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A Guide to Being a Responsible Pet Owner


Monday February 6th 2017



Pet owners are legally obliged to take proper care of their animals and ensure that their needs are met to the fullest extent, so that they can live a happy, high quality life.

Owning a pet is a great responsibility, and you must be confident that you can meet their many needs throughout the rest of their lives before you make the decision to buy. So to help raise awareness we’ve compiled a list of the ten most basic needs you should consider, and be able to provide, in order to become a responsible pet owner.

1. Think through all aspects of owning the pet before deciding to buy

- Avoid impulse decisions
- Consider your lifestyle and home space
- Consider your budget, and only own the number of pets for which you can provide all necessities

2. Train and socialise your pet

- Make sure you are able to invest both the time and money needed to do this
- Ensure that you can provide the appropriate amount of mental and physical stimulation for your pet

3. Provide your pet with a well-balanced diet

- Prior to making the decision to buy, ensure you have the funds to keep up with these costs throughout their lifetime
- Do not let your pet become either over or under weight, to a point where it might affect their quality of life


4. Ensure your pet has suitable housing and bedding

- Make sure your home space is appropriate for your pet’s specific needs
- If you intend to keep your pet outside, ensure that they are kept warm during the winter months, and have access to shade in the warmer months


5. Clean up after your pet

- It’s your responsibility as a pet owner to clean up after your pet in public areas. Failure to do this can result in on the spot fines of up to £80


6. Protect your pet against disease

- Ensure that your pet has received all necessary vaccinations
- Worm them regularly
- Be on the lookout for ticks, fleas, or any other parasite which might be causing them discomfort

7. Prevent unwanted litters and neuter your pet if needed

- Overpopulation of pets is a big problem. If you don’t have the means to support a new animal in your life, get your current pet spayed or neutered
- If you do decide to breed from your pet, make sure you do it in a safe and controlled manner


8. Properly groom your pet on a regular basis

- Matted fur can irritate the skin and cause infection in any wounds
- It is significantly harder to spot fleas or ticks if a pet hasn’t been groomed properly
- Groomers are able to spot health issues such as skin conditions, cysts, and ear infections before you might even notice there’s a problem


9. Make sure your pet is properly identified

- Microchip your pet to increase your chances of finding them should they ever stray
- It is now a legal requirement for dogs to be microchipped before the age of 8 weeks
- If you own a cat or dog, make sure they have a name tag which includes their name and your contact details


10. Take out pet insurance

- It’s important to cover yourself against unexpected costs, so that your pet isn’t put at a disadvantage if they need any medical attention which you hadn’t planned for