Owning a pet is kind of like having a child; you never know how difficult it will be until you’re in the thick of it. If you’re planning on becoming a pet parent any time soon, you need to learn a few tricks of the trade to do well. Namely, you need to know how to keep pets safe and healthy.
After all, raising a pet means more than just feeding them twice each day. It also means more than just giving them snuggles in the evening. Owning a pet is a full-time responsibility that comes with countless dos and don’s that you’ll need to consider to succeed.
Are you going to own a pet? Here are some of the dos and don’ts that you should consider when you’re learning how to keep pets safe.
DO: Make sure your health is up to par
Can you tolerate having a pet around? If you never grew up with pets, you might be more allergic than you think. Few people show allergy symptoms after a brief run-in with a pet on the street and more might only show minimal reactions when they spend an afternoon at a loved one’s home that has a cat. After all, there are plenty of people who have mild allergies who don’t know they’re allergic until they spend extended periods of time with a pet. Before you adopt the pet of your dreams, you should visit an allergist to be 100% sure that you won’t have a health issue when you adopt. There would be nothing more heartbreaking than adopting a pet only to find out you have to give it up for adoption.
Many people scoff at the struggles of being an allergy sufferer, but chronic allergy symptoms can be exhausting. Not only that, but they can also cause higher recurrences of pneumonia and bronchitis. If you go to the ear nose and throat doctor a lot already, getting a pet might not be the safest decision for your health. Go to the doctor, get a referral for an allergist, and ensure your health is up to par before investing in a new pet. That way, you’ll know how to keep pets safe, along with yourself.
You should also ask yourself if you’re physically able to take care of a pet. A cat sounds great in theory until you’re unable to trim their nails. While you can always go to a pet groomer for any cleanliness issues, these aren’t the only factors that might prevent you from having a pet. For example, many people are unable to walk for extended periods of time, whether it’s due to chronic pain from old sports injuries, a form of disability, or a lack of time because of work and other commitments. In this case, it would be irresponsible to adopt a dog that needs ample time spent walking around your neighborhood.
You have to ensure that you’re able to take care of your pet, not just financially, but also physically. Find a pet that suits your lifestyle by researching beforehand. If your heart is set on a dog, but you can’t walk them for a long time, opt for a smaller breed that doesn’t need a lot of exercise, like a Shih Tzu. Keep in mind that not all small dogs are okay with laying around idly though. For example, terrier breeds were built for running around. As such, adopting a Jack Russel would be a mistake if you think all small breeds are the same.
DON’T: Forget to buy a kennel
There’s always been a debate on whether or not pet owners should invest in a kennel or not. At the end of the day, how you raise your dog is up to you. So long as you’re raising your dog safely, there may be no need for a kennel. However, a kennel isn’t just about your dog. A kennel is also for the guests you invite into your home.
Some people simply aren’t okay with being around a pet. If you’re unable to let them run around in the backyard or in another room of the house, having a dog house with kennels handy can make your guests — and your dog — safer. After all, an uncomfortable human can create an uncomfortable dog. Even if you never have to use the kennel, having one will give you much-needed peace of mind.
But this isn’t just for dogs; cats also need a kennel, especially if they’re uncomfortable during car rides to the vet. Cats are notorious for hating vehicles so putting them in a kennel for transport will be your safest option. If you don’t have a cat carrier, your pet might not be able to get the love and care that they need from the vet. Even if you rarely use it, investing in tools like this is a part of being a good pet owner.
Along with a kennel, you should also be sure to get the necessary materials to let your pooch thrive. This includes dog bowls for food and water, grooming tools (including brushes, dental sticks, and nail trimmers), and plenty of toys. Dogs are curious beasts and they need all the mental stimulation they can get, especially when they’re young. Try investing in treat puzzles or toys that they can use on their own for when you need to take a break from playing. An occupied pup is much better than a bored pup. A bored pup might chew wires and tear holes in your favorite shirt. How to keep pets safe? Keep them occupied.
