Healthy food. All pets, regardless of species, need proper and healthy food. Our pets can not run down to the store so it’s up to us to research what a healthy diet is for our own pets. Consulting with your vet is an excellent resource. And we need to remember, that as our pets age their dietary needs will change.
Water. Pets need water to maintain their health just like us humans. If you use a simple bowl, remember to replace with fresh water daily. If you use a filtered water system, keep an eye on the filter and change regularly. We use a bowl that is attached to the sink faucet in our downstair bathroom…the cats think of it as their own little “water bar”!
[caption id="attachment_741" align="aligncenter" width="441"] “Sink Drink”, because Cooper knocks all water bowls over![/caption]
Safe shelter. If you have pets that are indoor/outdoor, they still need a safe, cozy place inside to call their own. This could be a pet bed, training cage, or a private little “hidey” hole. We installed a small opening in our basement door to allow the cats free range to romp in the basement. Chicken really LOVES to roll on the cool concrete floor and it’s a safe place to hide when we have guests in the house.
Potty time. All pets will need to relieve themselves and it is our duty to ensure that they can be accommodated in the best way possible. As cat owners, we have four litter boxes. Two in the main living quarters and two in the basement. This allows them to have a choice and extends the time between cleanings for my husband. Dogs can be trained to use wee-wee pads; take themselves out through a secure doggy door or wait for regular walk times. There are of course people that will train their dogs/cats to use the toilet. Regardless of what relief measures your pets need, be sure to provide them clean and healthy spaces.
Trust me I’m a doctor. I’m not really, but your pets need to regularly visit their vet to stay up to date on required vaccines and general health and wellness. This is especially important for animals that spend a great deal of time outside.
Pest control. With the number of diseases carried by ticks and fleas, it’s important to protect your pets from these annoying critters. And don’t think just because you’re animals do not go outside, they don’t need to be protected. Our cats are indoor cats and yet, last spring we discovered a few fleas on Cooper. Turns out, fleas will penetrate a screen to seek out a warm body and Cooper LOVES to sleep by the window in the basement. After treating the cats and our home for fleas, we now dose Cooper with flea drops and Chicken wears a flea collar. The collar is easier for us, but Cooper created overwhelming damage when we tried to collar her!
Pets bring great joy (and occasional messes) into our lives and we need to remember to take the time to enjoy them with romping, cuddling and playing.