it’s crucial to evaluate your lifestyle, budget, space, and other factors that help you decide if you can handle a pet. If you decide to bring a furry friend into your home, be prepared for a lifetime of care and responsibility!

Be sure to check out our blog, How To Exercise Your Puppy During Bad Weather to learn how you can exercise your puppy when the weather isn’t great!