I have been an avid pet person since childhood. I know how to keep them happy and healthy.
Think About the Animal
Living in an empty home or cage all day while you are at work can be hard on your cat or dog. I know, you have no other choice, right? But if you had done a little research, you would have known if your pet would be suited for your type of living space. When you get an animal, you should think about them before you take them home. Living in a cage most of their time, sitting in a tiny backyard, or having no furniture they can call their own means the pet is nothing but a visitor, a miserable visitor. To remedy a present-day situation, try using a pet care service.
Do Your Research Before You Get a Pet
Checking out the breed, their requirements, and their characteristics will help to guide you in handling your pet. Asking questions of the person you are getting the animal from can be a great help as can the internet and/or a local vet.
If you are getting the animal from a pet store or breeder, be sure to check their credentials and go to the place where the animals are raised to be sure they are healthy. Make sure you get an official up-to-date record that shows they have had their shots and have been wormed. Make sure it is done by a professional vet and not the seller.
Pet Size Matters
The size of the animal and their needed surroundings will have a huge effect on their well being. Small spaces should not have large breeds of dogs or cats that love to run, jump, and play hard. Even if you opt for an aquarium, you need to see if the floor or area where you are going to put it can hold the weight. Even the possibility of getting the floor wet on occasion is something you should think about because some floors don't handle water well. Be sure to check to see how big the animal will be when fully grown. A small puppy or kitten is okay in small places, but they tend to get bigger real fast.
Keep Your Pet Healthy
Everyone knows that you should get a regular checkup and shots for your animals, but did you know:
- Sphinx cats must be bathed weekly
- Horses need to have their teeth and hooves trimmed
- Some breeds of cats and dogs need to have regular brushing to keep them and their coats healthy
- Parasites can get into the eyes, ears, and mouth of animals and can affect their health (be sure to treat your animal for ticks and fleas)
- Bad teeth can affect your pet's health
Make sure you know exactly what your pet needs to stay healthy, including any type of special foods and wellness care.
Common Small Pets
Small Cat Breeds
Small Dog Breeds
Skunks (scent bag removed)
Larger animals require larger spaces and cannot thrive in small areas without places to run and jump, such as a large house and/or back yard. Some larger animals should be kept outside for their own well being, yours and the animals. Be sure to check for suitability for an inside environment before you get the pet.
Common Large Pets
- Outside, especially for a large dog, is extremely important for their well-being. Taking them to a spot to pee and then whisking them back inside can't be too much fun, can it? Check for dog parks and fenced areas nearby where your dog can run around off the leash. Just remember that no matter where you are, it is best to clean up when your dog pees or defecates.
- If you are going to leave your animal outside, you must be certain they have adequate shelter from the rain, snow, and sun. Do not use blankets or rags for the animal's bedding because cloth can freeze and provides no shelter for the heat. Use straw or hay for the best bedding.
- Be sure the animal always has water and is fed regularly. Be sure to check their collars to be certain they are not becoming embedded in the animal's neck. Make sure the tether for your animal has adequate length and is not tangled.
- Do not leave your pet outside during extremely hot or cold weather as this can be dangerous and could result in the animal's death. Even animals like horses and goats will need a place for protection during inclement weather.
- Cats and many other types of pets will also love the outside. Purchase a cat yard that is completely enclosed. This will allow your animal to enjoy the outside while offering them protection and your peace of mind.
- Make sure all animals are vaccinated before you let them go outside because fleas, ticks and other biting insects aren't held back by fencing. Even if your animal lays in an open window, they are at risk because the screen can let in many types of small biting insects.
Animals Usually Kept Outside
General Information You Should Know
- Dogs, even small ones, need areas to run and play.
- Cats like to look out windows to watch the world go by, but be sure the screen is secure because cats will fall out of an open window.
- Biting, scratching, and ripping are things animals do naturally, so be sure you have a safe place for them to play with lots of their own toys.
- Animals like slippers, bathrobes, and towels that have your scent on them. Use a blanket for several days (even if all you do is sit on it), and then place the blanket in your animal's bed. It will help to soothe them while you are gone.
- Try to give them worn shoes and slippers they can chew on and keep the good ones up high.
- Many types of animals will swallow anything and everything. Be sure to keep string, rubber bands, socks, jewelry, and other small items off the floor because if these things get caught in an animal's intestines, it could kill them. Even small aquarium rocks are dangerous.
- Plants can be poisonous to your animal. Be sure to check out which plants might be dangerous to your pet and keep them out of the house and/or back yard. Remember that baby animals will try anything just like human babies.
- Be sure to check to see what equipment your animal will need, an aquarium for example, and be sure you have everything before you get the animal.
- Most city and town areas have limits on how many animals you may have inside and outside as well as the types of animals. Be sure to check that you are following the law.
Large Dogs in a Dog Park
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Cheryl Simonds
Your Comments Are Always Welcome
Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on March 02, 2019:
Thank you Peggy, I was hope to help everyone who has or is considering acquiring a pet. I appreciate your added comments.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on March 01, 2019:
You have given some good advice with consideration as to how best to help a pet's environment and how to keep them safe. We have had many dogs and some cats over the years. They add such enjoyment to our lives.