M ay is Responsible Animal Guardian Month! This is one cause that is near and dear to my heart. While there are many beloved, pampered pets out there, unfortunately there are also many animals that could definitely use more TLC. What does it take to be a responsible animal guardian? You’ll read a few key points in this article from me, your Cedar Rapids, IA veterinarian.
G ood Food
Good pet care starts with a good diet. Offer your animal buddy the best food you can afford. Treats are great, but you need to be very careful with what you offer. Not everything is safe for our furred and feathered friends! Ask your veterinarian for more information, including portion sizes and safe and unsafe treats.
Pets need stimulation, just as much as people do. What this looks like depends on what sort of pet you have. Smaller caged animals, like ferrets, rabbits, and birds, need lots of toys and supervised free time. Fido will benefit from daily walks, and he probably won’t mind exploring dog parks or the occasional trail. As for Fluffy, toys, playtime, and window views will go a long way towards keeping her entertained.
Make sure that your pet has a clean, comfortable environment. Dogs and cats should live indoors, with their humans. Of course, many of my smaller patients, such as turtles, birds, and Guinea pigs, spend a lot of time in their own habitats. Make sure that your pet’s tank, cage, or aquarium is the right size and style for them. Ask your veterinarian for specific advice, including tips on things like substrate, hides, and equipment.
One area where many people fall short is just understanding why pets act certain ways. For instance, Fluffy isn’t scratching your couch because she’s ‘bad;’ she’s just following her instinctive drive to sharpen her nails. Do some research into your specific pet. This will benefit both you and your animal companion in the long run. It never hurts to learn new things!
Love is the secret ingredient in any pet care routine. Spend lots of time with your little (or not so little) buddy, and make sure they feel loved and safe.
Last but certainly not least, keep up with your pet’s veterinary care needs. Healthy pets are happy pets!
As your Cedar Rapids, IA veterinarian, I’m here to help. Contact me anytime!