Did you know that according to the AVA (Australian Veterinary Association), “in 2016 it was estimated that there were more than 24 million pets in Australia. At 62%, Australia continues to have one of the highest household rates of pet ownership in the world with around 5.7 million of Australia’s 9.2 million households home to a pet?” It’s no secret we love our pets. That’s why it is always good to revisit what it means to be a responsible pet owner.
Healthy Eating Habits
The first step in establishing healthy eating habits for your dog is to talk with your vet. They will help you decide what type and how much food is right for your pet. Depending on the type of weight, age, and activity levels your vet can help you determine the right diet.
- Feed them at the same time every day. Don’t let them graze all day long.
- Avoid overfeeding to keep them at a healthy weight. This includes treats too!
- Always have easy access to clean water
- Clean their food and water bowls often to prevent mold and bacteria from building up.
- Don’t feed them table scraps. It can be hard, but they usually end up with an upset stomach from eating “people food.”
Hygiene & Medical Care Counts
Keeping your pet healthy and happy starts at home. Don’t wait until they get sick to take them to the vet. Schedule yearly check ups to make sure that they stay on the right track. Preventing sickness is far easier than trying to cure it.
- Schedule yearly visits with the vet
- Keep up with their vaccinations
- Give them regular flea and heartworm treatments
- Make sure their teeth and gums stay clean with dental chews and regular brushing.
- Keep a pet first aid kit on hand
- Don’t forget to desex
Give Them a Safe Home
Pet ownership means giving your them a safe place to call home. They need enough space to
move around comfortably and safely.
- Give them their own blanket, bed or crate. If you’re using a crate make sure they have enough room to stand up, sit, turn around and die down in.
- If you have a caged pet make sure it is the right size for them to move around and thrive.
- Pet proof the area. Remove chemicals like antifreeze, toxic plants, cords, and garbage cans from places your dog will frequently be.
- Make sure the climate is appropriate, especially if they are outside.
- Never leave them tied up in the yard while you’re away. They can easily get wrapped up and choke.
Keep Them Moving, Active and Engaged
Keeping pets active prevents obesity and all of the complications that come from being overweight.
- Walk them regularly.
- Get them treat puzzles to keep them busy when you’re not home.
- Play games like tug-o- war and fetch with them.
- Don’t forget to cuddle with them and give lots of positive reinforcement.
Being a pet parent is a very big and very rewarding responsibility. They look to us for their basic
care and also for comfort and stability. That’s why it’s so important to make sure we’re always
giving our pet’s all of our love and care.