Quick and Easy Pet Care Tips

Keeping pets is incredibly rewarding – you have a friend and companion for life. But you have to take good care of them, and make sure that they are happy and healthy.  Sometimes all the details can be overwhelming. The team at Tony Hakim Animal Lovers have put together their favourite quick and easy pet care tips to help you out.

Food

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Good quality, wholesome pet food is one of the most important things for your pets health and well-being. Image via Fanpop.

  • When it comes to food, your pet needs a specific diet for their health, nutrition and well-being. Consider making your own pet food. Left over vegetables with a small portion of cooked rice and some red meat has far more benefits than a tin of dog food. For cats, talk to your local fish monger to see if you can get leftovers or off cuts. They will be happier and healthier eating fresh food.
  • Invest in a good quality dry biscuit or kibble, no matter what the pet. Aim for something that focuses on having real ingredients and benefits – and remember to take your pets’ age, weight and lifestyle into account when choosing a dry food – Royal Canin, Science Diet and Advance are all well respected brands. No matter what animal you keep, aim for foods with low sugar content.
  • When it comes to snacks, don’t feed your pets human food. Many are toxic to animals, like chocolate and onion. Avoid feeding your pet your own food, and make sure they have a supply of animal-appropriate snacks. For small animals, fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs are ideal. For cats and dogs, pick snacks that are high in protein and low in sugar. There are many recipes online to make your own – like these ones.

Health

There are many natural alternatives to flea prevention. Image via Warren Photographic UK.

There are many natural alternatives to flea prevention. Image via Warren Photographic UK.

  • One of the most important things any pet owner can do is neuter their pet. Millions of pets every year end up in shelters. Cats and dogs aren’t the only pets that can be neutered: rabbits, guinea pigs and mice can all be sterilized to prevent more unwanted pets in shelters. Ages vary depending on species and weight, so talk to your vet about what is right for your pet.
  • Fleas can drive any household mad. Tansy, a common plant in many gardens, is perfect for preventing fleas – just roll your pet around in it. Avoid flea collars, as they have a history of irritating or burning. Use lavender (about 25 drops) in a spray bottle with water to protect beds (human and pet) and any carpets and furniture. For small animals like rabbits, check with your vet; they are less inclined to getting fleas, and require gentler treatments.
  • Identify your pet! Any sort of pet can be micro-chipped, so talk to your vet about getting that done. And whenever you take your pet out of the house, make sure that they are wearing a collar with their name and your contact details on it, just in case. Aim for collars with safety latches that break away if snagged – like this one from Petbarn. For small animals, like rabbits, always remove the collar upon arrival home. Bells and glow-in-the-dark tags are also incredibly helpful if your pet manages to wander off.

Life

Always make sure your pet has an I.D. tag and a microchip. Image via Holistic Pet Care

Always make sure your pet has an I.D. tag and a microchip. Image via Holistic Pet Care

  • Keep a box or bag in your car with a plastic bottle, a bowl, a towel, some tennis balls and a spare leash. If you are travelling, the bottle can be filled up for water. For dog owners, this kit makes taking your dog for a walk incredibly easy and straightforward, and can also get you out of a pickle if you get caught in the rain or forget your leash. In the winter, add a coat to the kit to make sure your dog doesn’t get chilly.
  • When it comes to collars and leads, we all like to pick cute or trendy ones. But attached a leash to a collar adds extreme pressure and stress to the pet’s neck, shoulder and spine, and can result in long term or permanent damage. Get a good quality harness and attach the lead to that instead. For dogs and cats, they are safer and more comfortable For rabbits, harnesses are ideal because they offer support and security to the rabbit – and prevents damage to their fragile necks. Just make sure you fit the harness properly for comfort and safety. And throw away that choke chain.
  • All pets love to play. Guinea pigs can be trained to do tricks, rabbits can play fetch and both cats and dogs alike love feathers tied to strings. You don’t have to fork out for pet toys: things found around the house often work perfectly – we’ve found some excellent DIY toys all over the internet, including this Pinterest board. Make sure you have a selection of interesting toys for any sort of pet – not only will it entertain them, it will stop them from getting into things they shouldn’t!

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