How to Taking Care of a Dog
Before bringing a dog into your family it is important to know how to take care of it. You need to provide for its needs, both physical and emotional. This means providing nutritious food, clean drinking water, shelter, and the opportunity to live in a safe home. It also means ensuring that the dog is happy by providing ample playtime, plenty of exercises, and stimulation for its mind. Caring for a dog is a big responsibility, and dog ownership is not something to enter into lightly, however, this work will help you to successfully build a bond of love and trust with an important new member of your family.
Feeding a Dog
- Feed your dog a high-quality dog food. Read the label of a prospective food. The first couple ingredients should be some kind of meat, not meat by-product or a grain. This will help you know that the food is high in good protein, not just filler.
- Ask your veterinarian for food recommendations. Your vet may be able to steer you towards a food that is just right for your pup and he or she may also have recommendations for how much to feed the dog.
- Feed your dog on a regular schedule. It is recommended that you feed your dog twice a day. Feed your dog the first half in the morning and the second half in the evening.
- A stable routine of feeding can also help you with house training. Dogs usually have to go to the bathroom 20 – 30 minutes after eating.
- Avoid giving your dog an excessive amount of treats or people food. This can lead to weight gain or health problems for your pet. Stick to the rule of only giving your dog treats when you’re training it. Remember, this can be hard to follow, especially if your pup is looking at you with puppy dog eyes. However, stick to your guns!
- Don’t feed your dog food that is bad for it. There are many foods that are not only bad for your dog but that can be hazardous to its health. Do not give your dog any chocolate, avocado, bread dough, raisins, grapes, onions, or xylitol, which is a non-caloric sweetener.
- Give your dog water. Food is not the only thing your dog needs to survive. Water is just as, if not more, important. Give your dog open access to water at all times. This doesn’t mean that you have to give it access to water when it is unfeasible, for instance when you are in the car, but if it is possible you should supply a bowl of clean drinking water.
Caring For the Health of a Dog
- Make sure you have a good, reliable veterinarian. A good way to choose a vet is to see if he or she answers your questions promptly and knowledgeably and to see how they interact with your pet. You will need to bring your dog for regular check-ups, so if your vet is too booked up you may want to look for a new one. Feel free to change veterinarians even after you take your dog to one.
- Remember, you should also know of an emergency vet that’s open 24 hours a day and on weekends.
- Consider fitting the dog with an ID chip. This is a small microchip that is injected under the skin over the shoulder blades. Each chip has a unique number that is registered on a data base with your contact details. In the event of the pet being lost or stolen, the chip is a means of matching you with the dog and proving your ownership.
- Use regular parasite preventative treatments. It important to treat regularly with basic worming against roundworms. Exactly how often depends on your pet’s lifestyle. An indoor dog is at lower risk than a hunting dog of picking up worms, and this will influence your vet’s advice about how often to deworm. A low-risk dog may only need around worming treatment two or three times a year, whereas a high-risk dog may need monthly treatments.
- Also, consider other risks such as heartworm.
- Also use flea preventative treatments and, if you live in a tick area, use a product that also kills ticks.
- Consider desexing your dog. This reduces the risk of certain health disorders, such as mammary cancer (if neutering performed before the second season) and pyometra (pus in the womb) in females, and aggression and prostatic disease in the male. It is also the responsible thing to do, as it reduces the problem of accidental breeding and pet overpopulation.
- Be aware that desexed dogs are actually at higher risk for some health problems. For example, your desexed dog may be at more risk for certain types of cancers and thyroid problems, as well as cardiac problems. Consider this carefully.
- Get pet health insurance. If you would struggle to meet the cost of veterinary treatment then take out a pet insurance policy. In exchange for a monthly premium, if the pet is sick or injured the insurance company will cover the majority of the costs involved up to a certain limit. The exact nature of policies and the amount they cover varies widely.
- Do you homework. Decide how much your can afford each month for a premium and investigate several companies to see what level of coverage they will provide
Grooming a Dog
- Brush your dog. The frequency of brushing will vary widely, depending on what type of dog you have and how much it sheds. Brushing your dog regularly will help to reduce shedding and it gives you a chance to assess the state of your dog’s body. Your aim is to keep the coat in good condition and not free. For this you may need a combination of comb and brush, to prevent knots and groom out tangles.
- If your dog sheds a lot, pet stores and Walmart sell shed control shampoo. Bathe shedding dogs once a week until shedding reduces.