DO: Prepare your home
Preparing your home for a pet is essential in learning how to keep pets safe. Do your research and follow these tips to ensure your pet’s safety:
Limit their access to certain areas: Both cats and dogs are curious creatures but there are some places they simply shouldn’t go. The garage, for example, can be a dangerous place for a pet. Between the tools you store there, the pests that might invade this area, and the chemicals that run amok, you’re putting your pet in danger if you allow them easy access. Opt for an entry door installation to limit their access, or utilize child gates to prevent them from passing into rooms that are off-limits.
It might even be worth it to invest in door contractors if your pet figures out how to open the door. You’d be surprised but some breeds are true escape artists! This isn’t good in terms of how to keep pets safe.
Prepare your backyard: Do you have a fence for your dog? What about a lead? If you’re worried about your dog running away, utilizing these two options will help keep your dog where you can see them. You might also want to consider installing a fence around your pool installation. Not all dogs can swim and some breeds are prone to drowning because of their face shape, density, or proportions. While you’re at it, look into any tree removal services to ensure that your pet can run around without the threat of tree pests biting them.
Keep them cool in the summer: Piling on the blankets during the winter can be enough to keep your pet warm but the summer is a different story. Dogs get hot easily, especially if they have a lot of fur, like a Husky or a Malamute. Even if you’re not home during the day and you want to save some money on your HVAC bill, keeping the AC on is vital for their health. Overheated dogs will throw up and have a slew of other health issues. If you haven’t already, invest in HVAC maintenance each summer to ensure your pet’s health, even if you are away from home at work during the day.
You can also get creative by filling up kiddie pools with tap water or taking them to a beach to romp around in the water. Again, just consider their health needs since some dogs can’t swim. While it might be tempting to pull them into the pool with you, the chlorine can actually damage your dog’s skin if you forget to bathe them thoroughly afterward. For the safety of your pet, it’s best to invest in HVAC and utilize kiddie pools instead of chlorine pools whenever you can.
Attend to the wood in your home: Dogs and cats are notorious for ruining wood items, especially when it comes to hardwood floors and door jams. Eventually, your birch wood doors might start to look like an abstract art painting with claw marks instead of the beautiful natural wood it was before. Be sure to clip your pet’s nails often, but also utilize throw rugs, scratching posts, and barriers as necessary to keep your home healthy.
Preparing your home for a pet is one of the best ways to learn how to keep pets safe. Even if you got a pet for protection, they need your protection just as much. Just like you’d keep your pistol from the gun shop safely locked away from children, the same goes for pets. They need vigilance and love and care. The research you perform on the breed needs and the home preparedness tips will make all the difference when it comes to crafting the perfect life for your pet.
DON’T: Get lazy
Being a dog owner is a full-time job that lasts for the entirety of your pet’s life. Even though we want our pets to live forever, you can typically expect a pet’s life to range from eight to 18 years depending on the animal, breed, and more. In fact, some pet snakes can live for up to 25 years. If you’re not in it for the long haul, you should not become a pet owner.
Even if you’re prepared for all the ins and outs that raising a pet takes, it’s also important to recognize when you get lazy. It happens to all of us. We’ll go on shorter walks with our pets and bathe them less often. You might start to ignore the calls from your vet about the next appointment you have. It’s natural to settle into a routine and shirk less-fun duties in lieu of more entertaining or urgent matters.
This is when you need to take the time to remind yourself that raising a pet is work. And that it’s your responsibility. Everyone gets lazy once in a while but it’s up to you to beat the laziness back with a stick and then throw that stick in a rousing game of fetch. If you’re going to sell your home and move somewhere else, your pet is going to go with you. Keep grooming your dog, keep buying them treats, and keep taking them on long walks. Your pet will thank you.
How to keep pets safe
When you’re learning how to keep pets safe, the best thing you can do is remember to love them. Your pets rely on your for, quite literally, everything. Without you, they wouldn’t be able to thrive. Keeping your pets safe means engaging in activities that keep you safe. It also means maintaining their health and investing in the best products for their well-being.