Our guide to being a responsible pet parent

The more we learn about our pets, the more we understand just what goes into being a responsible pet parent. As members of our family, their health, well-being and safety is in our hands; and so in this article we take a look at what it means to be a responsible pet parent and what you can do to keep them happy, healthy and safe

From their health needs to microchipping, sterilisation and taking your pet into public places, here are some of the basics:

Pet insurance
Medical costs, even for the most common veterinary procedures like vaccinations, add up; and accidents are usually totally unexpected and often costly. Having pet insurance can ensure that those unexpected medical costs don’t stand in the way of providing the necessary care for your pet.

Every pet insurance has its pros and cons and different benefits or levels of cover but don’t let price put you off – loyalty cover starts at just R1 day. Take a look at the full Pet Insurance offering from Absolute Pets and read this handy guide to choosing the right pet insurance.

It’s a horrible thought but hundreds of cats and dogs go missing every day. Microchipping your pet is highly recommended as it significantly increases the chances of locating a lost pet.

Microchipping is a quick and easy process that can be done by your vet. The chip is inserted via syringe into the scruff of the neck. The tiny chip carries important contact information that a vet or animal shelter will be able to scan should your pet go missing. The aim is that you will be reunited with your pet as quickly as possible.

Pet identity tags
Whilst microchipping is so valuable, it’s also a good idea to place an identity tag on your cat or dog’s collar, with your pet’s name and your own contact details. This way, if your pet happens to get lost, you are just a phone call away. Absolute Pets offers this service in store or online and you can choose from a wide range of colours and shapes (circles, hearts, dog bones and more) – view the range of tags on offer.

Many organisations are implementing sterilisation drives in an effort to address the over-population of homeless dogs and cats. If you are not set on your pet having puppies or kittens we encourage you to consider sterilising your pet. Talk to your vet or animal shelter about sterilisation.

Safety & responsibility in public places
More and more public places such as beaches, restaurants, hotels and shopping centres, are becoming pet-friendly which is really good news for all us pet-lovers. However, this means we need to ensure we are properly equipped for these public spaces.

It is important to keep your pet on a leash at all times in public places, even if they are well-trained. Public places bring unique smells that could excite them as well as unpredictable circumstances that could put your pet or other pets at risk.

There are many different types of leads for all sized dogs and that cater for all types of challenges. From retractable leads, to shock absorbent leads and reflective leads. View our full range of leads online.

Always carry poop bags with you so you can clean up any mess that your pet makes. We stock handy poop bags and special dispensers which attach to their lead, making cleaning up a snap to handle, while also considering others and the environment.

Travelling with your pet
In days gone by pet safety whilst travelling wasn’t something we thought much about. However, the more we take our pets out and about with us the more we need to consider how we travel with them. There are some great products available that will ensure your cat or dog is safe and comfortable when on the move.

Recommended products for pet travel:

A seat belt to keep your pets secure.
A pet carrier, especially for cats, to prevent your pet from roaming around inside your vehicle and to keep them safe and comfortable.

Exercising your pet
With our lives being as busy as they are it is very easy to neglect your pet’s exercise needs. Each pet is different but all pets require some degree of exercise and stimulation every day. A dog should be taken for a walk every day and for both dogs and cats there are some fun, interactive toys you can invest in that will help keep them stimulated and busy while you’re away.

There are so many ways you can exercise with your pet and have fun at the same time. Read our article on 10 brilliant ways to exercise with your pet and what you need to know about pet exercise.

Taking care of your pet’s health & nutritional needs
Thanks to the expertise of vets and animal behaviourists, we now know so much more than we ever have about our pets and the role we play in keeping them happy and healthy. Their nutrition and eating habits play a critical role in their health and well-being, which we, as pet parents, are responsible for. Therefore, it’s important to understand their needs so we can provide the best we can for them.

From selecting a vet-recommended food to which bowl is best to assist with how they consume their food. For example, a slow feeder bowl is designed to slow them down when eating and also improves digestion and dental health.

When it comes to vaccinations, deworming and tick and flea treatment there is a lot to remember, but we have made it easy for you with our Routine Care Guide. Print it out and stick it on the fridge to help keep track and ensure you don’t miss any important treatments. Your cat or dog needs protection all year round.
For other healthcare needs, view our full range of health supplements.

Your pet needs to be groomed on a regular basis as it improves your pet’s condition. A brush aerates their coat, is good for blood circulation, removing dead skin cells and unclogging pores. For long-haired pets, grooming helps to prevent mats which can be painful and difficult to remove and, for cats, grooming prevents hairballs. When it comes to hygiene, grooming can help keep all the nooks and crannies clean, preventing nasty infections. Read our article on the importance of grooming for more info or visit an Absolute Pets Spa near you.