Five Critical Elements of Responsible Pet Care

Ensuring the health and longevity of your pet can ensure a happier life for both of you. Many pet owners, however, neglect some of the basic necessities of pet care through a fundamental lack of understanding of the needs of their dog or cat. Here are five often-overlooked but necessary elements in responsible pet care.

Dental Care

Regular veterinary visits are a must for any dog or cat. Most areas require annual rabies shots to protect pets and other animals from the spread of this deadly disease. Other annual shots are designed to provide protection against various illnesses and to minimize the effects of fleas, ticks and other parasites on pets who routinely go outside. Dental care, however, may be overlooked in the regular round of veterinary care. Both dogs and cats can suffer from cavities, infections, gum disease and other dental issues that require immediate attention by a trained veterinary professional. Incorporating dental examinations into your regular routine can help protect your pets against serious issues throughout their lives.

Vitamin Supplements

While most of the nutrition pets receive comes from their daily diet of specially formulated food, dogs and cats may require added help during various stages of their lives. Vitamin and mineral supplements can provide added energy, healthier fur and teeth and increased bone and joint health for dogs and cats of all ages. Many supplements are available over-the-counter and can provide added nutrients for pets on an as-needed or regular basis.


Even if you have a fenced yard, your dog should be walked regularly to ensure that he or she stays active and fit. In areas where outdoor walks may be unsafe or impractical, running on a treadmill or playing ball in the backyard can provide healthy exercise for dogs of all sizes and breeds. Interactive toys can provide the same benefits for housebound cats and can create a closer bond between pets and their people.

Neutering or Spaying

As you probably already know, spaying or neutering your pet can prevent unwanted animals from entering the world and the adoption marketplace. These procedures can also have significant benefits for you and your pet in terms of health and socialization. Intact animals have a greater tendency toward aggression toward other pets and may try to escape your home or yard due to hormonal influences. Neutered and spayed pets are less likely to spray and often live longer, healthier lives thanks to this simple procedure.

Down Time

Providing pets with a safe area to which they can retreat when the noise and intensity becomes too much can ensure a safer environment for people and pets alike. For dogs, an indoor kennel or enclosure can serve as a safe haven from smaller children and unfamiliar guests. Cats often prefer to have an elevated shelf or area from which they can observe family activities at a safe remove. Making a space for pet down time can ensure that these domestic animals feel secure in the home environment and can engage fully with their human companions.

By adding these to your current pet care regimen, you can ensure the health of your dogs and cats and can enjoy many years of companionship together.