There are many things to know about pets

There are many things to know about pets.  So many in fact, that the average owner needs to concern themselves with only a small percentage of them.  Most of the more complicated matters can be left in the hands of the breeders, the groomers, the vets and the various other animal experts.  But there are a few basic things that all pet owners need to know, regardless of what type of pet they have or want to get.  As the owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your pet is kept healthy and happy.  To do this responsibly, you should familiarize yourself with things such as diet, basic grooming and hygiene and common medical problems.  If you have a firm understanding of these three things, your pet will be in good hands.

Most pets have pretty simple nutritional needs.  Usually it’s a simple case of buying them the proper food at the market or pet store and making sure they get enough.  While this will keep your pet alive, it won’t keep them happy.  Like humans, animals like a little variety in their lives and most owners are happy to make sure they get it.  However, all too often the owners aren’t aware of foods that can be harmful to their pets.  Many people know by now that chocolate is poisonous to dogs, but how many know that onions and many other common vegetables can also harm them?  It’s an owner’s responsibility to know which foods are OK and which ones can cause harm. What a tragedy to give your dog something to eat, thinking you were giving him a treat, only to learn later that the snack made him ill or killed him.

Another nutritional related item that many owners either don’t know or ignore is the pet’s proper weight.  Like in humans, obese animals have a wide variety of weight related health issues.  We like to keep our pets happy by feeding them what and when they want, but like with kids, you must supervise their intake and ensure that it doesn’t get out of control.  The fact is that most common dogs kept as house pets are above their ideal weight.  Learn about your breed and what is best for them.

Certain animals require some basic grooming and hygiene to keep them healthy.  This will of course vary greatly depending on species and breed.  A few simple things like cleaning a dogs ears and giving a cat the occasional fur ball treatment can go a long way toward keeping them healthy.  Talk to your vet about these simple procedures or pick up a guide book to teach you the basics.

Most animals will never need much medical attention unless they fall victim to an accident or attack.  Bt some breeds have problems that arise frequently, which an owner needs to be able to recognize and treat.  These problems vary as greatly as types of animals themselves.  Once again, the best way to prepare is to speak to your vet or get a guide book.  The best course is to do both.

Owning an animal is a responsibility that shouldn’t be taken lightly.  Fortunately, a little education is the only thing required to fulfill that responsibility and keep your pet happy, healthy and safe.

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