Pet Care

Responsible Pet Ownership
Food, Water andamp; Shelter
There are many good pet foods available on the market today. Your local veterinarian can help you make a good choice on what may benefit your pet. Fresh, clean water should always be available to your pet. Dog houses should be big enough for your pet to comfortably lie down in. The entrance to the dog house should be turned away from the direction of the wind or rain, so that your dog has a warm, dry place to sleep. The dog house should also be checked occasionally for pests, and for holes that may appear on the roof.

Health
Grooming your pet is always important; Bathing, brushing, and routine checking of the ears, eyes, and nose will not only get your pet to looking its best, but will alert you to any changes in his/her health. A well groomed pet is a pleasure to show off. Trips to the veterinarian are a must. Along with your annual rabies vaccination, your veterinarian may see something you may have overlooked. A second set of eyes always helps in keeping your animal healthy. A routine checkup should be done in addition to your pet's annual vaccinations.

Training Your Pet
Remember watching a dog on television (Lassie, Rin Tin Tin, Benji) and wishing your dog could at least come when he/she was called, or just stop jumping up on you? Perhaps an obedience class may be in order. You can pay someone to train your dog for you, and the dog will readily listen to the trainer... But, if you enroll in an obedience class, you will learn to train your dog and make him/her listen to you. You can usually find local obedience classes through your veterinarian or classifieds. After all, everyone wants a well behaved pet that is a joy to have around, versus one that stays locked in a backyard. The basic commands every dog should know are 'Sit', 'Stay', 'Come' andamp; 'Down'.

Why You Should Never Let Your Pet Roam
Not only is this irresponsible for you as a pet owner, but dangerous to your beloved pet. Many things could happen to your pet if allowed to roam free:
  • Hit by a vehicle: Despite what you may think of your pet, he/she does not look both ways before crossing the street. This can be fatal to both your pet and the driver of that vehicle that hits him/her.
  • Poison: Antifreeze and rat poison are just 2 of the things your pet may easily ingest while roaming free.
  • Public Nuisance: Your pet could be a menace to your community. No one wants your animal running through their property. This is unfair to the responsible pet owners of our community. Your pet could not only do damage such as digging up flower beds, trash digging, toilet habits (pooping in your neighbor's yard, flower bed, door step, etc.), scratching vehicles with claws, and ruining air conditioning systems of vehicles by cats spraying the windshields. Your pet could also fight with other animals, chase people either jogging or riding bikes, and harass livestock. If your pet is sick, he/she could spread disease to other animals or contract disease from another sick animal.
Dangers of Chaining or Tying up Your Dog
The ideal home for any pet should have a fenced area for him/her to play or live. Chaining your dog is not without risk, as several things can happen to them while chained up.
  • Choking: This is a very real possibility that could be fatal to your dog. There are cases of dogs leaping over a fence and strangling to death on the collar at the end of their leashes.
  • Heatstroke: Dogs often tangle their chains or ropes around poles, trees and stakes, keeping them from getting to their dog house or nearby shade. Unable to reach sufficient shade or water, they could die from heatstroke.
  • Lack of water: Due to the dog moving around on the rope or chain, the water bowl or bucket is usually dumped over. Without water, these hot Texas days can dehydrate your dog and cause heatstroke.
  • Stray dogs: Your chained up dog has nowhere to run if a stray dog comes to visit. The stray could not only fight with your dog, but also spread diseases that could be fatal to your dog.
  • Ants and Bees: Fire ants have caused great harm to young animals, both wild and domesticated. A swarm of bees could also have devastating results to a chained dog. Being limited by the length of the chain or rope that is attached to your pet could prevent him/her from being able to escape from these pests.
Other Helpful Links