Tips for general pet care

Caring for Your Pet: Do’s and Don’ts

Most people will own a pet sometime in their life. Some may educate themselves about options in order to choose the best pet. However, given the information in the pet stores and on the internet, learning about pets may overwhelm the prospective owner. This article will give you some pointers on how to properly care for the most frequently owned pet.

Cats

Contrary to popular belief, most cats are very affectionate, require lots of love, and make excellent household pets. If possible, make sure neither you nor anyone else that resides with you has cat allergies. Hair length doesn’t cause allergies, cat dander does. The several different breeds of cat vary in hair length, color, size, body shape, and personality, so it’s important to choose a breed that complements the owner’s personality (if purchasing a pure-bred). Also, some cats “talk” more than others (e.g., Siamese).

Regardless of the breed, all cats require a regularly changed litter box, dry and/or moist food (although crunchy food is much better for their teeth), fresh water, cat toys, a collar, carrying kennel, and a scratching post (unless you choose to declaw your pet or put “soft paws” on its nails). Catnip (and other cat treats), leash, and a pet bed are other suggestions. Avoid feeding your feline milk as adults don’t have the enzymes to digest it.

Whether yours is an indoor- or outdoor cat (indoor cats live longer, are healthier, and do not miss the outdoors), it needs to have an annual check-up with vaccinations. All felines should be spayed/neutered in order to prevent disease and overpopulation. It’s a myth that fixing your cat will harm it. Prior to getting a cat, make sure you have the time to spend with her or him as cats do get depressed and can develop behavioral disorders if ignored (e.g., urinating outside of the litter box).

Remember, most cats live from 10 to 20 years. Teach your children how to touch a cat; most felines don’t like their tails being pulled or being chased. Decide how many cats you’re going to get; most cats love having cat buddies, but some detest other cats. The average annual cost of owning a cat is $500, so budgeting is important.

Dogs

Dogs are the most popular pet in North America. Like cats, the different breeds come in all sizes, shapes, colors, and personalities. Most dogs have dander that irritate allergies, so make sure you are allergy free before getting

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