Marc the Vet: 10 Top Tips For Being A Responsible Pet Owner
There are a lot of factors to consider when taking on a new pet, to ensure their future health and wellbeing. In our latest blog, TV vet and Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home Animal Champion Marc Abraham (Marc the Vet) offers his top 10 tips for responsible pet ownership.
Pets are a huge part of our nation’s homes and families making us happy, healthy, and of course providing good company. In order for our pets to fulfil these generous tasks it’s paramount that we prioritise their welfare at all times and look after them as best we can. Therefore it’s important every owner is 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 any health conditions:
1. Reasons for getting a pet: Always do your research and never buy on impulse. Poorly bred pets are often cheap, easily available, and usually the result of cruel breeding practices.
2. Source: Pet health and lifespan often depends on where they’re born. Puppies and kittens should either be sourced direct from the breeder, or better still from a reputable rescue shelter – always considering older, more mature rescue pets too.
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 emotional comfort. Why not choose 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. Cleaning your pet’s teeth helps you spot potential problems, preventing serious, painful, and often expensive issues from occurring.
6. Brushing and grooming: Looking after your pet’s coat helps enhance owner-pet bond, keeps ears, eyes, and coats healthy, and also helps you to detect lumps, bumps, cuts, parasites, especially evidence of any dreaded grass seeds (pictured).
Regular grooming can uncover hidden dangers like grass seeds.
7. Parasites: Fleas, worms, and ticks are all very common, and can not only cause disease to our pets, but can also carry other diseases, as well as potentially affecting us humans too. Make sure you ask your vet about what products to regularly use to best prevent parasites.
8. Booster vaccinations: Annual health checks and vaccinations are an important way to make sure your pet is regularly checked over by your vet, as well as protected against killer diseases like parvovirus and leptospirosis, both commonly found in our 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.