- Keep your dog’s coat clean. Dirty coats can lead to secondary skin infections, so be prepared to bathe your dog with a mild dog shampoo if it gets really dirty. Most dogs don’t need baths more than once every month or so, but this varies widely depending on breed and activities.
- Know that your dog’s coat may grow and it will need to be trimmed by a dog groomer. If the fur grows too long it can irritate the dog between the toes, or prevent it from seeing properly. In addition, the dog is likely to sweep debris, such as sticks and grass, up in the coat, which could cause it discomfort.
- Keep your dog’s nails trimmed. It may be difficult to trim your dog’s nails but it is important to keeping its paws healthy. Take it slow and steady, making sure to keep your cuts away from the quick, the inner part of the nail that is still alive. Cutting the quick could make your dog very, very resistant to nail trims in the future.
- Train your dog to associate nail trims with good things. Give your pup a treat after trimming or take it on a trip to the park. Whatever you do, make sure to stay upbeat during the trim, no matter how hard it is to trim your pup’s nails.
Exercising, Socializing, and Playing With Your Dog
- Provide your dog with plenty of exercises. Provide the right amount of exercise for the type of dog you have. A small toy dog may be better playing games of fetch or ball to tire it out, while a Labrador needs to have good long walks, for at least 30 – 45 minutes twice a day in order to burn its energy. You may have a dog that actually requires a ton of exercise and never tires out, for example, terriers are often capable of running all day without tiring.
- Lots of exercise helps burn off excess energy, which, if unattended, could cause behavioral problems, such as chewing, digging, or excess barking.
- Make sure you walk your dog. Your dog should go on at least two small walks or one BIG walk a day. The length of these walks varies depending on the type of dog you have.
- No one wants their dog to run away. If you have a yard and you allow your dog to be outside by itself make sure you have a fence in your yard so the dog can’t run away. Make sure it’s tall enough for your dog not to jump over the fence.
- Stimulate your dog’s mind with reward-based training. Just like people, dogs can get bored. To lead a happy life dogs need mental stimulation. This stimulation can be in the form of obedience training. It is important to teach your dog to sit, stay, and come when called.
- Most dogs enjoy the one-to-one attention of a training session and these sessions help the dog to bond with you. If you use reward-based training, in which only correct behavior is rewarded and no punishment is used, the experience of training will be a very happy and positive one for your pup.
- Train for around 10-20 minutes twice a day, depending on the concentration span of your dog. Always try to end each session on a positive note.
- Give your dog a reward each time it obeys your command. You can use small treats (remembering not to over feed your dog) or you can simply shower the dog with love when it does something correctly. The choice of reward depends on what motivates your specific dog.
- Socialize your dog. Dogs need to be well socialized in order to become well-adjusted adults. From just a few weeks of age introduce the pup to as many different people, sights, sounds, and smells as you can. What it encounters up through 18 weeks of age (when the socialization window closes) it will largely regard as normal and not be fearful of in the future.
- If you got the dog as an adult then still introduce it to different experiences. Take care not to overwhelm the dog and make it fearful if it is not comfortable. This requires patient handling whereby you introduce the dog to the fearful object, but at sufficient distance that it does not alarm the dog. Reward calm behavior and, over time, move the object closer, rewarding as you go, so it starts to build a positive association with the object.
- Allow the dog to play and display behaviors that are normal for the breed. For example, scent hounds, such as Bassets and Bloodhounds, love to follow a scent. Make sure you give your dog time to sniff its environment. You may even wish to turn this into a game where you lay a scent trail and it gets to follow it.
Treating Your Dog with Respect and Love
- Register your dog and put tags on its collar. This will help assure that your dog will make it home if it gets lost or separated from you. Different states have different legislation regarding dog ownership. The local animal shelter or veterinarian is a good place to ask for a list of what you need to do to register the pet and whether it is necessary the pet wears a collar and tag at all times. Be aware that certain cities have restrictions on owning so-called “dangerous” dog breeds such as pit bulls or certain guarding breeds.
- Treat your dog with respect. Never punish with physical force, or demean the dog in any way. This includes giving the dog a respectful name, rather than a name such as “Psycho” or “Killer,” which could influence how other people act towards it.
- If the dog misbehaves, always review what happened and ask how your actions or inactions may have contributed to his misdemeanor.
