While it might be nearly over, this April is the 27th National Pet Month, a charity which brings together different animal welfare charities, pet businesses and pet lovers. Their aims have been to:
- Promote responsible pet ownership
- Make people aware of the mutual benefits of living with pets
- Increase public awareness of the role of pet care specialists
- Raise awareness of the value of working and assistance companion animals
While we may all care about our pets and treat them as a part of the family, make sure you’re a responsible pet owner this National Pet Month by reading the points below…
Neutering your pets
Normally, unless there are any circumstances where neutering would not be advised, veterinary practices would advise that you get your pet cat or dog spayed or castrated to prevent unwanted pregnancies and any health related problems.
Pet insurance – do you need it?
You never know when your pet could fall sick, and health care for animals can be expensive, so it’s a good idea to ensure that you’ve got adequate pet insurance. Having insurance for your pet means that if your pet does become sick, you don’t have to worry about whether or not you’ll be able to afford the treatment. Whilst pet insurance may seem expensive, it can’t compare to the costs of having to pay out for your pet if they get a serious illness or injury. You’ll also want to make sure you get pet insurance as quickly as you can because most policies will exclude cover for pre-existing conditions.
Ensure your pet has enough exercise to keep it physically and mentally healthy and happy. Regular walks for dogs gives them the opportunity to interact with other dogs and people and prevent obesity which is becoming an increasing issue seen by vets. Other animals such as cats can be encouraged to exercise through the use of interactive toys, and smaller animals through adequate housing and exercise opportunities relevant to their needs.
Non-traditional companion animals
It is becoming increasingly popular for people to keep exotic pets such as lizards and snakes, but are these animals getting the treatment they need? In most cases, the answer is no; while owners may believe they’re doing all they should be to make sure their pet is well taken care of, it’s not quite as simple as many people are led to believe.
Owners often don’t have the right knowledge or equipment in order to care for these animals properly, which can lead to health implications for the animals. For example, reptiles have specific requirements for humidity, lighting, nutrition and temperature which can be very hard to maintain correctly in captivity. If you are considering getting an exotic animal as a pet please make sure you thoroughly research their care needs and speak to experts before making that purchase; many of these animals can live for 20 years +.
Primates as pets
BVA have had growing concerns recently about the increasing number of primates being kept as pets in the UK. It is important to remember that primates have complex social needs and specific dietary requirements which cannot be maintained while being kept as pets, and as a result there are “no circumstances where they would benefit from being kept as pets” according to BVA President Robin Hargreaves.
For more information on responsible pet ownership, click here to visit the BVA website.