Anyone who owns a pet will relate to how important they are in our lives. This became so very relevant to me recently. My beloved Molly, our 23 year old yellow lab, went into cardiac arrest and is currently in the pet hospital. As I sit here writing about how pets become a part of our families, I realize that my heart is breaking. Oh how much I would treasure just one more time to take her to the park, to give her a special cookie, to give her a good brushing. I hope that you get some good suggestions from this article and don’t neglect to give your special pal a big hug. Joyce
Pets are more than just animals from different species, they’re members of the family. As such, they deserve to live in a safe and comfortable environment. Pets aren’t decorative or disposable, they’re sentient beings that require time and affection.
Tip #1: Beware of Toxic Substances – Toxic materials can come in several shapes and sizes. Obvious toxins include the harsh chemicals found in cleaning supplies, pesticides, fertilizers, and rodenticides. In fact, did you know that antifreeze is extremely dangerous to dogs and cats and just a small drop can kill them. Yet, even the most benign things can be hazardous to your pets as a lot of substances that aren’t toxic to humans can be lethal to your furry family members, especially certain foods, medications and plants.
Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure, coffee grounds, dark chocolate and chocolate in large amounts can kill them, sugar-free foods and gum containing Xylitol can cause liver failure, and nutmeg can cause tremors, seizures and nervous system damage… Check out the full list of Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets. Common house plants, such as azaleas, lilies, poinsettias and aloe, among many others, are toxic to pets so make sure you check out the ASPCA’s list of Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants and remove poisonous plants from your home and get informed before you purchase your next plant. It is so important to be preventative.
Tip #2: Give Them Their Space – Pets like to have their own living areas just as we humans do. Make sure you set up a proper feeding area for them where they can eat in peace. This means separating it from the loud washer and dryer or from the smelly litter box. Speaking of the litter box, it should be placed in a private space, but not too isolated like in a dark attic where your cat might feel unsafe. If you have an elderly dog, make sure you leave wee-wee pads out for it to use at its leisure.
Your pets should also have their own beds, even if they sleep on yours at night, as it is important for them to have their own personal space to lay down and relax. Consider placing it next to your couch in the TV room so they can nap comfortably next to you. However, note that once your dogs sleep with you for a while, they will not want to be in their own beds at night. If you have a cat, consider getting an enclosed cave-like bed as cats love to hide inside of things.
Tip #3: Clean Pets = Clean Home – This no-brainer is often times highly understated and is very important to keep both your pets and you happy and stress-free. Make sure you bathe and groom your pets with frequency, depending on your pet’s breed guidelines. If you have a long-haired pet, make sure you help it stay cool during the hot summer months by keeping its hair short and well groomed. Place considerable focus on their facial hair, preventing it from obstructing their vision and getting dirty when they eat. Dental hygiene is very important to your dogs health… The vet has the good toothpaste for them .
Additionally, take the time to brush their hair to prevent excess shedding and cleaning their paws when they’ve spent some time outdoors, especially if you took them on a walk and it recently rained. This not only helps them stay comfortable, it also helps keep your furniture and floors clean and looking like new. If you have a cat that likes to scratch your furniture, curtains or rug, consider trimming its nails.
Tip #4: Help Them Help You – A lot of the troubles that pet owners go through can be simplified by giving your pets the tools to do thing themselves. This wonderful realization can come if various forms, such as getting them a water fountain that automatically filters tap water or a food dispenser so that you don’t have to constantly fill their bowls.
Another great idea is to install a doggy door that gives your dogs access to your backyard without the hassle of having to open and close the door to let them in or out. This allows your pets to come and go as they please and will help prevent accidents around the house when you’re not home. Unfortunately, this only works if your live in a house and not in a condo. If you live in an apartment, make sure you take your dog on several walks a day and let them enjoy the outdoors for as long as possible. Remember, a happy pet means a happy home! Jill Eber, Coldwell Banker Bain Blue Matter