- Be aware that your dog has basic needs that need to be fulfilled. For example, your dog needs the chance to go to the toilet regularly without soiling the house or itself. It is inhumane to keep a dog cooped up in a kennel for hours on end without human contact or the chance to relieve itself.
- Make sure your dog has access to a comfortable place to sleep and is not left out in extreme temperatures. Leaving a dog outside on hot summer days or cold winter days without proper protection from the weather can injure, or kill it. It is best to keep your dog inside during extreme weather but if you can’t, make sure your dog has access to a good dog house and lots of water.
- Build a bond of mutual love and respect with your dog. Dogs will love you forever if you treat them correctly. Spend time with your dog, getting to know its personality and what makes it tick. The more you really hang out with your dog the more fulfilling your life together will be.
- Whatever you do, never hit your dog or abuse your dog in any way. The worst punishment for a dog is being yelled at after the deed is over and done. They forget and don’t understand what they are being yelled at for.
Important Things You Should Know Before Bringing a Cat Home
- Cats are indeed independent by nature, but they’re not quite able to take care of themselves. Before you adopt, make sure that your lifestyle can make room for a feline. How busy you are and the amount of time you spend at home will dictate the kind of cat you should get — very busy people may find it difficult to find the time for a cat that needs a lot of grooming and attention, especially the highly intelligent and active cats. But, there are cats that are ideal for the working lifestyle. Do your research.
- What if your circumstances change after the adoption? Or if you work long hours and still want a friendly face to greet you at the door at the end of the day? Adopting a buddy for the cat to play with can be an excellent solution.
- Do you have any allergies? If you do suffer from severe allergic reactions, consider testing yourself for feline allergies before bringing a cat home. Then again, some people with allergies might adapt to their own pet, but still be allergic to other cats. A safe bet is to choose a cat with low allergens. Consult your vet, books, or animal shelter employees for suggestions.
- Before you bring your cat home, take it for a checkup and immunizations. Also, schedule it in to be neutered as soon as age permits. This can mean the difference between a healthy and happy cat, and a miserable cat trying to claw its way through the windows or spraying your furniture.
- Get a good litter box and quality litter. Covered boxes can allow you and your cat more privacy, and clumping litter is easier to maintain. Keep the box clean, for the comfort of your cat and your nose. Also, make sure you buy well-balanced, age-appropriate food for your cat. Ask your vet, the representatives at your local pet store, or take a look at “Smart Shopping for Cat Food” for some advice.
- Cats love to play. Toy mice, string, feathers, and even empty boxes make for great amusement. Playthings needn’t be expensive (they can even be homemade), just make sure there’s enough to keep your cat happy, active, and mentally occupied.
- If you don’t want your sofa shredded, or your new Louis Vuitton bag ruined, invest in a scratching post.
- Catnip and those little freeze-dried chicken nuggets are excellent tools for cat bribery and training.
- Get pet insurance. We hope you won’t need it, but like they always say, “It’s better to be safe than sorry.”
- If it’s a kitten you’re bringing home, make sure you start a grooming routine early. Bathing, brushing, and trimming claws will be an event to look forward to, rather than something to dread.
How to take Care Of Your Pet Parrot?
Parrots make wonderful family pets because they are great companions, they are beautiful birds with colorful feathers and you can teach them to talk. But you must have a strong level of commitment to your parrot because he will need daily and weekly maintenance, as well as plenty of attention.
What a Parrot Needs
When you consider how to take care of your parrot, you will have to consider what you will need to get started. The first thing you will need is a large cage for your parrot to live in. Make sure it is big enough for him to move around a bit and be comfortable. To occupy his time and make him feel comfortable you should place a mirror, a swing and a toy in the cage. You will also need something to properly line the cage.
What to Feed Your Parrot
A parrot should have a healthy, well-balanced diet. It should consist of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, meat, and grains. Peanut butter and cooked eggs are other sources of protein that are good for parrots. Pre-packaged parrot food is certainly another valid option. It takes the guesswork out of feeding your bird a wide variety of balanced nutrition.
As with most pets, avoid feeding your parrot caffeine, alcohol, chocolate and salty foods.
Teaching Your Parrot To Talk
One of the most attractive features of this type of bird is that you can teach them to talk and whistle. Most people get a lot of enjoyment out of it. It does require a lot of time and repetition though and training should begin when the parrot is young. New words should be introduced with an activity so the parrot can link the two. He may even pick up on words you don’t really want him to learn just because he hears them often.
