Many pet parents will be aware of the benefits having a pet, whether it be companionship for life or the suggested health benefits, such as lowering blood pressure or combating stress. Owning a pet creates a unique bond and friendship that can provide us with emotional and psychological support, as well as providing us with physical and social opportunities.
There are, however, many responsibilities that come with being a pet parent, and many things you should consider before becoming one. These responsibilities may include:
Dogs, for example, require a lot of time and commitment, as they should be taught commands such as ‘sit’ and ‘stay’ when they are still young. This will help them co-exist peacefully with us but could be quite time-consuming. Also, certain breeds may be more suitable for young children or people with allergies. We advise that you read up about different breeds if you are considering getting a dog. As well as this, it is important to know which pet is most suitable for your environment and lifestyle. For example, cats tend to be more independent than dogs are, and so are more suitable to those who work full-time or are out of the house most days. Whereas with dogs, they often required much more attention than cats need, so you would need to ensure your dog is regularly being walked and is getting enough cuddles. If you work full-time and have a dog, why not consider hiring a dog walker? They can give your pup all the cuddles they need when you are not around, and ensure they are regularly exercising too!
There are many costs associated with being a pet-parent, and although we believe the benefits outweigh the costs, it is important you make sure you can support your pets financially. Costs associated with animal care include food, toys, training, grooming, routine vet care and, sometimes, emergency vet care. There are also optional costs such as neutering your pet, which is a cost-effective way of being a responsible pet parent.
Microchipping your pet is key to being a responsible pet parent, as it ensures your pet is identifiable if lost and can help trace them back to you. Do not forget to keep your details up to date, such as if you move to a new house or change your phone number. Also, we recommend that you place a name tag on your pet’s collar, with their name and your phone number on.
Vaccinating your pet is crucial to preventing diseases such as cat flu, hepatitis and kennel cough. They are preventable diseases that can have devastating effects on your pets, so we always believe that prevention is better than cure. If you have a puppy or kitten, you can bring them in for a FREE health check! But preventative healthcare doesn't just include vaccinations, but also flea control and deworming, general health checks, and providing healthy food! If you are a member of the Medivet Healthcare Plan, all of this is included alongside the puppy and kitten vaccination courses and annual booster vaccinations for dogs, cats, and rabbits.
Ensuring your pet gets enough exercise and training is key to mentally stimulating them and keeping them fit and active. Some dogs may require more exercise and training than others, so we recommend you read our blog on ‘How to Keep Exercise Exciting’; our blog on conquering those Christmas calories can also give you some advice for preventing excess weight gain in cats and dogs. At some of our Medivet practices we also provide ‘puppy parties’, which provide you with an excellent opportunity to get your puppy to socialise with others.
For more information or if you have any questions about being a responsible pet parent, please do not hesitate to contact your local Medivet practice.