Pet Care Guides
Updated: Apr 11, 2019
It's no secret that pets are a fantastic way to cope with mental health struggles in various forms. However, during my time working in the pet industry, it became extremely clear to me that many people that have or want pets, don't know how to properly care for them.
Always be sure to do your research before taking in a four legged (or perhaps a finned) friend. I've attached links at the bottom for guides on every pet I could think of; from reptiles, to hamsters, to dogs and fish. Please take a look if you're a current or future pet parent! Here's my personal input on maintenance of various pets based on my significant experience both caring for my own and helping others at previous jobs.
HIGHEST MAINTENANCE PETS:
Dogs: Dogs need to spend a significant amount of time with their owners and need to be outside for a significant portion of the day. Different breeds have different needs but no matter what, unless there is someone to walk them 2-3 times a day and go to the bathroom 3-4 times a day then getting a dog is not a good choice. Not to mention the inevitable veterinary bills both for vaccinations and emergencies. Before getting a dog, be sure to have at least $1500 aside for veterinary costs. If you're getting a puppy, then add another $1000.
Rabbits: Rabbits cannot be left in their cage all the time. Unlike dogs, they can spend most (perhaps even all) of their time indoors but they need to be able to jump around and explore. Fortunately, they can be litter trained. I should also note that although carrots are a great treat, they shouldn't be fed to bunnies everyday as they're high in sugar. Celery, hay, lettuce, and pellets are great staples. Check the small pets link below for more info.
Birds: Similar to rabbits, they need to be let out and much like dogs, they can get very attached to their owners. Moreover, lots of birds live for a long time so if you're thinking about getting one, make sure it will be let out daily and have some room to fly around. I had a budgie as a kid and I let him out everyday while I did my homework! It added some fun the the dreadful daily task. Further, TOYS, THEY NEED LOTS OF TOYS. Birds are extremely smart and need to be stimulated consistently. Finally, bird seed alone is NOT enough. Fruits and veggies should be added daily, there are also some pelleted types of food that will be more nutritious then seed alone. Finally, never use newspaper as a cage liner, it's full of toxins from the ink and your bird will peck at it and take in those toxins; they're very sensitive creatures. They make WONDERFUL pets! They're just slightly more complicated to care for then most people realize.
Turtles: Turtles are adorable and are lots of fun to watch. The catch with these little guys and girls are that they need a large terrarium set up and proper lighting. They're reptiles, they have shells, and those shells need UVB light or else they can end up very sick and they will also be in extreme pain if they don't get the light they need. Your job as a pet parent is to re-create the natural habitat of they animal you're taking in. Turtles therefore need properly treated water and they need the substitute for sunlight in the form of a UVB lamp and a heat lamp. Also, be cautious with the protein to veggie ratio, overweight turtles are not something you want to deal with. The shell can't expand and so their organs will be pressed and this can result in various health problems. They also live a very long time.
Here are the care websites for pets of all kinds! :)
REPTILES OF ALL KINDS: http://www.reptilesmagazine.com/Care-Sheets/
SMALL PETS: https://spca.bc.ca/faqs/small-pet-care/