Before you get a pet

Published On: August 4, 2017 01:29 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

According to Binod Magar, a vet technician, there are many things you must consider and be careful about before bringing a pet home. Though every home deserves a pet, not every home or family is ready for it. Having a pet at home is going to shift your responsibilities in ways you never imagined and you have to be armed with information so that you do what’s best for your furry friend. The Week talked to Magar to seek this information so that we know how to handle our pets and the problems that can arise when there’s a new attention-seeking member at home. Here, he shares some wisdom.    

First things first 
It’s not going to be easy looking after a pet. First, you must be willing to provide time to your pet. After you are certain you will be able to give it the time it needs, choosing the breed comes second. There are many kinds of breeds available. In Kathmandu, I suggest choosing those breeds that do require extra care and attention. Once you choose a pet for yourself, work on creating a favorable home environment for it. You have to give it nutritious food, see to its hygiene, and above all take it for timely vaccinations as well. 

The features of a healthy pet
If your pet is healthy, it will always have a good appetite and balanced weight. They will also have good fur, odor free ears, and active nose. Their mouth will be clean and their breaths will stay normal. They will be full of energy and always eager to play. Pay attention to your pet if it appears sluggish or doesn’t eat as much as it used to. In case of dogs, a dry nose is a loud sign that something is wrong with it. 

What to feed your pet
You should never feed your pet chocolates, caffeine products, sweet bakery items, avocado, frozen and junk foods. These products will slow down their metabolism allowing it to build up toxicity in their bodies. You can give them rice, fatless and boneless meat, fibrous raw chopped vegetables, wheat breads etc. While it’s good to give them these food items, sometimes they might need additional nutrients as well. In this case, buying pet foods available in the market can be an option. But before opting for these treats do not forget to consult a vet. There are various brands available in market and a vet will be able to help you choose a good quality brand for your pet. 

The key to good training 
Obedience training is very important for indoor pets. There are two types of obedience training: Basic and advanced. Basic training includes teaching them to greet visitors, running in proper directions, and jumping off walls whereas advance training teaches them to help the family in household chores like bringing newspaper, babysitting, waking up the owner etc. You can easily train your pet at home, though in some case professional help might be necessary. 

Some basic ways to train a pet
A leash is a part of a pet’s anatomy. When they feel the leash on them, they will be under control and will respond brilliantly. But when you remove it your pet will know it is free and will ignore you. But if you use leash all the time they won’t be able to learn this difference. Also, pets love to play with their human friends. You can easily train your pet to play a game of fetch by allowing them to chase a ball. Encouraging the pet to bring the ball back to you is the final and essential part of the training. 

Other trainings involve introducing litter boxes so that they don’t mess your rooms. If you want your pet to wake you up every morning, you should first wake them up at the same time every day. But before giving any kind of trainings, you must be aware about the mood and behavior of the animal. Pushing them hard into the trainings will only induce stress leading to health and behavioral problems. 

Problems that can arise
Some common problems seen in pets are excessive scratching, obesity, doormat allergies, development of rashes and hot spots in body, mild vomiting, and diarrhea. Thought these problems aren’t serious and most definitely not fatal, treatment is required in most cases. You can use ointments for allergies and hot spots, and food habits can be regulated to cure vomiting and diarrhea. But it’s also best to contact a vet if your pet shows any unhealthy symptoms.      

When to contact a vet
When you witness no improvements in the above-mentioned problems, even after changing their food habits or applying powders and ointments, you should contact a vet immediately. Accidental consumptions of poisonous substance will also require a vet’s intervention. Other than that, if your pet shakes vigorously or drools uncontrollably you need to rush it to the vet. 

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