Guest Blog - My Top Ten Tips for Responsible Pet Ownership
28 March 2017 By Marc Abraham
Pets are a huge part of our nation’s homes and families, making us happy and providing good company.
This year Tesco Bank have teamed up with National Pet Month to celebrate the joy pets can bring, but also to encourage and promote responsible pet ownership.
To coincide with National Pet Month, Tesco Bank has carried out research focusing on attitudes of UK adults towards their pets. This research found that 84% of owners feel that their pet plays an integral part of their family and the most common reasons for owning a pet is for the happiness they bring and their good company. However it’s important owners are prepared for what’s involved in looking after pets, so here are my top 10 tips to encourage responsible pet ownership and help reduce the chances of our four-legged friends getting hurt or suffering an unexpected, worrying health condition.
1. Reasons for getting a pet: Always do your research and never buy on impulse. Poorly bred pets are easily available and often a result of cruel breeding practices.
2. Source: Your pet’s health and lifespan often depends on where they come from. Dogs and cats should either be sourced direct from the breeder, or better still from a reputable rescue shelter.
3. Cats vs Dogs: Both have their own unique qualities and make fantastic companions. Research shows cats make their owners happy and less-stressed, with dog owners enjoying getting out and about as well as the emotional comfort. You can always own both!
4. Pet insurance: Insurance provides owners with peace of mind and is a helpful way of ensuring vets bills are paid. Most pet injuries happen when we least expect so it’s always important to be prepared financially and choose the right policy.
5. Teeth cleaning: Brushing your pet’s teeth is an important way of observing and maintaining the health of their teeth and gums. Research says 60% of all cat and dog owners have never cleaned their pet’s teeth so it’s worth trying as it helps prevent serious, painful, and expensive problems from occurring.
6. Brushing and grooming: Looking after your pet’s coat helps enhance your owner-pet bond, keeps ears, eyes, and coats healthy, and also helps you to detect lumps, bumps, cuts, and even parasites.
7. Parasites: Fleas, worms, and ticks are very common, and can not only cause disease to our pets, can also carry other diseases, as well as potentially affecting us humans too. Research shows only just over half of owners treat their pets for fleas and worms monthly.
8. Booster vaccinations: Annual health checks and vaccinations are an important way to make sure your pet is regularly checked by your vet, as well as protected against killer diseases commonly found in our pet’s environment.
9. Feeding and exercise: Try feeding your pet the best quality balanced diet your budget allows to encourage a healthy, happy, and long life. Be sensible with treats and encourage appropriate exercise to prevent boredom, obesity, and related health problems.
10. Microchip: Since April 2016 all dogs must be microchipped by law but sadly many still aren’t. Ideally cats should be chipped too. Microchipping helps reunite lost pets, identify stolen pets, as well as locate worried owners when pets are involved in road accidents.
For more information on National Pet Month, please visit www.nationalpetmonth.org.uk