Being a responsible pet owner

Bringing a new pet into your home can make a wonderful addition to your family, but there is more to pet ownership than feeding, playing and petting.

16 Mar 2015 By Sarah Billington Comments

Here are some helpful hints on how to be a responsible pet owner so that you and your pooch or puss can enjoy lots of fun times together, with few mishaps.


Protect the natives

Keeping cats inside or on a leash when going out and about is important for the safety of native wildlife. Bringing a cat into your family can bring much joy to your household and a cat’s purr has been scientifically proven to be a stress reliever in humans. But a new cat in the neighbourhood won’t be a stress reliever to the local native wildlife—unless you’re a responsible pet owner, of course!.

They may not seem like it when spending hours dozing in the sun, but cats are natural predators to birds, rodents, possums and other creatures that might make your property their home. If you allow your cat to roam outdoors, either walk with them with your cat on a lead, or make sure to bring Felix inside at night, when nocturnal animals are most at risk and you won’t be able to supervise their actions.


The great escape

Make sure your garden fences are secure and high enough for your dog. The last thing you want is for your dog to find a hole in the fence and get loose and potentially injured or lost. Remember, some dogs are excellent jumpers and if frightened—by fireworks or thunder, for example—or excited by the sound of the new neighbours in the next yard, some springy pooches can jump surprisingly high and get loose from your yard only to end up getting themselves into real trouble or lost.

Make sure to walk around your property and check your fence for any loose palings which can be repaired or securely blocked, and make a realistic decision as to whether your fence is high enough to contain your dog, and what you will do if it isn’t.


Scoop your poop

Be it cleaning out your cat’s litter tray, picking up doggie doo off your garden or making sure to scoop up your dog’s droppings on your daily walk to the park, it is important to clean up your animal’s leavings for a variety of reasons.

I know I wouldn’t like to use a toilet still containing my last visit’s business, and cats– which are thankfully very clean animals–don’t want to use a previously soiled litter tray, either. For Felix’s comfort (and to keep the house smelling poop free) clean out any number twos daily and refresh the litter tray weekly or when it needs it and your cat will live happily in your home and won’t feel the need to start doing his business behind the couch instead of the litter tray.


The same goes for dogs and poop in the backyard. It’s unpleasant not just for you, but for other members of your family and houseguests to potentially find poop squished under their shoe. Eww! Additionally, pet waste can be extremely dangerous to the health of both animals and humans alike. It can contain a whole host of bacteria, viruses and germs that can infect other animals and humans, some of which include Parvo Virus, Trichinosis, Whipworms, Hookworms, Roundworms, Giardia and Coccidia.

Picking up and disposing of your dog’s poop at home and when out in the neighbourhood is not only respectful of public property and others using it, but can prevent the spread of some serious health concerns within your household and community. Leaving your dog’s waste in public places in your local area can be illegal, landing you with a fine. Isn’t it in everyone’s best interest for you to just take it with you?


Register your animals

Registering your pet with the local council is an important step to take in order to be a responsible pet owner. All pets over the age of approximately three to six months (it varies state by state so check with your local council) are required to be registered with the council. It is in your best interest to do so, as should your pet ever become lost, the registration teamed with a microchip will help whoever finds them get your furry friend back home. Plus, depending on your council, it could save you a significant fine! Contact your local council for more information.

Registering your furry pal with your local vet will mean that your new family member will receive the best care, and quickly, should they fall ill or sustain an injury. Regular check-ups at your vet, particularly for senior pets,  can prevent insignificant problems now from progressing into bigger, painful or potentially life-threatening problems in the future. Just like with humans, prevention is always better than (probably very expensive) treatment.


Insure your pets

How many horror stories do you hear about extortionate vet bills? Well, one way to protect your pet is to take out pet insurance. This helps to ensure that if Felix or Fido were to have an accident you’d be able to afford to get them the treatment they need without causing too much money-related stress to yourself.

Being a responsible pet owner is all about thinking and doing what is best for the good of your pets, but also your family and neighbours.


16 Mar 2015 By Sarah Billington Comments

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