Beware of the dangers to your pet during the summer - this pet care article gives guidance on the dangers our pets face. It covers the specific danger of the heat during summer to the pet and the risks associated with holidays. Be careful if you take your pet on holiday, rather than using us or another pet sitter. Check your new location for new risks, make sure the pet has clear identification and be careful on opening appartment doors. If transporting your pet in the car, make sure you have pet restraints which are important for him, as well as for us. For more generic pet care, see below.
Generic Pet Care.
For new and experienced pet owners, the care of our animals is one thing that we lose sleep over and ,shock, we even talk to our partners about! A pet's care is very similar to ourselves, us humans - just a pet version of it. If ever in doubt, remember to consult a vet.
Care for your pet starts before he gets home for the first time. One of the most important decisions is choosing a pet so I have put some guiding comments on choosing a pet. There is such wide variety of pet to choose from. Choosing a pet is such a crucial decision as a pet is for life which can be ten or more years. So it provides a structure and the criteria to use for choosing a pet. It covers areas such as the time required to care for a pet, for example a dog, due its evolution from wolves, requires an hour or two per day of dog walking. In these budget-stretched times, you need to consider how expensive the animal will be. I certainly recommend you consider adopting a pet from an animal charity. As well as routine veterinary costs such as vaccinations, you will also need to cater for the unforeseen illnesses and accidents so pet insurance might be a sensible precaution as vet costs are never cheap.
To ensure a success, I also strongly recommend that the whole family is involved in the process of choosing the pet.
Where are you going to keep the pet?
Do you have the gear needed to look after the animal?
If the pet is young, their care is more specific, more difficult and is often required more frequently as they go through the various stages of growth. Regular human interaction is often more needed.
Good pet day care is based on a good daily routine. Just as for you, your pet will need food! Good nourishment is based on the same principles as for you and is even more important for your pet. Ensure that he has a routine of eating a variety of foods. As for us, avoid too many treats (only as part of our balanced diet!) and certainly discourage giving food from the table. It is difficult to stop pets begging at the table if it's worked before.
Exercise for the pet is as important for your pet as for you. Dogs' origin was based on walking long distances searching for food and most breeds have the stamina for doing more than ten miles a day. A daily one hour walk is probably the minimum to consider. If you do not have time for it, there are people such as us who will do the dog walking for you. Exercise for dogs in London is a particular problem due to our "busy lifestyles" and lack of external space - the reason why using a London dog walker is so often required.
Grooming is important. Wild animals were able to wash and self-groom. Many of the longer haired breeds have lost that possibility. It should not be seen as a chore, rather as the equivalent to having "quality time" together.
Some pets require bathing and this is one bit of advice which can lead to a great discussion between experts. The right frequency is very dependent on the animal, short or long haired, interior or exterior lifestyle and the breed. The pet's hair has essential oils that you can wash out so I would err on the side of caution.
Pet breeders are often a good source of information.
Pet care is important to having a wonderful relationship with your dog, so spend time on it, as it is a great investment. Enjoy your pet!
Specific Pet Care
We love hamsters, having had a dwarf russian hamster ourselves. Here is a page on choosing a hamster and to help you with hamster care.
We also love rats, having had dumbo rats.
Here is an introduction to Guinea Pig care, an easy friendly pet. When well looked after, they can live up to eight or more years which is nice, but could be a problem if chosen for a child who may not wish to look after it through its natural life. A guinea pig's average life is about 4 or 5 years.
Information and advice about other pets to come.
London Veterinary Clinics
The experts in animal care - if in doubt contact your local veterinary clinic.