Keeping pets is a good choice. Scientific studies have proved that pet ownership brings many health benefits by lowering the risks of physical and mental health issues. Here are some useful tips on raising them in a safe manner.
Every hobby has some hazards and raising a pet is no exception. Here you would learn necessary precautions and some right ways to keep your pet animal and family safe:
Say No to Exotic Pets:
On February 16th, 2023, a leopard went on the rampage, wreaking havoc in Islamabad. It took local park rangers several hours to finally capture the big cat. 4 people including Islamabad Wildlife Management workers sustained injuries in this dramatic incident. The leopard was believed to have escaped from a private zoo in a gated housing society. Such incidents have happened before, so it’s needless to mention that keeping a wild animal as a pet is illegal as well as dangerous.
Domestic cats, dogs (friendly breeds), parrots and rabbits etc. are some of the ideal pets you can safely keep at home. Not all animals can be your domestic pets; some could only be kept safe in their natural habitat. No matter how well you train them, they could go rogue without warning! Bigger (wild) cats, venomous snakes, wolves, elephants, crocodiles, or any wild animal should not be kept as a pet for safety reasons.
Avoid Aggressive Dog Breeds:
A dog is considered man’s best friend but over 800,000 dog attacks are still reported every year. Although any dog can misbehave, their behavior mostly depends on how nicely they were raised, but certain breeds are notoriously known for being aggressive. You can legally own any dog in Pakistan, it is better not to choose extreme breeds. A 70-year-old woman was mauled to death by a Pitbull in Albertson, (NY) United States. This horrific incident happened in July 2022; the 7 years old killer, later shot by a responding police officer, was their family dog. More recently on February 6th, 2023, a 34-year-old Indian journalist was attacked by a Pitbull in New Delhi, India. Some dog lovers may still disagree, but statistics confirm that this breed is responsible for the most injuries and deaths than any other dog breed. Pitbull dogs are not only aggressive but also are physically strong. This lethal combination makes them the least favorite for keeping as a family dog. They do not just tend to attack other animals and strangers but sometimes also bite their owner. Pitbull, along with Rottweiler, German Shepherd, Gull Terrier, Siberian Husky and some other breeds should be avoided. Some of these extreme breeds may serve as a good guard dog but could be threatening to your family and friends. Golden Retriever, Indian Pariah Dog, Beagle and Labrador Retriever are some of the friendliest dog breeds.
Never train your animal to attack:
As mentioned earlier, any dog breed could become friendly or aggressive. It largely depends on how well the animal is raised. It’s advisable to get a young puppy and raise it with love and care. A family dog should not be trained to attack people or animals, cats, birds, or other dogs etc. Training a guard dog is a skillful and highly responsible task. You must have full control on your guard dogs, they need to react on threats, and be civilized with your friends and strangers posing no real threat. If you get a new adult dog, be extremely cautious and watch out for any aggressive behavior. A dog may need several weeks to adjust to the new owner and their family. It is also advisable to walk your dog on leash.
Educate Your Kids Not to Misbehave:
Instructing your children to be nice and friendly with their pet animal is also important. Whether you have a dog, cat, or any other animal, it should be treated with love and care. Do not hit, tease a sleeping animal, pull the cat/dog by the tail or take their meal/toy away for the sake of fun. Constant abuse could make them irritable and aggressive. They could go rogue; attack people/animals, refuse to eat and tend to self-harm. Avoid leaving your young kids alone with dogs.
Vaccinate your Pet:
Any mammal pet has potential to catch rabies; a lethal virus which could be transmitted to humans by infected animal’s saliva. So, it is important to have your cat/dog vaccinated against rabies on time. Other than rabies, your dog may also need vaccination against Parvo, Distemper and Adenovirus. And cats may be vaccinated against Herpes (Rhinotracheitis) and Calicivirus (FVR-CP) as well. Consult your veterinary doctor, spending some money and time on your pet could help them stay fit and healthy.
Living with respiratory allergies and pets is a bad combination. If you or any other housemate is allergic to animal dander, some adjustments may be required to manage the problem. First, you need to relocate your pet outside, but it should be a comfortable place for a pet to live. Don’t make them suffer in extreme weather. You should not keep an animal if you cannot arrange a livable outdoor shelter. If the dog or cat was previously sharing the same room with you, it is advisable to wash all the bed sheets, carpets, and curtains to get rid of lingering dander. Keep your pet clean but allergic persons should be careful while bathing/cleaning the animal; wear respiratory protection and change your clothes after work. And last but not the least advice is to choose a dog or cat breed which sheds a lesser amount of dander.
Minimizing House Hazards for Pets: There are documented cases of cats and dogs accidently igniting things leading to deadly fires. They can pull cords and gas pipes, tip over running appliances and chew cables causing electric to short-circuit and gas leakage which could eventually start deadly house fires! You need to make your home pet safe. Properly wind-up cords when not in use, and hazardous items should be kept of sight and out of reach of your pet animals. Do not let a dog or cat enter the kitchen to stay safe.