Pets are often just as much a part of the family as our kids and spouses, so it’s no wonder why we will go to great lengths to make sure our four-legged friends get the love and care they need. From the tiniest rodent to the largest dog, every pet deserves the best, and you’re the only one who can give them that.

Despite their differences, there are a few things that most varieties of pets need for their basic care. Whether you plan to add a new pet to your family this holiday season or you’re a seasoned pet owner who is just growing your menagerie bit by bit, here are some things to keep in mind.

Here are the ways

1. Keep mealtimes consistent.

Your Furry Friend

Your pet might not be able to tell you with words, but they each have their own little cues that tell you when it’s time to eat. Pet meals should be as consistent as possible, as switching their food too often can lead to digestive issues, and they should eat at around the same time every day. Just like us, they get hungry when it comes to their mealtimes.

If you feel like your pets are eating you out of house and home, pet direct sales companies to make sure you’re getting the best deal on the healthiest foods. It might be easy to just grab the biggest, cheapest bag of dog chow at Target and call it a day, but most pet foods found in department stores aren’t made with natural products or aren’t completely honest about what’s inside the bag. Consider buying natural pet food and snacks with natural ingredients to ensure that they’re getting what they need and nothing they don’t.

2. Keep your pet safe in your car.

Your Furry Friend

Maybe your mouse Pixie needs to go to the vet. Maybe you’re taking your dog Duke out for a playdate. Maybe you’re moving a few states away and need to keep your kitty Reginald safe. Wherever you’re going, if your pet is in the car, they need to be as safe and secure as any other passenger. A crate or a cat carrier works for smaller animals, but if you have space in the back seat, consider installing a dog seat belt to give your pooch a little more space to move to make their travel time easier and less stressful.

The Joyride dog seat belt is the best dog harness on the market. Paired with a Joyride safety harness, it will keep your pup safe and secure in the back seat (or front seat if they’re royalty), so you know they’ll be protected in case of an accident and you won’t be distracted if you have a particularly bouncy pooch who gets the zoomies whenever she hears the word “car.”

You can also use a harness and seatbelt with your feline friend, but there is a chance they might not take kindly to it without being introduced to the harness well beforehand.

3. Protect your pet against pests.

Your Furry Friend

Even if your pet is strictly indoors, it’s important that you protect them from insects, like ticks, fleas, and mosquitos. But if you’re worried about the pesticides found in popular brands’ formulas or if your pet has had a reaction to insect repellents in the past, try natural tick repellent for your property instead. Using ingredients like lemongrass oil, cedarwood oil, and sodium lauryl sulfate, this long-lasting natural alternative is safe for your pets and your family and is an effective repellent in wooded areas, tall grass, short grass, and near standing water.

If you like to take your pup out with you, you should still make sure that they have been treated with an effective mosquito and tick repellent beforehand to avoid mosquito and tick bites from the outdoors.

4. Ensure they are safe at home.

Your Furry Friend

 

As wonderful as it would be to spend every moment at home with our pets, this is unfortunately not realistic. Even if you are currently working from home, you’ll likely have to leave your house from time to time for errands or to shake off going stir crazy. Or you might have a trip coming up that leaves you with no other option than leaving your pet at home alone. Whatever the reason you need to leave your pets at home, it’s important to be sure that they are safe when you’re not there to tell them to stay out of trouble. However, there are so many easy ways to keep your pets safe when you’re not home, so you can rest assured that your furry friend will be just fine on their own.

Make sure you have any sections of the house you don’t want your pets to have access to blocked off. Closing doors is the easiest way to do this, but if you have another pet who has full access to roam the house, setting up barriers and pet gates keeps your pet confined to only the areas where they belong. Make sure that they have food and water within reach, and nothing that is not a chew toy is around for your pup to chew. If you are going to be gone longer than a couple of mealtimes, ask a friend to check in on your pets to make sure they’re fed and not causing trouble.

5. Find a vet you trust.

Your Furry Friend

While you do everything you can to keep your pet happy and healthy at home, you will still need a vet that you can trust for checkups or for any emergencies or illnesses. Finding the right vet can be as easy as referrals from your friends or colleagues, but if you have a particularly difficult or unusual pet, sometimes that isn’t the best way to go about finding pet care. It’s okay if you don’t find the perfect vet right away. You want someone with whom your pet feels comfortable, who falls within your budget, and has a professional and tidy office. If you feel you will need someone to make house calls or you have specific pet insurance you want to use, take that into account when making your selection.

If you have questions or concerns about your pet’s diet, exercise, or mood, you want someone who will respond in a timely manner (obviously not right away, but at least by the end of the day). Look up business reviews and do your research to narrow down a few top picks who hit the marks you’re looking for before making a commitment, and don’t be afraid to reach out to the office staff via email or social media with any questions or concerns you might have. Some vets are affiliated with pet training resources, so if you have a dog who you plan to put through obedience classes you should check with your veterinarian’s office to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

Adding a pet to the family is in some ways similar to adding a new child into the mix. You need to be sure they are safe wherever they are—in the car, at home, in the yard, or on a hike—and that they are fed a balanced diet and protected against pests and illnesses. Only you know your furry friend the best, so if you have to try a few new things before finding something that works for your family and for your pet, don’t stress. All any of us wants is the best for our four-legged friends.

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