Everything you need to know about owning an animal.

Attention, all potential new pet owners. I introduce you to my latest blog which will depict all you need to know about the responsibilities of owning an animal. Whether that be a cat, dog, rabbit, hamster, budgie and so on and so forth. Having a pet isn’t a fashion statement, something to show off how “well” you might be doing or something that must be the next step in a relationship. There is so much more that comes with owning a pet, than just companionship. So here I will explain the most vital points you need to know.

Vet Bills
So at the top here, we have the most important point that comes with owning a pet, especially cats and dogs. You don’t just save up hundreds of pounds to buy a dog or a cat and then that’s it, nothing else to worry about financially. They need preventative treatment throughout their life, such as flea/worm/vaccinations. These are all things that will cost an average of a couple hundred a year. More if you have a large breed dog as the bigger the animal, the more expensive your bills will be. This is all without mention of illness or injury. It doesn’t take long for a vet bill to rack up, so don’t assume your pet will be ok. What happens if God forbid they’re hit by a car? That can cost at least three grand to put right. So this leads me on to the next point.

Pet Insurance!
I can’t stress enough how important it is to have your pet insured. I’ve seen all too often, animals having been in a road traffic accident and the bill came to a lot of money and the owners are unable to pay and on top of that, they don’t have insurance. It’s very difficult. So please PLEASE if it’s one thing you do when you get a new pet, insure it! Not only this but insure them with a reputable company and if you’re unsure which company to go for, ask around or ask your vet. The cheapest usually isn’t the best so just be aware.

Dog walking
Having a dog requires a lot of physical exercise, for you and for your dog. Again, like above, it depends on the breed of dog you get as to whether they need an hour a day or three hours a day. If you’re going to get a Husky, then you need to be prepared to take if for three walks a day and to strictly train them in recall. Otherwise the minute you let them off the lead. You may not get them back. Lead walks aren’t always the best, to me they’re walks you give if you don’t have time or if they’re recovering from an operation or if they’re mini breeds you can get away with it. In my opinion, dogs need a good run to let off steam, maybe on a field or on a beach in the winter.

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(Above picture is one of my favourite photos of my two lovely Cocker Spaniels racing around a frozen field)

Training
I’m sure this point goes without saying, training. Don’t train them, then be prepared to have a life of stress because they’ll be sure to run rings around you. I’ve learnt that myself. My 9 month old cocker spaniel is a little terror and he does run rings around me. The reason for this is because I’ve not had the time I had when I got Willow, my one and a half year old cocker spaniel. Luckily he’s still young, so I’m cracking down on him but he does give me that look as if to say “yeah, come on then”. Naughty rat bag. Even teaching them the basic of commands like sit, down or paw, these layout the boundaries and let’s them know who’s boss.

Diet

I won’t go into this subject too much because I’m not an animal dietician but I’ve found that certain diets are better than others. For example, most foods you can get from supermarkets are the equivalent of eating McDonald’s all of the time. They’re high in fats and usually not in nutrients. You should read up and find out exactly what is in your dogs food. My two are on Millie’s Wolfheart and have thrived off of it ever since. I know exactly what’s in it, they have people on hand to answer any questions you have, by email or telephone. They have different diets to suit the dog you have and how much exercise they get. It’s important to know what your animal is eating because it could be the source of a few problems later on. I.e. Weigh issues.

Grooming
This is mainly for dogs really, unless you have a particular breed of cat like a Main Coon. Most breeds of dogs will need regular grooming to keep up with their coat. Cocker Spaniels should be groomed at least every 8 weeks. If you’re keeping their coat long then possibly every 6 weeks. You should be prepared to brush them at least every other day if not, everyday. Some breeds don’t necessarily need the full works at a grooming parlour but will at least need a bath every now and then. If I leave Willow or Gatsby too long at the groomers, their fur becomes extremely matted which can cause pain for them. You know the sort of pain you get when trapping your skin in a zipper, that type of pain. I’m lucky because my mum is a dog groomer, otherwise this will cost you roughly £30-40 a time. The price will depend on the groomer.
As for cats, they groom themselves but breeds like Main Coons, can only groom so much before they need to be taken to a cat groomer (yes they exist) or if they’re too scared then in to the vets for a sedation and de-matting.

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(Above picture is of my boy Gatsby getting ready for this bath)

Love
Having a pet requires a lot of love, wet nose kisses and cuddles in bed. If you can’t provide this, it’s simple, don’t get a pet. There are lots of things you can do to bond with your pet, you can take them to things like obedience training or agility training for dogs or a chaser toy for cats. Or simply cuddling up whilst watching TV, yes some cats do this. Having a pet is a blessing and you should enjoy every day with them, they’ll make you laugh and make you cry and sometimes make you scream because they’re scratching at the back door when they’ve just been out. Or they’ve just done a poo on your landing when they’ve been out all morning. My dog Gatsby regularly poo’s on my mothers landing and to add insult to injury he actually wiped his butt by scooting along her carpet. Needless to say, he wasn’t is her good books.
They’ll drive you crazy, I myself have gone so dog crazy that I now have a pet camera set up on my living room so that I can watch them when I’m not home. It’s brilliant, they’re good kids, if they’re barking I can just turn the microphone on and speaks to them. I would seriously think about investing in one if you’re out regularly.

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(Above picture is of myself and Willow taking part in an Agility Show)

This blog is absolutely not here to scare people off buying a dog, more warn people of what to expect. Wouldn’t you prefer to have done your research and be prepared, than to impulse buy a new Pug puppy, who at some point, may need corrective surgery to help them breath better. You MUST MUST MUST do your research of the breed of dog you want, because some breeds have specific issues that will need addressing. If this helps just one person at least insure their puppy or kitten, then I’ve done my job.

If you have found this informative and have enjoyed it, I would really love any feedback 🙂 thank you!

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2 thoughts on “Everything you need to know about owning an animal.

    • Laura Holderness says:

      Thank you Sarah!!! It’s hard and I feel for those that don’t get them because these reasons, but it’s a smart move. It’s the people who get them anyway, thinking nothing will happen and then they’re stung with a huge vet bill, can’t pay it hen the animal needs to be put to sleep 😦 xx

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