When you choose a family pet, there are many things to consider. What pet will fit best with your family’s lifestyle: a dog, a cat, a rabbit? Do your research and learn about the animal and what to expect.
A new pet brings happiness, but you must promise to be responsible and keep your pet safe throughout his or her life. According to “Responsible Pet Ownership,” an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) article, there are many things to consider, including:
- Commitment to care and provide for the pet, including exercise, food, water and shelter.
- Invest in your pet’s health.
- Obey the laws, clean up after your pet and provide licensing.
- Provide proper ID and microchip.
- Spay/neuter your pet.
- Prepare for emergencies.
As a pet owner you are the guardian of their well-being and good health. When investing in their health, be sure to choose a good veterinarian right away. Budget for preventive health care, which includes vaccinations, heartworm prevention and deworming. Additionally, ensure that you can care for your pet in times of illnesses or injuries, the article said, as well as “Budget for potential emergencies.”
Don’t skimp on your pet’s health by trying to save money, as it can cost you later. “Regardless of what you read, providing your pet with regular preventive care is the key to a healthy and long life for your pet,” according to AVMA’s article “Money Tips for Caring Pet Owners.”
According to AVMA’s “Importance of Wellness Exams,” wellness exams for your pets are done for the same reason humans go to doctors and dentists, “if you can detect a problem in its early stages, it’s more likely to be treated and resolved with less expense, less difficulty and better success.”
Beat the Heat with Fun Indoor Activities for You and Your Dog
The heat is on in Arizona and it’s going to get hotter very fast. That means it’s more dangerous for your dogs to engage in outdoor activities. Excessive heat can have adverse effects on your dog and sometimes be fatal. Since we have a long summer ahead of us, it’s important to get creative for fun indoor activities to keep you and your dog busy.
Your dog needs to have mental and physical stimulation, according to “Rain or Shine: 10 Ways to Engage your Dog Indoors,” at Dogster.com. The article offers ideas to keep boredom away that can be done in your own home while keeping your dog happy. Here’s some ideas to try with your dog:
- Food dispensing toys. Choose from classic rubber Kongs you can stuff with treats to a variety of new products including durable puzzle toys by Nina Ottosson.
- Kibble hunt: According to the article, put your dog’s kibble to work “by making your dog hunt for it with his nose…hide small piles of food in the house then release him to ‘kibble hunt.’”
- Tug and fetch: These classic games are easily played anywhere at home.
- Doggie play date: Does your dog have a friend or playmate? Schedule a play date at your home but make sure to clear the area of breakable items.
- Socialization outing: If it’s too hot for a walk, take your dog for a nice ride in the air-conditioned car. Consider a visit to the vet “where he just goes to hang out and get some treats and scratches just for being a great dog,” the article said. “This will provide the added benefit of teaching him that vet visits can be a lot of fun!”
From the pool, to lakes and the beach, summer is a great time for swimming. Contrary to what some believe, not every dog can swim, nor does every dog love water. Here’s some great tips on swimming and keeping your dog safe in any body of water, according to “Dogs and Water Safety,” at WebMD. The article provides the following tips:
Teach your dog the basics by choosing a quiet, shallow spot, get in with him at the edge and keep him on a leash. Do not force your dog. “When your dog begins to paddle with his front legs, lift his hind legs to show him how to float,” the article said.
Be careful of riptides and strong currents. Keep your dog from washed up fish and drinking ocean water as they both can cause sickness.
- Keep your pool fenced.
- Use a sturdy cover when the pool is not in use. “It should be made of a material that lets rainwater drain through,” the article said. “Dogs can drown in puddles on top of pool covers.”
- Ensure your dog knows how to get in and out of the pool and provide steps or a ramp.
- Make sure the water is not too cold.
River, lake or pond
- Invest in a life jacket for you and your dog.
- Stay away from blue-green algae as it can make your dog sick.
- Check the current before swimming.
- Avoid dangerous fishing gear.
General Safety Rules
Always rinse off your dog after swimming to prevent damage to skin and fur. Make sure to dry your dog’s ears well to avoid infection. Don’t leave your dog alone near the water, and learn canine CPR. “Mouth-to-nose resuscitation and chest compressions could save a dog’s life in an emergency,” the article said.