It’s easy for many people to be persuaded into getting a pet. There are lots of benefits, and people who own pets usually enjoy the experience so much they never look back. But what you also need to remember is that most pets have a significant impact on our lives and they represent a major commitment.
You have to choose wisely so you know you’re taking on a manageable task. Consider the following questions to help you make the right decision.
Do you have time?
Certain types of pets, especially when you first get them, need almost constant attention. This can take up a lot of time, which you need to be ready for. Older pets are usually easier to get used to and don’t require so much training, so if you are limited on free time you might consider this option.
Are you willing to train them?
It will be a learning curve for both you and your pet when you’re training them and making sure everyone gets into a workable routine. Patience is essential, again especially when you’re starting with a very young animal that doesn’t know much yet. It can take a year or two for pets to finally settle down, so be prepared.
Are you consistently available?
People who don’t have a fixed routine and can spend a long time away from home should not really be looking after pets unless they take them everywhere with them. No pet should really be left unattended for a long period of time, and most need daily attention and maintenance.Read more: Questions To Consider Before Committing To A Pet
Whenever we’re lucky enough to get some good weather over the summer, this is a great opportunity for pets and their owners to have some fun. However, just like any other situation you need to make sure you adapt to your pet’s different needs. Hot weather in particular can be difficult for some animals to deal with when they aren’t used to it, so make sure you follow basic safety guidelines.
Heat can be dangerous for pets in the same way as humans. Dehydration and heatstroke are the most likely symptoms of being outside in hot conditions for too long. Make sure your pet can get as much water as it needs, and if you’re taking them outside for a long time you need to ensure they can take a break as required.
Sunlight in the height of summer can also be a problem, especially for animals like dogs who love to spend time running around outdoors when they get a chance. Animals can get skin damage and even skin cancer just like humans, so they shouldn’t be out in strong sunlight for too long if they’re not accustomed to it.
Water is a safety hazard that a lot of people don’t consider, because they assume that most animals know how to swim instinctively. This is also especially relevant for dogs because they usually enjoy cooling off in water, but they might not actually be able to swim safely without practice. Keep a close eye on your pets if they decide to try swimming.Read more: Keeping Your Pet Happy & Healthy This Summer
If you’re a fan of cat videos (one of the internet’s most popular offerings), you probably will have noticed many clips floating around featuring cats that seem to be shocked and terrified by cucumbers. The seemingly innocent vegetable is usually placed strategically by the cat’s owner in order to capture the best reaction on video when the pet finally notices it.
But why are cats so scared of them? The phenomenon seems to affect almost all cats, so it appears to be an evolutionary instinct, but obviously to humans it makes no rational sense. Are cucumbers really dangerous?
The answer, of course, is no. However, something that looks a bit like a cucumber could be one of your cat’s most threatening natural predators: a snake! If you think about it, a cucumber suddenly appearing out of nowhere could be pretty alarming if you were the same size as a cat. They also probably wouldn’t assume that their owner was cruelly taunting them to get YouTube views.Read more: Why Are Cats Terrified Of Cucumbers?
We are a nation of animal lovers. Almost half (46%) of households in the UK own pets, and many more of us would probably love to if we could. Unfortunately, our living situations and routines often limit our ability to look after pets, so we decide not to.
Often, living in a flat or apartment is a major reason for putting pet ownership on hold. Having limited indoor space, and usually no private garden or outdoor area, doesn’t tend to suit animals. However, it’s not an issue for a few particular animals which might make ideal companions in your flat (as long as your landlord allows them).
The best pets to have in a flat
Fish – Many types of small aquatic life make great pets for people in small homes, including fish, small crabs, shrimp and so on. You can choose an appropriately sized tank for your pets, and as long as you keep up the maintenance you should be fine.
Guinea pigs – These entertaining little animals only need a small amount of space to be content, so as long as you give your guinea pig a decent sized cage and some fun ways to exercise you should be able to keep it in your apartment.
Tarantulas – One of the best low-maintenance pets you can have, tarantulas are ideal for anyone who finds spiders more interesting than scary. The bigger ones are often the least worrying, because at least you can always see where they are! They don’t make a mess and are generally easy to look after in a small space.Read more: The Best (And Worst) Pets To Have If You Live In A Flat
Accessories for dogs sometimes bring to mind the over-the-top outfits we often see in comedies on television, but actually there’s nothing wrong with exercising some creativity when it comes to your dog’s lead and collar! They all need one, so why not jazz them up a bit? Here are some selections chosen by us after scouting around online.
This stylish leopard print dog collar is available in a range of different sizes, plus it can come with a matching lead. It’s a classic style that’s been brought up to date in a great way – the collars are made of 100% recycled plastic bottles, so they’re environmentally friendly too.
This Salt Dog Studios collar is lined with velvet to make it extra comfortable, and it can also be ordered with a customised buckle if you like. Most importantly, it looks super stylish and could be the perfect fashion accessory for almost any small dog.Read more: 5 Fabulous Dog Leads & Collars
If you’re taking your love of animals further than a couple of pets in the house and starting up your own farm, you’re taking on a big challenge but it can certainly be done. Many people switch to farming after doing something completely different because it’s a great way to spend time working with animals and you can specialise in whatever you want. You may not have much experience, but over time you can learn anything as long as you start off with some of the essential products and setup.
First you need to ensure you have the basics set up for your outdoor animals, which might involve more building work than furniture buying. For example, if you’re planning to keep horses, of course you’ll need appropriate stables, and other animals all require some sort of shelter even if they spend much of their time outside. You’ll also need the basic equipment to take care of them outside; for example, even cows in a field need food and drink, which you can provide through concrete water troughs and other feeding equipment.Read more: Essential farm and stable outdoor furniture
When you decide to go for a pet feeder you have to decide first what type of pet feeder you must have. Of course, if you have a cat as a pet you must have an automatic cat feeder and if you have a dog you must look for an automatic dog feeder. You have to be careful in selecting the right feeder for your pet. Automatic dog feeders and automatic cat feeders programmable for 24 hours are available.
