For pet parents all over the world, our animal friends firmly occupy a huge space in our hearts as they love us unconditionally, give us companionship with an endless supply of affection and always welcome us excitedly with licks and kisses and cuddles. Thanks to our pets, we even end up getting the physical activity we need in our otherwise sedentary yet busy lives but while we turn to them for so many of these gifts, they also depend on us almost completely for their survival.
Having a pet is a privilege and it comes with its own set of requirements and responsibilities that have to be carried out diligently. In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Shantanu Kalambi, Chief Veterinarian at Supertails, advised, “Deworm your pet once in every 3-4 months and vaccinate annually, neuter your pet, know your pet’s diet do’s and don’ts, no exercise after eating, especially with deep chested dog breeds, keep more than one water bowl around the house and make sure it is cleaned regularly, use tick and flea preventatives and daily exercise is required.”
Highlighting the top five things that all veterinarians want pet parents to know to ensure the overall well-being and long and happy lives of their pets, Dr Vinod Sharma, Head of Veterinary Services at DCC Animal hospital, listed:
1. Consider your options while adopting – While a lot of brands and shops offer exotic dogs, cats, and more, it’s always better if you could adopt one from a shelter instead. An entire world of wonderfully loving animals waits patiently for someone to choose them instead, at shelters all over. Just remember to adopt from a reputable organization, taking some time to get to know it and all of its policies and practices, and make sure to get all the details needed, including the animal’s medical records, no matter how young or old they are.
2. Decide upon a good veterinarian – Just like for us humans, our family physicians are our go-to first contact for any health concerns, our animal friends also need a reliable and trusted doctor at hand. In fact, finding a good veterinarian is a critical decision to invest in the future of our pets, as well as ourselves. Pet parents should conduct their own research into available, licensed veterinarians, cross referencing them with reviews and referrals from friends and family, before making their decisions.
3. Ensure they have company and attention – While the number of adoptions spiked during the start of the pandemic, once things began improving and offices and schools started reopening, it spelt very bad news for many of these pets. Anyone who is or is looking to become a pet parent must also be aware of their responsibilities. Hence, it is always a good idea to find affordable but trustworthy boarding and grooming facilities, where experienced pet-handlers can look after your companion when you are busy.
4. Teach them the rules – Understand that when you bring a pet animal into your house, you automatically take on the responsibility of a parent to them, in all capacities. So, just like you need to address their needs, you must also teach them some basic house rules and behavioral basics as well. This could involve anything from litter training and basic habits and routines to making sure they know which are the restricted areas of the house. And in case you need help, you could always speak to a good trainer for guidance, or have them train your pet for you, and address any concerning behavior early on.
5. Ensure a good diet – While this might seem obvious, the reality is that in a large number of Indian households, there is a severe lack of awareness regarding food that our pets can have. Human food, especially, is not meant for them at all, and the spices, oils, and other ingredients could harm them irreparably. Hence, it is always a good idea to consult with an experienced pet nutritionist, who can help you understand all the different things your pet needs, the ones that they can’t have, and create the best possible diet for them, that is affordable and convenient for you too!