According to the 2021-2022 National Pet Owner Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association (APPA), 70 percent of U.S. households, or about 90.5 million households, own a pet. That’s up from 56 percent in 1988 and 67 percent in 2019.

Each family’s favorite pet may be different, but cats and dogs are the favorites of most families. The data shows that 69 million households have dogs, 45.3 million have cats and 11.8 million have freshwater fish as pets.

Pets are beloved family members. They will accompany you to grow up and bring you a lot of joy. But you should know that like any family member, they need good care to stay happy and healthy. Pet ownership is a full-time job that requires just as much effort as caring for children. People often lament how much they want a cute pet, but only pet parents know that keeping a pet is not an easy thing. Your pet is totally dependent on you, and you are responsible for your pet’s physical and mental health.

Being a pet owner means being willing to do anything and everything to take care of your pet. You need to know everything there is to know about pet care. Let’s take a look at the basics that all caring pet owners must learn to make sure your pet’s health and well-being are on track.

1. Give them healthy and nutritious food

A healthy diet is important for all of us, including our pets. Like people, animals can develop obesity and related health problems if they eat too many calories and don’t get enough exercise. Luckily, there are plenty of healthy, pet foods tailored to your pet’s nutritional needs that can help your furry friend maintain a healthy weight.

Dog food is made to meet the dietary needs of dogs and cat food is made to meet the nutritional needs of cats. Importantly, their nutritional needs are completely different. Puppies need different kinds of food and nutrients. For sick pets, a special diet may be necessary.

You can get almost all the pet food you need in Chewy. When you order for the first time or buy in bulk, you can even get a great discount. Don’t forget to use their Chewy coupon code at checkout to save your money. 

Many people like to feed their pets under the table. However, this is not recommended for the health and benefit of pets. Table scraps are usually not suitable for dogs and cats. Most of the things we eat, like salt, garlic, and Onions, are bad for our pets’ health, causing them to get sick and even die.

Don’t forget to feed your pet the required amount of food. Overfeeding or giving pets too much food can lead to obesity, which can lead to heart failure, kidney problems, and other health issues. To avoid these situations, it is best to weigh the food when feeding your pet. If you are unsure of your pet’s dietary needs, be sure to double-check with your vet.

2. Vaccinate your pet

Responsible pet owners care for their pets by vaccinating them. When you bring your pet home, be sure to schedule their immunizations. Your veterinarian will help you plan your next immunization. Remember that puppies need to be vaccinated for the first few weeks of bringing them home.

3. Exercise them daily

Exercise is very important for your pet’s physical health. If your pet is reluctant to exercise, try to make it an exercise time for both of you. For some pets, spending time outside is also crucial.

When it comes to exercise, dogs in particular need plenty of opportunities to run and play. Even cats need space to roam and explore. If your apartment is small, consider buying a scratching post or toy to encourage your cat to move around. By paying attention to your pet’s diet and activity level, you can help keep them healthy and happy!

4. Take your pet to the vet regularly

It is the pet owner’s responsibility to visit the vet regularly. Your dog or cat should get a health check at least once or twice a year because they have a shorter life span than humans. When your pet is young, it may need to visit the vet more often, depending on its vaccination schedule. However, you will also need to continue taking your pet to the vet as they age.

Going to the vet can be challenging, so to speak. Maybe your cat is very fickle. They don’t want to leave their comfortable home, that’s for sure. But there are ways to take the pressure off both of you. When your cat is a kitten, it’s good practice to get her used to her carrier (and avoid scenes of running away and hiding under the bed). Most dogs love riding in the car, so be adventurous in the car and stay away from the vet. Find the right vet and you won’t have to worry about your pet feeling stressed at the appointment. Emergency pet care is also important. Therefore, you need to have relevant knowledge.

5. Pay attention to home care

As your pet’s caretaker, it is your job to provide them with good hygiene at home and at the vet or groomer. Brushing their teeth, grooming their fur, and providing them with healthy food will keep them in tip-top condition. To maintain responsible pet care, schedule hygiene, and grooming tasks on your calendar and try to combine these tasks. Emergency pet care is also important. Therefore, you also need to master the relevant knowledge.

Pets are just like children, they need your time, love, attention, and care. The most important thing is that patience is key. Your pet is just like your child, totally dependent on you for every little thing. Remember these tips and make them part of your daily pet-rearing role so your pet can grow up healthy and happy!