Whistling may come more natural for the birds and may be encouraged after you have trained him to talk.
Your parrot will need to get daily exercise. Let him out of the cage for the small amount of time, starting with fifteen minutes at a time. Let them fly around the house and tire themselves out. See a professional for wing clippings when necessary.
Never try to trim your parrot’s beak at home. Seek a professional’s help when needed. Some things you can do at home to help your bird with beak care is to provide a concrete perch or a cuttlebone for him.
The basic things you need to commit to for taking care of your bird are quite simple, but they do require some effort on the owner’s part. In addition to never leaving his food bowl empty, you will need to provide him with fresh water twice a day. You will need to clean his cage on a weekly basis. You will also need to groom him 2-3 times per week. This can include a full bath given in a sink or washtub or by simply misting the bird and using specialized bird shampoo on him.When all the work is done, you will have a beautiful pet that will provide hours of entertainment and joy.
How to Care for a Lovebird?
Purchase a cage. It should be at least twenty-four to thirty inches wide with two or more perches. The perches should be small enough to hold the bird’s feet.
Prepare at least three perches of different widths.
Include plenty of toys, for enrichment. Switch the toys every three or four days (use them in a rotation).
Ladders and swings are favorites as well as bamboo rings.
Always make sure that any toys you add are specially made for birds, as many things are toxic to birds. Take note that lovebirds love to chew!
Keep the cage clean at all times. Clean it at least once a week. Change the water daily.
Feeding the lovebird
- Feed your lovebird. A recommended food is a seed mix that states it is “recommended for lovebirds”.
- Give nutritious foods. To stay healthy, for every meal, a lovebird needs something nutritional. Give it fresh food treats three to four times a week. Lovebirds enjoy fruits and vegetables such as apples, carrots, broccoli, cabbage, spinach, banana, papaya, and melons. Wholegrain bread are okay but avoid anything containing high levels of fat, salt, and sugar.
- Always get rid of any uneaten food from the cage, within 12 hours.
How to take care of your Fish and Fish Tank?
Consider the tank size It’s true that if you’re just starting out, a large tank can seem like a lot to deal with. But there are advantages: If the filter clogs or the heater breaks, the water will remain stable much longer in a spacious model, giving you a chance to fix any problems.
Plan ahead Think about buying freshwater fish — they’re easier to maintain than saltwater ones. But first get the tank ready: Ask a pet-store employee (or read a fish-care book) for tips on pretreating the water, setting up a filter, and creating the healthiest environment for your future finned friends.
Pick a swimmer who’s a winner Small, peaceful fish are best, like neon and cardinal tetras, cory cats, gouramis, and zebra danios. (Goldfish need more attention.) An aquarium light enhances fishes’ colors, but don’t leave it on all the time — it can encourage algae.
Feed frugally whatever food your fish get (ask the salespeople at the store for advice), whether its flakes, pellets, or freeze-dried or live treats, don’t overdo it; uneaten bits make the tank dirty. Your kids can still handle feedings — just help them measure out the right amount.
Go with the flow you’ll need to change at least a fifth of the water in the tank every week; it’s even better if you change half. But don’t take out more than that — it’ll disturb the delicate balance of beneficial bacteria that keep your fish healthy.
How to Clean a Fish Tank?
Many commonly kept fish are not exceptionally difficult to care for provided their water is kept clean. Aquariums are closed systems and regardless of size, they all need some maintenance. Here’s a list of the equipment and the basics for cleaning the aquarium.
- Gravel siphon
- Algae pad or algae magnet
- Clean bucket (one used only for water changes is best)
- Water conditioner (that removes chlorine)
- Salt, if used (aquarium salt or any non-iodized salt)
- Soft cloth rag or paper towels
Basic steps to cleaning the fish tank:
Before removing water make sure to either unplug the heater or lower it in the tank to make sure it stays submerged in order to prevent cracking. Also, unplug the filter. If there are any snails or frogs in the tank, to prevent injury take some time to remove them from the tank while cleaning.
Remove and scrub any plastic plants and another decor as needed. Just use plain water without soap, as soap residue can increase phosphates and cause an algae bloom.
Remove algae from the glass using an algae pad or algae magnet. Do this before removing water so you will be able to remove algae debris with the gravel siphon. This will also help prevent the algae from spreading.
