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Mitigating Pet Disasters and Improving Behaviour 

Welcoming a pet into your home can be a rewarding experience for your family. They are often a positive and affectionate presence that brings you a little extra joy even on the tough days. However, it’s important to remember there are many challenges involved with pet ownership.

While getting a young puppy or kitten may seem like a cute concept, the reality of caring for a young animal can be filled with hazards and frustration. Indeed, the potential for disaster to rear its head across the course of a pet’s lifespan due to its behaviour or aspects of its environment can seem unending. Not only can this be a source of stress but it can be a financial drain.

This isn’t to say you shouldn’t embrace a pet as a member of your family. But it is important to consider how you can mitigate disasters and improve the behaviour that can be so disruptive. So, let’s take a look at some key considerations.

General Healthcare

One of the most important ways you can mitigate disasters surrounding your pet’s health is by attending to their general healthcare. Animals are susceptible to a variety of illnesses. When left unaddressed, these can impact your pet’s quality of life. You’ll also find the bills relating to an illness can certainly add up.

Firstly, make certain your pet has a well-balanced diet. Make sure you are using the most appropriate and nutritional pet food for the age and size of your animal. It’s also vital to make sure there is always easy access to clean water. Dehydration can be a life-threatening condition, and dogs may be particularly susceptible due to their thick coats and high rates of activity.

You should also become familiar with the signs your pet isn’t feeling well. They don’t have quite the same ability to communicate their illnesses as humans, so look out for symptoms like lethargy, loss of appetite, and difficulty urinating. Spotting potential issues early can limit their negative impact. 

However, one of your most important preventative health measures is gaining medical coverage. A comprehensive pet insurance plan means your companion can get the examinations and treatment they need without causing an undue financial burden on your family. This applies to both chronic illnesses and accidents that might need emergency surgery. There should never be an occasion in which your pet’s quality of life suffers because you can’t afford to pay for their healthcare. As such, getting insurance is essential to responsible pet ownership.

Home Hazards

Your home is filled with items and design elements that make it a comfortable place for your family. Nevertheless, some of these aspects can be routes to disaster when living with a pet. Dogs can be energetic and occasionally reckless, particularly when they’re puppies. This can lead to parts of your home becoming damaged and your pet getting injured. You, therefore, need to mitigate the hazards in the home.

Mitigating the hazards when introducing a puppy into your home involves you examining all areas of the property to identify potential problems. Hanging objects such as electrical wires and curtains can be pulled by a playful dog, leading to damage or injury. Bookcases you haven’t secured to the wall can be tipped over. Even smaller items cluttering up floor space can cause problems with an energetic pet.

As a parent, you’re likely already familiar with how chemicals in the home can be hazardous to your children. The same applies to your pet. Unfortunately, tamper-proof seals are not always a match for an enthusiastic animal with sharp teeth. So, it’s best to keep these in hard-to-reach areas or in spaces to which your pet doesn’t have access. 

You should also consider implementing behavioural training to avoid hazards as early as possible. Teaching your pet to stay out of certain rooms or discouraging rambunctious activities in specific areas can help prevent injury and destruction. 

Destructive Focus

There are some behaviours natural to pets but are harmful to your home, your family members, and even your pet themselves. Part of your approach to mitigating pet disasters needs to be on stopping and redirecting these destructive tendencies.

Your first step is to reduce the stimuli around the house that prompt damaging actions. Put shoes away, regularly empty the laundry hamper, don’t leave inappropriate items your pet likes to chew laying around. If your dog is biting or nipping your children, it’s important to establish whether this is bad behaviour or defensive response. In the case of the latter, you need to discuss animal cruelty and respectful boundaries in an age-appropriate way with your kids.

Once you’ve reduced the potential for destructive actions to occur, it’s time to channel your pet’s chewing focus effectively. Chewing behaviour in dogs and scratching furniture with cats is perfectly natural. In some instances, chewing can be an expression of frustration due to lack of exercise or playtime, so be sure to take your dog out a couple of times a day. You should also give them appropriate objects to direct this behaviour toward. Provide your dog with chew toys and bones. Give your cat a scratching post.  

Simply providing these objects isn’t enough, though. You need to train them on utilizing these dedicated objects rather than furniture and hazardous materials. Praise them for using their chew toys or scratching posts. Make these activities positive for them. Coupled with swift and firm reprimands when they chew inappropriate objects, this can limit their damaging activities.

Conclusion

A pet can be a positive presence for you and your children. However, it’s important to understand and mitigate the elements that make pet ownership challenging. Reduce the potential for ill-health to impact both your pet’s quality of life and your finances. Be cognizant of potential hazards in your home. Use a combination of training and toys to direct their more destructive tendencies toward appropriate places. As with any part of family life, responsible pet ownership requires your attention, commitment, and patience.

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