The possession of a pet in our home implies a series of responsibilities related to its care and attention that we should know. A series of recommendations regarding these aspects are detailed below:

1. CHOICE OF THE PET AND THE ARRIVAL AT HOME

The first thing you have to ask yourself is if you are willing to adopt an animal and if it suits you. To do this, you must be willing to dedicate part of your time to the new pet, be patient and persevering, share part of your free time with the animal and know how to act firmly in the face of possible behavior.

To make living with the dog as good as possible, it is essential to take into account the characteristics of each breed and provide adequate care during the first weeks.

The accessories that must be acquired before the arrival of the new animal at home are a bed, feeder and drinking fountain, accessories such as leash and collar in the case of dogs and a plastic buckets for deposition sand in the case of cats. You must also have a bag containing combs or brushes, wet tollitas for cleaning eyes and ears, and a nail clipper.

2. POWER SUPPLY

It is very important to keep our pets that eat a balanced diet that meets their energy needs and provides adequate nutrients.

Ideally, both for dogs and cats, they consume dry food, adapted to each stage of growth, and to each need. They should never consume raw food since these could be a source of parasitic diseases.

It is convenient to prevent obesity. A normal animal must have the palpable ribs and hourglass shape seen from above. There are currently numerous commercial diets in the market that can help us avoid obesity.

During periods of pregnancy or lactation, high-end commercial food should be provided to female dogs and cats, especially during the last three or four weeks of pregnancy and throughout lactation. The ration should also be increased especially during breastfeeding at a rate of 1.5 times the amount necessary for normal maintenance during the first week, 2 times more in the second week, and up to 3 times more in the third week of lactation.

3. HYGIENE

Bathroom: Experts do not agree on the frequency at which baths should be performed. In general this should not be less than once a month. Some authors point out that it should be done when they need it, for example when the hair is dirty. Although cats tend to be less tolerant than dogs with the bathroom, it is possible to have the kitten accept it and get used to it. Special gels are recommended for pets.

Brushing: The best way to maintain your hygiene without altering your skin is daily brushing.

Ears: They should be cleaned with gauze. There are specific products, they are thrown into the ear canal and the area is massaged, then cleaned with gauze.

Nails: In dogs that do not wear well you have to cut them, especially in the spurs. For cats, there are accessories for scratching on the market so that cats keep their nails in perfect condition.

Dental check-up: Gently pressing the mouth joint with your fingers will cause your cat to open his mouth so he can see the state of his teeth. The teeth clean themselves by chewing dry feed or biting special toys. Tartar and bad breath must be treated by the veterinarian.

4. EDUCATION

Dogs are social and hierarchical animals: this means that they need from puppies to know and assume their “position” in the family and outside it (in the park, in the presence of strangers at home, in the usual places of passage such as a veterinary clinic, in family homes, etc ...).

There is a fundamental period in the development of the behavior called “period of sensitization” that covers from 3 to 10 weeks and during which the puppy must assimilate everything that happens in its environment. The socialization of the animal makes them better accept other animals, both of their own species and others, and the habit makes them able to face the environmental stimuli that are going to be found throughout their lives.

We must teach them some basic rules of coexistence by learning very simple obedience behaviors. To do this you must say your name before giving an order using a short phrase. Always work with positive reinforcements. For example, if you pull the strap, close the distance and reward it when you do not pull, show it the “sit” by gently pressing its back and to make it lie on the ground you can press your spine down and pull its legs forward forward.

They must also correct undesirable behaviors such as the bite. To do this, hold the dog’s muzzle with one hand above and exert more or less force depending on the situation and the breed of the dog.

The language of cats is more complicated, although there are typical postures that obey their instincts and are very easy to know (hide under something, stretch and yawn, hunting posture …). Cats also have a body language, a vocal language that we must learn to know and a marking instinct through the elimination of urine.

5. SEXUAL CYCLE AND STERILIZATION

Female dogs can have their first heat between 6 and 10 months of age. Cats can have several jealousy in a row and their cycles are influenced by ambient temperature and sunlight.

Vaginal bleeding is a normal occurrence in female dogs and occurs in the first phase of the cycle. This phase lasts 10 days on average but can vary between 3 days and 3 weeks. In this phase the males are attracted, but the females are not yet receptive.

When a cat is in heat, she is restless, she goes from side to side, barely eats, rubs herself against the ground and constantly meats. When the cat is ready for mating it will be done several times, usually with several other cats.

Sterilization is a surgical process that involves the total or partial removal of the reproductive organs and is performed in both males and females. This procedure increases its quality and life expectancy as it decreases the possibility of developing uterine infections, tumors and diseases of the reproductive organs.

There are other methods of reproduction control based on the application of drugs but oral or injected although the method of choice is castration for three reasons: to prevent unwanted pregnancies, to prevent the development of diseases mentioned above, and to control or eliminate behavior related to sex hormones.


6. VISITS TO THE VETERINARY

In general, both cats and dogs need to be wormed and vaccinated. The vaccination schedule will be established by your veterinarian, with annual doses for most vaccines in adult animals and for puppies will vary according to each protocol.

As a general rule and in the absence of disease symptoms, the veterinarian should be consulted at least once a year.

It is important that in that visit the animal’s microchip reading is reviewed and a complete exploration of the animal is made. Take note of the veterinarian’s recommendations.

If you find that your pet does not eat or shows decay, go to the veterinarian. When you go to the veterinarian, write down the abnormal symptoms that you may have observed in your dog or cat, in case of cats, transfer it in a carrier and do not leave it loose in the waiting room.


7. PHYSICAL EXERCISE

For the pet to be healthy and fit, you should exercise periodically. However, you should avoid the hottest daylight hours; since the dog tends to spend them sleeping. In addition, like people, dogs suffer injuries, pulls, sprains, so you have to control their physical activity and ensure that they do not overdo the exercise or perform dangerous activities.

Exercise is necessary to allow the dog to express normal canine behaviors, such as exploring, following smelly trails, etc. You can also take advantage of that time to improve training and strengthen pet-owner relationships.

Cats need a formal exercise they find outside the house (yards, gardens, …). When the cat remains continuously inside the house the owner must provide the animal with a game activity that meets their physical and mental needs.