Start removing water using a gravel siphon. Siphon the tank water into a clean bucket for use in the next step. Quickly and carefully siphon all the areas of the substrate being very careful around live plants. It helps to siphon at an angle. This will help to prevent clogging the siphon as the angle allows the substrate to slide back out.
Siphon until you’ve removed the amount of water you want to replace. This is typically anywhere from 15% to 50%, depending on the bio load and type of fish.
Remove the filter media pads. Rinsed them with the water in the bucket (taken out of the tank) and then put them back in the filter. Don’t use tap water to rinse the pads as the chlorine in the tap water will kill beneficial bacteria that is living in the filter media.
Don’t replace these filter media pads with new pads when doing a water change as this can remove too many bacteria. Removing the bacteria will upset the water chemistry balance and cause a shock to the fish.
It’s better to include a new filter pad with the existing one. Then you can remove the old pad after the newer one has had a chance to colonize with bacteria, at least a couple of weeks.
Replace the decor, plastic plants, and anything else taken out of the tank.
Empty and rinse the bucket, and then fill it with clean water, making sure that it is the same temperature as the tanks water. Add a water conditioner to remove chlorine and add salt if used.
Carefully start refilling the tank with the conditioned water.
Plug in the heater and filter, and wipe down the outside of the tank glass with the soft rag or paper towels.
Fish Care Tips When You Travel
Clean Tank – Do your partial water change and make sure the tank is full the day before you leave.
Change The Filter – Check to see if a filter change is needed and replace accordingly.
Feeding Your Fish – Do not overfeed your fish before you leave. You will only make your fish bloated, sick and constipated. It is not necessary to have someone feed your fish if you will be away for one week or less. If you will be gone a week or more, however, use one feeder block if you have a bottom feeder fish. For other types of fish, use a mechanical feeder or find a fish-wise friend to feed the fish for you.
How to take care your Pet Rabbit?
What to feed your rabbit?
Hay or grass should be the basis of your rabbit’s diet, and a few fresh vegetables should be offered as well. Remember cereal-based diets (the muesli-type) are high in sugar and low in minerals, and therefore should not be given. Small quantities of high-fibre pellets are a better choice.
There are also complete foods commercially available but hay should still make up to three-quarters of the rabbit’s diet. They need a daily variety of fresh vegetables and fruit, washed thoroughly before feeding. Think natural – good foods are carrots, spinach, watercress, broccoli, celery, apples and dandelion leaves. Never give rabbits grass cuttings as this will cause serious health problems. Dried ready grass is available from pet shops, and this is acceptable. Fresh water must always be available and changed daily. Make sure, if using a water bottle, that it is working properly.
- A healthy rabbit is alert and lively. Check your rabbit every day without fail and look out for any changes in appearance or behavior. Symptoms of poor health include scaly patches inside the ears, a discharge from the eyes or nose, swellings or diarrhea. Your rabbit’s back and front teeth must be checked regularly especially if they are beginning to lose weight for no apparent reason. Dental problems are common in rabbits.
- All rabbits should be regularly vaccinated against the potentially fatal diseases, myxomatosis and viral hemorrhagic disease (VHD). Rabbit vaccinations are an essential part of keeping your pet healthy. Check with your vet who will decide how often this needs to be done. It is a good idea to have rabbits neutered as this lessens the risk of disease and behavioral problems. Neutered rabbits can also be easier to house train.
- Remember that rabbits are at risk from fly strike if not regularly checked during the hot weather so care must be taken to ensure your rabbits’ bottoms are kept clean.
- Daily grooming is essential for long-furred varieties. Short-coated rabbits should be groomed on a weekly basis, as this will reinforce the human/animal bond. If you are at all worried about any aspect of your rabbit’s health, always seek veterinary advice.
The best type of rabbit bedding is clean, bagged straw, available from all good pet shops. Rabbit bedding needs to be checked on a daily basis and removed if soiled. Particular attention needs to be paid to the accommodation during hot weather as flies may quickly lay their eggs on soiled bedding and the resulting maggots may burrow into the rabbit’s fur and body cavity. This could be potentially fatal to your rabbits and is known as fly strike.
It is easy to litter train a rabbit. Once you are aware which corner they prefer to use as a toilet, place a litter tray there big enough for your rabbit to use comfortably. This will make it far easier to keep the accommodation clean.