5 Things Every Pet Owner Needs to Know

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Whether you’re a first-time pet owner, an experienced one, or even just someone who’s considering getting a furry companion, you should know that being a pet owner often requires more than you’d expect. The disparity between expectations and realities of pet ownership often leads to incompatible relations between pet and pet owner. In fact, according to AmericanHumane.org, the post-adoption return rate for cats and dogs in shelters can reach up to 20%, that’s 1 in 5 animals adopted. To help you and your pet avoid the same fate, here are five things that you should know.

Pets Are Sentient Beings

Essentially, animals are conscious living beings that are capable of expressing emotions and forming bonds. Unfortunately, this intimate and complex side of pets is seldom shown in pop culture. People grow up watching cats and dogs in movies or as a cute cartoon doing physically impossible things. Pet owners don’t pay as much attention to their pet’s emotional well-being as they do their physical well-being. For instance, when you move to a new home, your pet undergoes the same transitional period that you go through. When you feel depressed or excited, they mirror that energy and become depressed or excited.

Pet Care Costs Money

Routine veterinary care alone costs pet owners close to $500 for dogs and $200 for cats per year. Expect to pay at least twice that amount for unexpected emergency visits that require prescription medication or even surgery. Protect yourself financially by securing a low-cost comprehensive health insurance plan for your pet/s. This is especially useful for older aged pets who are more prone to diseases and frequent vet visits. Pet insurance can cost you anywhere between $40 to $100. Then you have the cost of everyday necessities including food and equipment, such as harness, bedding, and a flip top litter box.

Pets Have Different Temperaments

Knowing your pet’s temperament and triggers are key to anticipating how he/she reacts in different situations. For instance, some pets might be too anxious and destructive when left alone indoors while others might be aggressive towards children. Pet owners must acknowledge these slight nuances in personality so they know what situations or triggers to avoid and what training or professional help their pet needs.

Pets Need Mental Stimulation

Pets that spend the majority of their time in isolation and without any stimuli can develop undesired behaviors and health ailments. Like humans, domesticated pets require mental stimulation to live a healthy and fulfilling life. This stimulation can be in the form of regular walks and exercise, toys and puzzles, social interaction at a dog park, etcetera. And similar to humans, good mental health in pets equates to good physical health, which means a longer lifespan, stronger immunity, and lower vet bills. Make it a point to take your pet outside at least every 6 hours for a potty break and a breath of fresh air.

Having a Pet Can Damage Your Household

From chewed furniture to chipped wall paint, a pet can easily damage your home in more ways than one. Whether you already have an existing pet living with you or are planning to get one soon, pet-proofing your home is important. Make sure they don’t get ahold of any materials that they can choke on or injure themselves with, such as wires, electronics, batteries, mechanical parts, or toxic plants. If your pet is being potty trained, cover the floors with potty training pads or a used rug to shield the floors from the acidic urine. Seal all holes they can fit in and install pens or partitions between entrances so they don’t accidentally run out of the house and into the street.

Being a pet owner is a rewarding job that many people take for granted. It’s not enough to provide them with food and water and a roof over their heads. Get to know your pet better including their behaviors, personalities, quirks, and triggers by using these five aforementioned facts as a guideline. One final thing every pet owner should know is that you get back whatever time and effort you invest in your pet. Invest time to get to know them and train them and you shall be rewarded with a good companion for life.

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