Being a pet owner can seem like a lot of guessing and then even more second-guessing. Are we always doing what’s best for our pets at all times? We’re here to answer the age old question about pets: How Often Should I...? Whether you’re wondering about feeding treats to your new kitten or bathing your dog, we’ve got you covered when it comes to recurring responsibilities.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I…
… bathe my dog?
This one depends on a few things, like breed, coat and activity level. It also depends on your best judgement as a pet owner as you get to know your dog and their self grooming habits. Dogs instinctively know when and how to groom themselves, but they need a little help every now and then. A good rule of thumb is to bathe them no more than once a week. Over bathing your dog can strip them of oils that are found in their skin that keep their coat healthy. Bath time is a great time to check out your dog’s overall health. You can easily monitor weight gain or loss and look for skin irritations.
… brush my pet’s teeth?
When it comes to brushing your dog’s teeth, you should do it daily. While that is a huge time commitment, every other day will do the trick. It’s best to get them acquainted with it as young as possible to ease the process. It’s important to obtain a special canine toothbrush that will reach all of your dog’s teeth. Also, make sure you’re not using human toothpaste. Fluoride is found in human toothpaste, which is highly dangerous to dogs. There are special kinds of toothpaste for dogs that work with the bacteria in their mouth.
… feed my pets treats?
The saying “too much of a good thing” definitely applies to treats and our pets. For dogs, you want to make sure you’re only giving treats to reward good, calm behavior. Treats are effective in training your dog, as well. After they are trained, you can give them a few treats in between meals. For cats, who don’t usually need to be trained, treats can be given in between meals.
… clean the litter box?
Cats are just like people, in that they want to use a clean restroom every day. Because of this, it is important to clean your cat’s litter box every day. If you have more than one cat, you’ll really want to stay on top of this. If their litter box isn’t cleaned, they could start using other areas of your house to go to the bathroom. Changing the litter completely can happen less often. Again, depending on how many cats you have, using the litter box effects when you should do it. For a one cat household, once a week, or once every 10 days should be okay. If you have more than one cat, once a week is the minimum amount of time you should go without changing the litter. Remember to throw away the old litter, and wash the tray with dish soap. Let it dry completely before adding new littler.
… groom my pets?
At home grooming depends on the coat of your pet. For short hair dogs, they only need an occasional brushing. Once every week to two weeks should help cut down on shedding. For dogs with double coats who shed seasonally, plan on brushing them quite often to get rid of the dead undercoat. Cats are good at grooming themselves, but need to be brushed. For short haired cats, once every one to two weeks is sufficient. For long haired cats, brushing should occur every other day to maintain any mats or clumps that are forming. It’s always a good idea to see a groomer once a month, or seasonally to keep your pet’s coat looking fresh. For long haired cats and dogs, always let a groomer get rid of mats in their fur. Remember that all pets should have their nails trimmed about once a month.
… take my pets to the vet?
The best way to maintain your pet’s health is to take them to the vet. A veterinarian will be able to do a full exam, and catch anything that looks abnormal. For this reason, you should take your adult pets to the vet at least once a year. Just like humans, puppies and senior pets should see the vet more often.
Being a responsible pet owner really depends on developing good habits that you and your pet will both benefit from. Whether it is a small task like feeding them treats, or more important responsibilities like taking them to vet, it seems like a lot to remember. With practice, and repetitions, you and your pet will fall into a routine that gets the job done. If you have any questions about responsible pet ownership, please contact us on our website, or call us at 602-559-5500.