This February, we’re celebrating Responsible Pet Owners Month with our SurreyCats community. Pets bring so much joy and happiness into our lives, so let's make sure we’re doing everything we can for our furry friends! Providing your animals with a safe and loving home is a huge part of being a responsible pet owner and guardian.
Here are 11 ways to keep your pets safe, healthy, and loved!
1. Take your pet to the vet regularly
Annual vet appointments are a great way to maintain a healthy life for your pets. Vets can identify potentially harmful health issues and prescribe medication or treatment before they become more serious. They also ensure your pets stay up-to-date with vaccines and generally keep them feeling their best!
2. Spay/neuter your pet
We advocate for pets getting spayed and neutered. One of the most important steps you can take as a pet guardian is ensuring your pets aren’t contributing to the number of homeless and stray cats in Surrey. Spaying/neutering your cats also has health benefits, like decreasing the risk of fatal cancers.
If you live in Surrey and need help covering the cost of spaying/neutering your cat, you can apply to our spay/neuter program.
3. Feed your pet a well-balanced nutritious diet
Like us humans, our pets need to maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet. And just like humans, not every diet is suitable for every animal. Different animals need different things, at different stages of their lives. Talk to your vet and figure out what factors, such as allergies, age, weight, etc. are influencing the type of food your pet should be eating to stay healthy. We recommend pet food that doesn’t contain any by-products.
4. Pet proof your home
Cats are curious and extremely agile, meaning we have to make sure their environments are as safe as possible. Include pet proofing on your to-do list before you bring home your pet. Keep harmful products—like medication and toxic plants—hidden away, and make sure they can’t escape or get lost. Check out these more specific tips.
5. Encourage your pet to exercise
Even though cats are professional loungers, they still need exercise to stay healthy. While not all cats are suited for the adventurous lifestyle, cat toys are a great way to keep them active. Find some great toys for your kitties at our SurreyCats Online Store. (Bonus: All sales go towards helping cats in our Surrey community!)
6. Maintain your pet’s dental care
Cats need their teeth brushed regularly to prevent dental disease. While it may not be the easiest task, it’s part of being a responsible pet guardian. Don't forget to use pet-safe toothpaste. If you don’t know where to start, check out these tips.
7. Ensure your pet is properly identified
Sometimes the unexpected happens. Proper identification is a great way to make sure you can find your furry family member if they ever escape. Whether it's tags, microchips, or ear tattoos, don't forget to keep their registration and your contact information up-to-date.
8. Include your pet in your emergency disaster plan
We always hear about the “Big One” here in British Columbia. We’re constantly reminded to have an emergency disaster kit ready to go. Don’t forget to include supplies for your pets, such as food and water and anything else needed to keep them safe. Start with the BC SPCA Pet Disaster Plan Checklist.
9. Make arrangements for your pet to be cared for when/if you can't
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve been home with our pets more than ever. When “normal life” starts back up again, there might be days when you need a little extra help taking care of your pets. Have a plan in place for your animals if you’re going away, even for the day. This might include getting a friend to look after them or finding somewhere to board them. Ask a friend or family member to be the designated person to take care of your pet in emergencies and carry a pet emergency care card in your wallet with their phone number. You can create your own card that says “If I become ill or injured, please contact the person on the back of this card to care for my pets.”
10. Have pet insurance or emergency savings
Pets can be expensive, and sometimes they get sick or injured. A great way to prepare for unexpected vet bills is to get pet insurance or put away money regularly. This will help take away some of the stress, so you can focus on helping your kitty feel better instead of worrying about how you’re going to pay for it.
11. Give your pet lots of TLC
This might be the easiest step, but it’s crucial. Giving your pets lots of love and attention ensures they feel happy and safe. It’s the least we can do considering everything they do for us!