We all want to be responsible pet owners, however, not everyone ensures that they can provide the welfare needs of their pet before taking on the responsibility. We have all heard the saying “A dog / cat is for life, not just for Christmas” well the same is true for what we have experienced with COVID lockdown measures where more and more of us have taken on the awesome responsibility of caring for pet. We do not want to hear news stories where pets have been left to fend for themselves after their owners had decided to go back on their impulsive purchase. If you consider yourself a responsible pet owner hopefully all of the points raised below will resonate with you. It would be great if you could share this with any of your friends or family who are considering buying a pet.
The most important responsibility a pet owner has to make is the commitment to providing for the dog or cat’s welfare needs for the rest of their lives. This commitment is similar to raising a child as they require investment of your time and money, which can be substantial over their lifetime. The type of breed of pet you decide to buy should relate to the amount of appropriate exercise and mental stimulation you will be able to provide, some will require more than others. Do not forget a healthy diet is also very important to meet their welfare needs and it is important to remember to register with a veterinary practice as soon as you can and follow their advice regarding the healthcare needs of your pet. This includes considering your pet’s reproduction or neutering to avoid producing unwanted litters. Like humans, we all need to consider vaccinations, and our pets are no different and it is a very simple and highly effective way of preventing your pet from contracting some very serious and sometimes deadly diseases. In fact, some of these diseases have no cure, so vaccinations can be the only means of protecting your pet.
Something that we all forget or do not consider is ensuring that our pets are properly identified (microchipped) where appropriate and the details are kept up to date, especially if we move home. Depending on the pets age it is a good idea to ensure that your pet is well socialised and trained so that its behaviour does not have a negative impact on other people or animals. Young animals have a ‘sensitive period’ of up to around 16 weeks old, during which time they need to experience key events like socialising with children and other dogs / animals. This will ensure that your cat or dog becomes confident and happy in their lives.
We may have a busy and stressful life and from time to time we make plans to go on holiday. When you own a pet you need to make sure you make suitable arrangements to care for them while you are away and (we may not think of this) if we are taken ill or in the case of an emergency, who will look after your cat or dog?
Your pet’s environment should be enriching to keep them happy and stimulated by providing suitable housing and bedding.
We are not trying to scare future pet owners away because owning a pet can be one of the most rewarding things you ever do in your lifetime but it should not be undertaken lightly. It is a privilege and like all big decisions in life it takes commitment, hard work and a lot of love and encouragement. It is impossible to predict the future so we created GudFur to provide supplements to help protect your pet from pain and suffering, the welfare of your cat or dog should be your primary consideration.
Being a pet owner is a wonderful privilege and a life-long commitment so remember the following:
Your pet’s needs:
- Opportunity to express natural behaviour
- Healthy diet and access to water
- Comfortable bed
- Regular exercise
- Protection from pain, stress, illness and injury
Your medical responsibility
- Health check-ups and vet consultations
- Dental checks and grooming
- Microchipping and details kept up to date
Training and socialising
- Able to cope with other pets, children and people
- Understands basic commands
- Kept on a leash and under control in public places
- Always clean up after your pet