From the moment you accept a pet into your family, a special bond is created. Like a baby, that pet depends on you to take care of its needs. Responsible ownership means that you do everything in your power to keep your pet physically and mentally happy and well.
In 2022, February is responsible pet owner’s month, and your friends at Pet Hospitals of Hawaii want you to know about things you can do to ensure that your pets lead a happy and healthy life.
Many local families own dogs, cats, farm animals, etc. The first thing you should do when acquiring a pet is to research the specific needs that it has. You can also discuss these needs with your veterinarian. Pets' needs can vary greatly and include nutrition, habitat, and physical activity.
Although there are many kinds of pets, every pet needs some common things:
• Appropriate nutrition, including both the type of food and the amount you give to your pet
• Clean water
• Regular checkups with a veterinarian
• Immunizations, flea or tick control and removal, or other similar needs that are dependent on the type of animal you have
• Attention and affection
• Safe surroundings
Even if taking care of a household pet is one of your children’s duties, you are still responsible for overseeing that care. If your child fails to feed the dog, for instance, you must either feed the dog yourself or make sure that your child keeps to a regular feeding schedule.
Most pets crave your affection or attention, even stand-offish cats. Pets often form stronger bonds with one household member than others, and their mental health and happiness partially depend on what they receive from that bond. Reinforcing the bond daily makes pets happier. Talking to your pet, playing with them, and touching them are some ways to reinforce your personal bond with them.
Just like proper care can keep your pet happy and healthy, not providing that care can have negative effects. Neglected animals can have physical and mental issues, including weight loss, misbehavior, and general withdrawal.
Taking care of all your pet’s specific needs is part of being a responsible pet owner. If you do not, your pet's overall health and happiness often suffer. You will receive benefits from taking care of your pet also. Providing regular exercise for dogs might include taking walks that help your health as well. Petting your animal actually produces a chemical reaction in your body that you process as happiness.
Common household items can be toxic to pets. These items can be certain foods, alcoholic beverages, medications, plants, or chemicals. Limit your pet’s access to areas where you might keep these things. You may place them out of reach, behind cabinet doors or remove them altogether.
Some animals like to gnaw on things, and gnawing on electrical cords can potentially burn or electrocute your pet. Swallowing objects like screws, coins, jewelry, or small toys can damage your pet’s digestive tract. Keeping your cords covered and your floors clean reduces those risks.
Absolutely. Just like people, certain situations can cause stress and anxiety in pets. Responsible pet owners know how their pets usually act and can tell if specific triggers upset them. What are some common stressors and possible solutions?
• General noisiness or too much light: Like people, pets usually rest and sleep better in quiet, dark surroundings. Set up bedding in an area that promotes good sleep or cover cages and close doors to diminish light and noise.
• Being left alone: Although most people leave their homes regularly, their pets can suffer during their absence. Providing safe toys, playing music, or tuning to pet-friendly TV channels can provide stimulation while you’re away.
• Unclean “personal” spaces: All pets have bodily functions that create a mess. Regularly clean litter boxes, cages, and other spaces so your pet is more comfortable.
• Inconveniently placed food and water bowls or litter boxes: While you probably decide where to put these items because of your convenience, make sure that your pet can easily get to them at all times.
The caring staff at Pet Hospitals of Hawaii wants to help you provide responsible ownership to all of your pets. We can perform regular check-ups for your pet and provide treatment options if difficulties arise. We can also provide breed-specific information you need to properly care for your animals.
We carry several medications, pet foods and other supplies to help you keep your pets healthy. If you are not sure what would be best for your pet, just ask us.
With several convenient locations, Pet Hospitals of Hawaii are ready to serve you. Whether you are looking for a check-up, pet behavior training ideas, fitness suggestions or other information to help you be a responsible pet owner, we are just a phone call or text away. You can also schedule an appointment online.