Important tips for future pet owners - please share!!
1. If you can’t afford to buy a pet, you can’t afford to keep a pet. Free kittens and puppies might sound tempting but the truth is that animals are expensive. Please adopt your pet from a shelter or rescue group.
2. If you can’t care for an animal, do not “rescue” it. Your heart might be in the right place but if you cannot afford a new pet or do not have the time, space or resources to look after him properly, it is best that you do not take him home. Instead, you could advertise rescue animals on your facebook page or volunteer your time to help animals.
3. Have money set aside for animal emergencies BEFORE you even purchase your pet. I see too many people having to surrender or euthanise their pets because they cannot afford treatment or surgery. Animals get sick and injured. So either purchase pet insurance or put aside money every week for when this happens. Vet bills are expensive. Everyone knows this. I won’t go into a big rant (I work at a vet clinic) because it doesn’t change the fact that you will have to pay some big vet bills throughout your animals life.
4. Vaccinate your pets. If you have a puppy under 12 weeks do NOT walk it outside your own yard.
Even if your pup has been vaccinated, it takes 10 days after his 3rd vaccination for him to be immune! Parvo virus can survive in soil for years and it is a horrible way for a dog to die. It is common for the virus to be found in parks, footpaths, basically anywhere you see dogs in public.
5. If you have a cat, keep him inside. At the very least, keep him inside as much as possible, especially at night. And if he does go outside, get him vaccinated for FIV (feline AIDS) because this virus spreads like wildfire among feral cat populations.
6. Desex your pets. There are too many animals being euthanised every day for you to justify breeding more (especially if you are not a registered breeder who is an expert on the breed, what tests you need to have done, how to care for pregnant and neonatal animals, have the time and money required to fulfil these requirements etc etc).
7. Animals with long fur require brushing every day. You have to brush them everywhere and you have to brush every knot and tangle out. So many dogs come into work and the owners say they brush them every day yet they are covered in mats. Mats are VERY painful.
8. Worm your pets. Regularly. This is important and not something you should skip to save money on. Purchase a brand sold in vet clinics (not supermarkets) and search for them online (you can usually buy the same brands at a cheaper price online). Make sure to worm all of your animals and human family members at the same time. Follow the instructions on the box. It is not okay to do this just once or twice a year. Be a responsible pet owner.
9. Treat your animals for fleas. If you see one flea, that means there are already 100s+ eggs. One treatment will not kill all of the fleas (there are life stages of the flea that are not killed and they continue to grow and reproduce). Be persistent and continue flea treatment, wash all of your animals bedding and do not give up! It just takes time.
10. Heart worm prevention is important but you MUST get your animal tested for it FIRST, otherwise it could kill your pet! This is expensive but necessary. Speak to your vet for more info (and book a heartworm test)!
11. Ticks. They can be hard to find on your animal so prevention is the best option. If you don’t live on the coast or in an area prone to ticks, be sure to apply tick prevention BEFORE you take your animal into an area where ticks are found. Different products have different requirements so always read the label and talk to your vet about which product is best for your pet.
12. If your animal walks through areas with grass seeds (so most pets that go outdoors) make sure to check that they do not have any stuck in their skin, fur, eyes, ears or paws. Grass seeds are surprisingly sharp and can easily dig their way into the skin, causing painful abscesses. They can even penetrate deeper into the body, puncturing lungs and other organs. I know of 1 dog that developed meningitis because a grass seed travelled from his ear to his brain.
13. Feed your pet good quality food. One of the biggest problems with pets is obesity which leads to joint problems, diabetes and other health issues. Do not feed your pet human food. Do not give them too many snacks. Do not feed them exclusively cheap, supermarket food - you get what you pay for! Brands sold at vet clinics provide your animal with actual nutrition - and these can be found cheaper online. Some foods sold in pet stores or supermarkets are the equivalent (or worse than) junk food in humans, so read the ingredients and do not over feed your animal.
This is what we feed our vegan pup for dinner:)
1 organic baby sweet potato
2 raw carrots/1 cooked carrot
2 raw celery
1 cup of organic black beans
1 cup of organic brown rice
1 cup of lentils
and 1 tablespoon of organic coconut oil
She sits waiting patiently:)
For dessert she’s got 2 bananas covered by ½ cup of granola and ½ cup of peanut butter oats topped with two organic red apples and some organic pumpkin seeds that she’ll get once bobo finishes cutting us up a pineapple for our dessert:)