- Article courtesy of the Canadian Federation of Humane Socities
Whether you’re an experienced owner looking for new ideas or thinking about adding a pet to your family, the CFHS offers a wealth of information on responsible pet ownership and care. In this section you will find information on different types of animals that people keep as pets. From dog bite prevention, building your own scratching post or grooming tips for your bunny here you will find information to keep your pet happy and healthy.
General Pet Care Tips
It is important that pets have at least annual veterinary check-ups to ensure they are healthy and will live a good long life. If you are worried about your pet at any time, don’t hesitate to contact your vet.
Regular exercise is very important for your pet. Make sure you know what the appropriate amount and type of exercise is for your pet’s age and species and that you are mindful of how the weather, including cold or hot and humid days, can affect your pet. For example, schedule exercise times so that you do not take your dog for a walk at the hottest time of day. Swimming is also a great way to exercise your dog on a hot day; however, please be aware that dogs can still overheat in the water so keep an eye on them and don’t overdo any physical activity.
It is important to groom your pet on a regular basis by brushing or combing their coat, keeping their nails clipped and brushing their teeth. Specific grooming requirements will vary from species to species, so check with your veterinarian to determine how to best take care of your pet. If needed, look for a good professional groomer with a clean location and quality references.
Some animals have special dietary requirements for the various stages of life and it is up to you to provide your pet with everything they need for a long and healthy life. Pet obesity is a serious health concern so please don’t overfeed your pet. Check with your veterinarian to determine exactly what your pet’s needs are. Fresh water should be available at all times and should be changed at least once a day.
The best place to house your pet is in your home with your family. When left outside for extended periods of time your pet may be deprived of the companionship necessary for its health and happiness. Dogs should not be tied up and left unattended – this can lead to behavioural issues, including aggression. Dogs living outside or left for long periods outside must be provided with shelter from the elements. Whether inside or outside, make sure your pet’s housing and bedding is kept clean, dry and warm.
Although pet owners hope their pet will always be healthy, unexpected accidents or illnesses can occur. Veterinary appointments and treatment required can get expensive very quickly, but pet insurance can make the bills manageable. Plan ahead and look into insurance plans for your pet.
Know and obey local Bylaws
Make sure you are aware of your municipality’s bylaws, especially with regard to licensing. Respect local leash laws and remember that it is your responsibility as a pet owner to pick up after your pet.
Many pet owners enjoy taking their dogs with them on car trips. If you choose to do this, remember that dogs should not be left in vehicles during warm weather as they can quickly overheat or die from a rapid increase in the temperature inside the vehicle. This is true even on cloudy days. Chaining your dog while you go on errands is not a good idea as they can escape, be stolen, injure themselves or cause harm to people and animals passing by.
If you will be travelling by car, plan lots of rest stops to exercise your dog and provide water frequently. If travelling by plane, contact your airline for travel rules. Trains and buses typically don’t accept dogs, except recognized service dogs. Today there are many different types of accommodations that accept dogs. The CFHS has partnered with Pacrim Hospitality Services Inc. to offer pet-friendly accommodations in Canada and the United States of America. For a list of participating hotels at your vacation destination click here.opens in new window
If you are going on vacation, find someone who will take good care of your dog. Your veterinarian or local SPCA or humane society may have recommendations for pet sitters and reputable kennels.
Keep your pet close to home
You should always know where your pet is at a given time. You should not let your pet roam free without proper supervision. Dogs should not be chained for long periods of time. Your neighbours will appreciate this and it will help prevent your animal from being lost or stolen. Make your pet a part of the family by spending quality time with him or her!