Top tips for looking after your pet

Top tips for looking after your pet

Getting a new pet is so exciting – choosing the breed, giving them a name, showing them off to friends and family.

But whether you choose a cute kitty or a loveable hound as your new companion, you have to be prepared to meet their basic needs and your legal responsibilities as a pet owner.

One of the basic welfare needs of your pet is Health – we’ll learn more about this later on. If you’re a first-time pet owner, you may not be aware how expensive vet bills can be.

That’s why it’s a good idea to use a pet insurance comparison website so you can find the best cover for your cat or dog, at the best price.

How do you take care of an animal?

All animals are unique and each one will have their own individual preferences for food, toys and so on. But basic welfare needs are something that all animals have and, as a responsible pet owner, you should be ready to meet them from the moment you welcome them into your home.

In fact, it’s the law that you do.

The Animal Welfare Act 2006 says that all pet owners or keepers should provide their animals with the five basic welfare needs. As the PDSA explains, these are:

  1. Health
  2. Behaviour
  3. Companionship
  4. Diet
  5. Environment

 

Health

As soon as you welcome that tiny bundle of fluff into your home, you will naturally feel protective towards them. Even if you’re adopting an older animal, the feeling will be the same ­­– you’ll want to protect them from any pain or suffering and keep them safe from harm.

That means keeping up with their vaccinations, meeting their nutritional and exercise needs and protecting them from illness, injury or accidents, whether that’s out and about or in the home.

You have a duty of care to the animals you keep and the penalties for ignoring these can be severe.

Pet owners who do not meet their animal’s basic welfare needs risk a £20,000 fine and a prison sentence, and could be banned from ever keeping an animal again.

Taking on a new pet isn’t a decision to be taken lightly. You need to consider all the costs and practicalities involved.

A good place to start is by using a pet insurance comparison site like Go Get it - the UK's only dedicated pet insurance comparison website, so you can get a clear idea of how much protecting your pet is going to cost.

A line up of various breeds of cats and dogs on a white background

Behaviour

As a responsible pet owner, you should encourage your dog or cat to display their natural behaviour, whatever this is for their species.

That could be running, jumping, digging, playing, climbing ­– whatever your dog or cat does naturally, make sure they can do this every day. Pets enhance our lives greatly but we must also remember their quality of life, too.

If your pet is missing out on something they would do naturally because of your busy lifestyle, you should carefully consider if having a pet is the right choice for you at the moment.

 

Companionship

Many of us will buy a pet in order to keep us company. But it’s not just their human parents that animals need to bond with.

Companionship, in relation to the five basic welfare needs, means that animals should be kept with – or kept away from – other animals as appropriate for their species. 

Some animals are more sociable than others, like rabbits for example. When it comes to cats and dogs, they can live quite happily as the only pet in the household, if they get enough interaction with other members of the family.

Multi-pet households can also work well but make sure you introduce any new pets to your current animals slowly so they have time to get used to one another.

Pet insurance comparison is easy at Go Get It, whether you have multiple pets or just the one!

A family sitting on a sofa with a dog in front

Diet

What an animal eats can have a big effect on their health and wellbeing. Over-feeding can be as dangerous as under-feeding. And feeding an animal the wrong type of food can lead to health and nutritional problems down the line.

Ask your vet what type of food your kitty or pup should be eating based on its age. Young pups or kittens might need certain nutrients to help them develop properly, while older dogs and cats might have more specific dietary needs.

There has been much talk recently of vegan diets for dogs, but before switching your animal’s food, it’s best to talk to a professional so they can tell you about the pros and cons for your particular pet.

Aside from food, every animal should also have access to fresh, clean drinking water every day to stop them from becoming dehydrated.

 

Environment

The desire to own a pet can become overwhelming but before you put a deposit on that Doberman, stop!

Think about the type of environment you’ll be bringing them into. Does your second-floor flat have enough room for that Labrador? Does your tabby have a quiet space to snooze away from your curious toddler?

Not only is it important that your animal has space to exercise and explore their surroundings, they also need areas where they can hide and rest without being bothered by anyone or anything else.

Everyone needs some alone time now and again, and our pets are no different!

 

Compare pet insurance

Before you welcome a new kitten or pup into your home, you’ll want to see how much pet insurance is going to cost.

Pet insurance should be factored into your monthly cost of ownership. It can save you hundreds, maybe even thousands of pounds in the future, if you cat or dog needs unexpected medical treatment.

Go Get It is a pet insurance comparison site that allows you to compare the price of dog and cat insurance quickly and easily, based on your needs.  

Do you have more than one pet at home? At Go Get It, some of our providers offer multi-pet discounts, plus there’s no upper age limit so even older pets can be considered.

Get a quote today.

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