Pet Care Tips
A dog or cat can be a wonderful addition to any home, but whether you’re an experienced pet parent or a first-time adopter, it’s important to keep your pet’s health and happiness a top priority. Below are some useful tips for all pet parents.
- Dogs need love and human interaction. Dogs that live indoors live longer happier lives. In addition they have a reduction in parasite infestations as well as accidental injuries.
- All dogs need good nutrition, exercise and plenty of fresh water at all times.
- Even healthy dogs should see their veterinarian annually. In addition, your dog will require routine vaccinations as well as heart-worm prevention, an annual heart-worm test, deworming and a fecal exam.
- Never let your dog run loose. Dogs are often the victims of cars, dogfights, gunshots and poisoning. Leashes, chains, and fences are all great ways to protect your dog.
- Do not expect your dog to wait hours to go outside. Your dog should be allowed outside a minimum of three times daily – more often for a puppy.
- Grapes, onions, garlic, peppers, chocolate, and pitted fruits can all be toxic to your dog.
- Puppies love to chew. Keep them away from plants and electric cords. Offer your puppy lots of toys. When a puppy chews on an inappropriate item, take it away and offer something he can have.
- Never spank your dog; they do not understand why you are angry. Dogs love positive reinforcement, and train better with praise than punishment.
- Make sure that everyone in the house follows the same rules regarding the dog. Dogs understand that they can or they can’t; the “sometimes” concept is very confusing to them. Dogs aim to please, and do not try to intentionally upset their owners.
- Besides being smelly and unsanitary, cleaning the right way helps prevent future potty accidents. A single “whoops” can lead to multiple offenses if the “potty spot” hasn’t been properly cleaned because pets can detect minute chemical scents humans can’t fathom. Simply mopping up the mess may satisfy your nose, but the smell lures your innocent dog back to the scene of the crime to repeat the dirty deed, time after time. Urine soaked into carpet proves particularly difficult to remove.
- With fresh accidents, pick up the solids and blot up as much liquid as possible. Avoid using ammonia-based cleaning products. Since urine has ammonia in it, such products may mimic the smell and make the area even more attractive as a potty spot.
- The best products don’t just clean the area or cover up with perfumes, but actually neutralize the chemicals that smell bad. Most can be found at pet stores, online, or at our Lucky Dog store.
- Introduce your new cat or kitten slowly to your other pets, especially another cat. They may not like each other at first. Isolate your new kitty from your other pets initially. A spare bedroom works well. Allow your pets to sniff and play “footsies” under the door. This allows your pets to get used to living with other animals while reducing the risks of them hurting one another.
- There are no substitutes for exercise and good nutrition. Toys designed for cats and kittens provide exercise for your pet in addition to hours of entertainment for both the pet and owner.
- Your veterinarian is your best source to keep your cat healthy. All kitties need an annual check-up, routine vaccinations, deworming and flea prevention.
- Keep your litter box clean and accessible at all times. Do not change brands or litter types abruptly. Cats prefer to have the litter box separate from the food and water bowls. Also the laundry room often is a scary place for a kitty, due to loud noises associated with the washer and dryer. Keep your litter pan in a kitty friendly environment. Be sure to have enough litter boxers for each kitty plus one extra.
- Indoor cats live longer than outdoor cats. Not only do you reduce your cat’s risks of contracting diseases, parasites, or accidentally being injured, you can help them live longer by keeping them indoors.
- Rub a scratching post in catnip. This makes it much more appealing to your cat than your couch or drapes.
- Do not spank your kitty for undesired behaviors; they do not understand why you are angry. If you catch your cat exhibiting undesirable behavior simply squirt the kitty with water when the cat is misbehaving.