Getting a pet can bring a lot of happiness to both you and your new cat, dog or any other furry friend you welcome into your home.
However, it’s also a serious commitment with many important duties to consider that may not be immediately apparent – responsible pet ownership consists of more than simply feeding and playing with your pet.
Here are some things to bear in mind before and after you get a new pet…
Choosing the right pet
Firstly, you need to think about what kind of pet would be suitable for you and whether a pet is right for your home and lifestyle at all – for example, if you have young children or live in a small flat, it may be better to wait until your circumstances change.
You should recognise that pets require an investment of money and time and be able to commit to the relationship for the entirety of the pet’s life.
A key component of responsible pet ownership is ensuring that your pet is properly identified.
While, just a few years ago, this would have consisted simply of having their name and your address on their collar, now all cats or dogs should be microchipped.
It’s a quick, simple task and will give you the best chance of finding your pet if they are lost. Contact your vet to find out more about the benefits of microchipping.
Exercise and attention
It may seem obvious, but you need to ensure that your pet is getting enough quality time with you as well as exercise that is appropriate to your pet's age and breed.
Petplan have plenty of top tips and information on how you can ensure your pet is fit, healthy and getting all the stimulation they need.
Regular trips to the vet
You should register your new pet with a vet as soon as possible. Young animals need vaccinations and annual jabs are also required thereafter so use these times to book in regular check-ups.
Meanwhile, if you’re bringing an older pet into your family, a trip to the vet should be scheduled straight away to give them a check-up and ensure everything is as it should be.
All pet owners should have pet insurance – not only does it allow you to give your pet the best health care, but it also protects you from any unexpected veterinary fees that you may struggle to afford.
Petplan has the best range of pet insurance options for cats, dogs and all other pets that are sure to meet your needs.
If you’re planning a trip away, have a think about arrangements for your pet.
Would your pet prefer the activity and company of other pets in a kennel or cattery, or would they be happier in the comfort of their own home with an accredited pet sitter?
You know your pet and know what will be right for them – so make sure your arrangements suit your pet rather than your own plans.
What do you think are the keys to responsible pet ownership? Let us know if we’ve missed anything below…