With approximately 79% of American households having a dog, cat, or both and more homes having other types of pets, I paused to ponder the thought, "How many of those homes know how to properly care for their non-human family members?" And, "How many actually take the proper measures to perform the things that will ensure a happy, healthy life for their non-human family members?"
I admit that I know much more about dogs than cats, birds, reptiles, or other furry friends. However, I do know that they all have specific needs that we must be responsible enough to learn and practice regularly. Caring for anyone takes time, money, and lots of love. Responsibility is at the top of the list, and everything should be considered before we make that final decision to adopt. The number of animals surrendered, or abandoned, at shelter centers is mind-boggling. Behavior issues are major reasons that animals are given up or "thrown away." Sure, puppies and kittens are cute and cuddly when they're little and young, but they grow up. Their size and maturity can become problematic if the adopters don't take proper steps in teaching good manners and appropriate behavior. Like children, our precious animals need regular direction, constant teaching, and daily activity and socialization. And, if problems begin to show themselves, immediate measures to correct the issue is essential. Ruling out any physical or medical condition that may be causing the behavior issue is critical.
These problem behaviors can include separation anxiety, chewing, biting, growling, going potty inside, and fears. Dogs can exhibit their fears of other dogs, other animals, noises, people, or situations by cowering, tucking their tails between their legs, hiding, barking, growling, lunging or biting. Getting immediate help is key. Waiting is not a good option. The longer the behavior is allowed to exist, the harder it will be correct it.
Regular check-ups and vaccinations are extremely important in preventing any major medical problems. Vaccinations are administered on a routine that is set up by your veterinarian needs to be followed without compromise. Some vaccines are mandated by law, such as Rabies. Core vaccinations against Parvovirus include Distemper/Adenovirus/Parainfluenza/and Parvovirus (DAPP). This virus is fatal and causes severe diarrhea and vomiting. Adenovirus can affect the liver. Additional vaccinations for our pups include Leptospirosis, Bordetella, Lyme, Canine Influenza.
In order to help control the animal population, spaying and neutering our dogs is the responsible choice. Too many pets are being born than there are homes, and every year millions of precious, loving dogs are being destroyed. Low-cost spay and neuter clinics offer affordable assistance to help families on a limited income.
The myths that our pets will become fat or experience a change in their personality are untrue. In fact, the benefits are numerous which include preventing certain types of cancer, being less attracted to the opposite sex, roaming less, arguing with other animals, and living longer lives.
The responsibilities and proper care of our four-legged family members are numerous and go much farther than this short blog. Nutrition, grooming, housing, exercising, training, and so much more will be addressed in the future.
Please treat our wonderful and loving animals as you would want to be treated and taken care of on a daily basis.
"So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you." Matthew 7:12 NIV