Caring for your four-legged family member
Many people would consider their family incomplete without a four-legged friend. A new pet can offer many rewards, as long as you provide your new addition with the care and attention it needs and deserves. As the most common family pets, dogs and cats require many of the same things - food, fresh water and a roof over their heads. They also require companionship, proper grooming and vaccinations against disease. And don't forget identification in the event your pet gets lost or runs away!
As a general rule, dogs are more care-intensive pets than cats, and require more attention. Here's a list of tasks man's best friend will require:
- Take your dog out for at least a total of two hours of exercise every day.
- To avoid obesity, adult dogs should only be fed once per day.
- Ensure your dog has plenty of time to socialize with its human family.
- Investing in dog training will keep the dog and other people safe.
- Bathing your dog and brushing its teeth will keep it clean, healthy and smelling good.
For those who have less time and attention to devote to a pet, a cat is a more independent creature that will still provide furry companionship. What you should know about caring for a cat includes:
- Socialize your cat by having your family play with it as often as possible. Cats are easily amused with inexpensive toys such as bits of string or balls of foil.
- Feed your adult cat twice daily - dry food provides the best nutrition and cleans teeth too.
- The SPCA recommends that you keep your cat as an indoor pet. This protects both the cat and local wildlife, and avoids annoying your neighbors.
- If a cat is to be left alone frequently, consider a second cat so they can keep each other company.
- Bathe your cat regularly using a cat-friendly shampoo.
With proper care and attention, many pets become like children to their owners. Providing for your pet's basic needs and indulging in lots of play and relaxation will ensure a happy and fulfilling relationship for you both.