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5 common pet blunders owners make but are easy to avoid

5 common pet blunders owners make but are easy to avoid
Dr Katrina Warren

Most pet owners do their best to provide excellent care for their four-legged friends. But even the most well intentioned of owners can make mistakes. Veterinarian Dr Katrina Warren shares her advice about some of the mistakes pet owners can make and aspects to be careful about.

Buying a pet online

Buying a pet online
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Buying a pet online is risky because you will have absolutely no idea about the conditions that the pet was raised in or the health of the pet. You should aim to see the puppy or kitten in the place it was born, preferably while they are still with their mother. Ensure the premises are clean and the puppies or kittens are friendly and well cared for. Consider adopting a pet from a welfare shelter as an alternative. You should always be prepared to wait and travel to find the right pet.

Perhaps the breed you’re looking for is on this list of the most popular?

Choosing the wrong pet for your lifestyle

Choosing the wrong pet for your lifestyle
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You should never choose a dog or cat based on appearance or because you saw that breed in a movie. Be realistic about how much time and space you have, how much exercise you can provide, the amount of money you’re prepared to spend on care and grooming, and how much time the pet will be alone each day. The energy level of the pet is important – some owners want a dog to take out jogging, while others want a lap dog to watch TV with them. Take time to find the right pet for your lifestyle.

These are the 13 quietest dog breeds that won’t bark too much.

Not keeping cats indoors

Not keeping cats indoors
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We all want to keep our pets safe and healthy. It’s a fact that keeping cats indoors increases their lifespan by reducing the potential incidence of fighting with other animals as well as possible car accidents. Most cats will live very contentedly indoors if they have plenty to do. Consider enriching the home environment with a climbing tree, scratching post, toys, cat grass and access to a view.

Check out these 13 other things you do that your cat actually hates.

Boredom

Boredom

All pets need an environment that allows them to express natural behaviours. When pets become bored they are more likely to make their own fun, often resulting in destructive behaviours such as chewing, digging, barking, clawing furniture, etc. It’s important that pets receive adequate exercise and mental stimulation. Offering safe chew toys and food dispensing toys gives dogs an outlet for chewing behaviour and can help alleviate stress. Give your pet as much companionship as you can and take your dog on outings whenever possible.

Here are four more strange cat behaviours and what they really mean.

Allowing your pet to become overweight

Allowing your pet to become overweight
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Just like the human population, there is a high level of obesity among our pets. And just like overweight people, there are serious health implications. Obese pets are prone to cardiac disease, respiratory problems and diabetes. Monitor your pet’s weight and be sure to reduce caloric intake or increase exercise if necessary.

Check out these 12 foods you didn’t know could kill your dog.

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Other common mistakes

Other common mistakes
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  1. Don’t give cats cow’s milk; they can’t digest lactose and may get diarrhoea.
  2. Don’t allow multiple cats to use the same litterbox as they don’t like to share.
  3. Don’t forget annual vet and dental checks. They’re important for good health.

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