Being a pet owner – whether of a dog, cat or small mammal – is a wonderful privilege. Pets bring joy and love into our lives. But at the same time, you are responsible for keeping your pet happy and healthy – and being a responsible pet owner is a life-long commitment.
Being your pet’s best friend brings a lot of responsibilities!
Pet ownership is a serious commitment that takes time and energy. In addition to meeting your pet's basic needs, there are some extremely important rules of responsible pet ownership you need to know to keep your pet in good health and enjoying life.
Pets’ Basic Needs
You are responsible for ensuring that your pet has...
- the opportunity to express its natural behaviour
- healthy diet and access to fresh water
- a comfortable resting place
- regular exercise (clicker training, free space to run, etc.)
- protection from stress, illness, injury
You are responsible for ensuring that your pet gets...
- annual vaccinations
- regular preventative parasitic treatment
- annual/general health checks
- nail clipping, dental checks and grooming
- vet consultation when your pet is sick/injured
Training and Socialisation
You are responsible for ensuring that your pet...
- understands basic commands
- is socialised well to cope with life (other pets, people, children, noises…)
- receives behavioural training when necessary from a reputable behaviourist
- receives reward-based training and not punishment-based training
- receives mental stimulation through training and enrichment
You are responsible for ensuring that your pet (dog or cat)...
- is microchipped and the details are kept up to date on the microchip database
- is kept on a leash and under control in public places
- does not leave any waste that is not picked up
- does not bother wildlife or farm animals
- has pet insurance and is kept according to legislation
- does not bother people (bikers, joggers etc.)
- is not aggressive to other pets
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FOUR PAWS infographic "Being a responsible pet owner"