Dog

National Pet Month: Love Them Well

Sindi Barrios

Did you know that at least 50% of UK adults own a pet? At Pet Drugs Online, we celebrate our pets with you every day. However, this month is particularly special – it is National Pet Month. While National Pet Month occurs throughout April, we try to spread awareness of what it means to be a pet owner and spread the word of “Love Them Well”.

If lockdown has taught us anything, it is just how much comfort and company our pets bring us during challenging and unpredictable times. They are there for us through thick and thin. We also notice how much the small things really matter, like joining us for a Sunday doze or the tap dance some of our four legged-friends do when it’s time to go for our daily walk. So with those small pockets of joy in mind, it’s time to give back and help them to live a happy, healthy and long life.

Responsible Pet Ownership 
Loneliness and isolation are both horrible feelings, and our pets prevent us from reaching those stages with continuous love and affection. However, making sure they are properly cared for comes with being a responsible pet owner. While it’s easy to assume we can guess our way around owning a pet, there are little tips and tricks which can do to keep them at the prime of their life.

Firstly, we know we should be as committed to our pets as much as they are committed to us. It is important to recognise their needs and improve their quality of life by researching our pet’s breed, age and any other details we may know for example if they’re a rescue animal or from previous owners.

Starting from the basics we have put together a checklist to take care of our animals:

– Microchip and vaccinate your pet with your vet’s guidance
Understanding that pets can sometimes wander off or get lost should encourage pet owners to have their pet microchipped. They must be able to be identified for added protection and security, and most importantly, enable our chances of being reunited. Microchipping is also a legal requirement for dogs.

Vaccinating your pets against harmful bacteria, diseases, and viruses will mean that they are safe to go outside, and it will dramatically improve their health.

– Identify your pets with a collar and tag 
Along with micro-chipping, make sure your pets have a tag with YOUR name, address and contact details. By law, all dogs in public places must wear a collar with all these details inscribed on the tag.  This will be crucial information if they get lost, especially in those early-off-the-lead stages.

– Feed your pets the right food 
Research which foods are best for your pet’s breed, height and weight. It will guarantee them the best nutrition for their development. Ensuring your pet is fed the right foods can increase their lifespan up to 2 years – it’s a no-brainer, right?

– Make sure their drinking water is always fresh 
Just like us, pets should be drinking fresh water regularly to support their hydration levels as well as their growth and development. Leaving them to drink old, stagnant water can result in them being unwell and leaving you with a swift trip to the vets.

– Keep on top of fleas and ticks 
As we enter warmer weather, the flea and tick season spikes which means our pets are more likely to be exposed to them. A great tip from our Head Vet at Pet Drugs Online, John Campbell, is ‘Comb your pet regularly. It’s not just a great thing to do – but it is also a great chance to look for signs of fleas’.

Shop our flea and tick prevention range.

Care for their wellbeing 
We are the most important figure in our pet’s life, not only do they rely on us but they come to us for love and a sense of belonging. Caring for their wellbeing is key when it comes to ensuring they have a good quality of life.

We’ve broken down some further tips and advice when it comes to taking our role as a pet owner seriously:

For dog owners 

-Keep a lead at hand on walks 
Your dog may be trusted on the lead and to behave perfectly, but when on walks, other dogs or people passing could cause unpredictable situations. It is important to keep everyone safe by putting your dog back on the lead and remaining observant of the surroundings.

– Keep things clean 
Care for our environment and make sure you are always prepared for dog walks. Being able to clean up after them when they need to do their business is not only respectful but a good example for other pet owners to follow.

– Exercise your dog daily 
Keeping them fit and healthy is all part of being a responsible pet owner, not only do they really enjoy going out to socialise, marking their territory and stretching their legs… it’s an important step in keeping their weight at bay. After all, you will reduce your dog’s health problems in the long term and prolong their life.

Introduce boundaries early on 
By making it clear with your dog the boundaries and rules, they can more easily pick up how to behave. It is crucial to stay consistent and not to raise voices or shout at your pets, they are only following the rules and guidelines we set. Patience is key, and they will love you more for it.

Shop for dog medicines and supplies here.

For cat owners

– Play with them 
Cats need excitement and enrichment as well as other pets, even if some of them seem unbothered, they will come to you when they want attention and playtime, so it is important to pay attention to their communication.

– Keep their tray clean
Casting an eye over their litter tray regularly is worth it, not only does it improve their hygiene, but it is also good to keep them relaxed and encouraged to use it.

– Refresh their food and water 
Unlike dogs, cats can be picky about when they feel hungry, however, they will always come back to their food and water. Keep food and water fresh to avoid them becoming unwell.

– Prevent cats from getting hairballs 
Providing cats with foods and treatments that prevent hairballs from being developed in their digestive system will help stop the build-up of further health problems.

Shop for cat medicines and supplies here.

Small pets 

– Keep their environment clean 
By taking care of small pet living environments means that they will be much more relaxed, less stressed and can prevent any digestive issues, for example, eating things they shouldn’t.

– Top up their bedding 
Refreshing their cage with new bedding means their sleep and comfort will be improved. It will also help prevent the cage from smelling unpleasant or becoming unhygienic.

– Provide fresh food and water 
Topping up the food bowl with suggested snacks keeps their diet exciting and nutritious. Like other pets, their water should be refreshed regularly to decrease the chances of them becoming unwell.

Shop small pet medicines and supplies here.

If you ever need guidance – that’s what we’re here for. Our customer service team are on hand to answer any questions you may have regarding the products we sell to support your pet. Read here for more advice, tips and tricks.

To celebrate and spread awareness with us, share our articles from Pet Advice and tag us in social media posts. You can also use the hashtag #LoveThemWell and #NationalPetMonth.

If in doubt contact your veterinary practice

And always keep your vet's phone number handy - just in case!