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By now, you’re probably well aware of the many joys of pet ownership. For example, there are various studies in place that explore the mental health benefits of being a pet owner, such as reduced stress and anxiety levels. However, above all, they provide you with a true companion – somebody who is always happy to see (or spend time with) you!
As we receive so much love from our pets, it’s important that we are able to return the favor by being the best ‘parent’ possible – and here are some tips you can use to do exactly that!
Get Pet Insurance
Many pet owners choose not to get pet insurance in order to keep the expenses of owning a pet down. However, without insurance, you’ll be facing some pretty hefty bills should your pet get injured or become ill. With insurance, the cost of their care will be covered, giving them greater peace of mind and ensuring that all of their health needs are addressed.
Invest in the best equipment and tools
While some animals are quite self-sufficient, it’s important you have the necessary tools and equipment to hand to care for them. For example, backyard chickens are considered to be relatively low-maintenance pets, as you don’t have to take them for walks or spend as much time with them as you would other pets.
However, as they eat at regular intervals during the day, you need to set up a feeding system so that you’re not continuously walking back and forth from your house to their coop. Thankfully, this is easy to set up by simply buying a chicken food feeder.
Think about alterations you can make to your home
Before buying or adopting a pet, you likely spent some time thinking about whether or not your home environment would be a good fit for them. For example, space is an important consideration, especially for bigger (or growing) pets.
However, there are always a few changes you can make to ensure the space is as accommodating as possible! For example, you could install pet doors so that your pet is able to get into your garden without you needing to open the door for them. This can come in handy if you do not work from home!
Take them for annual checkups
Visiting the veterinary practices is viewed by many as an emergency measure, the kind of place you visit only when your pet is sick. However, annual check-ups are a great way to keep on top of your pet’s health, which could mean that they’re less likely to develop complex conditions or that they can be discovered and treated sooner before expensive interventions, such as surgery, are required. As a result, you should ensure that your pet is registered at a local veterinary practice and that you stop by for an appointment once a year.
Learn to understand how your pet is feeling
Unfortunately, our pets cannot speak to us – but that does not mean it’s impossible to figure out how they are feeling and respond to it accordingly. For example, dogs show their feelings through their body language by bowing their head or by tucking their tail between their legs. Being aware of these indicators that something is wrong means that you can take better care of them moving forward, such as by removing them from a certain situation or identifying (and eliminating) specific triggers.
How to be a better pet parent: bond with your pets
Another way in which you can become a better pet parent is by simply spending time with your pet! This will allow you to develop a stronger bond and ensure that they can trust you.
While this may seem something of a given when caring for pets such as cats and dogs, you’d be surprised about how many animals thrive as a result of human interaction. For example, hamsters tend to bond with their owners because “they recognize their owners’ scent and distinguish between bonded humans and strangers.”
Do your research
Another way in which you can better care for your pet is by ensuring that you understand their needs as much as possible. This often requires a little research into their specific breed. For example, you can read studies about the animal in question or ask your veterinarian for some advice.
Alternatively, you could join an online group that focuses on caring for these animals in order to garner specific tips and advice from others who know exactly what they are talking about. Finally, you could follow pet-centric social media accounts.
This research will help you in more ways than one. For example, it will help you understand their dietary requirements so you can ensure that they are following a healthy, balanced diet. This, in turn, will ensure they maintain a healthy weight.
Put together a pet care schedule
If you’re raising a family pet, it may be beneficial to put together a pet care schedule that encourages each member of the family to get involved. This can be a great way to teach your children not only to be responsible but also to be great pet owners in the future too.
Putting together a schedule can help dictate who is responsible for which tasks and when – whether this relates to feeding and cleaning your pet or taking them for their daily walk. This ensures their varied needs are met, even when your schedule is jam-packed.
How to be a better pet parent: Final Thoughts
Often, the key to being a good pet owner is simply wanting to be a good owner. When your behaviors are motivated by this intention, you’re more likely to put the needs of your pet first and ensure that they are met each and every day. It’s also important to remember that sometimes, the only thing your pet needs from you is some love and affection!
The more quality time you spend together, the happier your pet will be. You’ll also be able to share this knowledge and insight with others so that they can be a better pet parent too!