Normally all manufacturers of pet feeder bring them out in three sizes, small, medium and large. The small ones are used as cat feeders. The smaller automatic feeder is also used for feeding small dogs. The medium size dog feeder is for the medium sized dogs weighing about 15 to 40 pounds. The large size automatic feeders are designed for dogs of big size. A good automatic dog feeder or cat feeder is made of transparent material so that you can observe the content from all sides and angles. They are normally chew proof. That prevents it being chewed by the pet.
When you select automatic feeder for your pet, make sure that no part of the feeder can be damaged by the pet. The food container, the bowl, the electric cord and all other parts must be damage proof. The automatic feeder must be powered by a durable, rechargeable battery for backup. Otherwise, it is uneconomic to use an automatic pet feeder. A food agitator along with the feeder is a good addition to the automatic feeder.
If you want to feed your pet only during daytime, day automatic pet feeder is also available in the market. Its timer is set in such a way that it dispenses food only during daytime. Outdoor automatic feeders are good for pets of any size. They may be kept in garages, barns and patios. Supply of water is also equally important as the provision of pet food. Otherwise, the pet will suffer from dehydration. An automatic water dispenser also must be provided for your pet.
It is a good idea to have an automatic pet feeder if you have a cat or dog as a pet. It will keep your pet happy and healthy. That also gives happiness to you by knowing that the pet is well looked after.
Horse riding is something you can get started with fairly easily, especially if you have a great teacher who can guide you. However, there is no avoiding the fact that you will definitely need certain horse riding equipment and clothing in order to get off to a great start. Here are some of the basics you will need to track down as a minimum starting point if you wish to succeed.
Read more: Basic Horse Riding Equipment
A bearded dragon is a super cool pet to own, and they’re great companions as long as you look after them properly. They can also be sensitive, and especially when you first get a bearded dragon, it might have to go through a transitory period while it gets used to its new surroundings. An important thing to do is to provide a living environment for your new pet that it can adapt to comfortably, so setting up your vivarium properly is vital. Consider the following points when looking into this.
Size – Since bearded dragons tend to grow to a good size, your enclosure will have to be at least 1.5 metres long, but the bigger space you can provide, the better. A dragon will love to make the most of this space, even if it starts off looking small inside. You might be tempted to have a tall vivarium so your dragon has room to climb, which they tend to enjoy, but it’s not essential for them to be comfortable and can actually cause a problem with regulating the temperature of their environment, so anything between 0.5 – 1 metre of height should suffice.
Design – Vivariums for sale in the UK don’t usually vary much since bearded dragons have simple requirements. You may opt for an entirely glass design so you can see inside more clearly and it arguably looks better on display, but the ideal choice is a wooden box with sliding glass doors. This, again, makes temperature control easier which is important for dragons, plus it will work out cheaper.
Temperate – As bearded dragons can get ill easily from being too hot or too cold, you have to make sure your vivarium allows them for proper thermoregulation. Ideally, you need to create a temperate gradient inside the enclosure, so at one end you have a bulb attached to a thermostat allowing you to create a warm basking spot, and at the other end, the enclosure will be naturally cooler. This also helps stabilise the temperature if it gets cold at night and hot in the day. Then the dragon can move where they need to help them stay comfortable and digest their food properly.
Decoration – The fun part of setting up your vivarium is creating an attractive environment for your bearded dragon to enjoy. Since dragons are fond of climbing and hanging around in different places, rock structures, bamboo shoots and other platforms will be great fun for them. You should also design your layout in such a way that it stops them getting hurt by falling or touching your heat source.
Anyone who owns a freshwater aquarium knows that it can be a lot of effort to maintain it and keep all your tank’s inhabitants healthy at all times. A sump is an excellent way to boost the efficiency and effectiveness of your aquarium, keeping everything in great condition for longer. You don’t necessarily need to invest in a costly setup from an aquarium supply store either since you can actually produce an effective one yourself.
This way, with little effort and expense, you can increase the total capacity of your tank and make it look even better by moving all the filtration and cleaning equipment out of the way. You can also introduce supplements and changes into your water supply more naturally and safely, plus changing the water is made a little easier.
Along with all these benefits, creating your custom sump has an additional advantage over even the most expensive manufactured models. If you build your own from scratch, you’re not limited by the original design and you can tailor the sump to exactly what you need for your aquarium. You have the option to leave no wasted space in your tank and include everything you need to get the balance right in your little aquatic ecosystem.
For a freshwater sump, the construction is relatively simple, and you just need to plan what to include. Some examples that many people choose to add in their DIY sump include:
- Isolation Area – New additions to your tank, or any individuals that have been singled out or stressed by the other occupants, can benefit from a little time alone in the sump if you include a safe area.
- Foam Filters – A simple block of foam is sufficient to filter all solid debris out of the water for your entire tank, and can last a long time.
- Media Sections – You can include different areas in your sump for various media depending on your tank’s needs. This allows you to control levels of beneficial bacteria in the water, balance the pH of the tank and keep everything as it should be.
- Pump Area – The final section of your sump should contain the pump that keeps the water flowing through and everything filtering correctly. The power level of your pump should correspond to the size of the tank and the type of fish you’re keeping.
Our pets are part of the family for many of us, and we don’t even want to think about the idea of anything happening to them. Unfortunately, life is unexpected and no matter what happens your pet is likely to need some extra care and attention at some point in their life, whether it’s due to illness, accident or simply old age. Pet insurance can be a great value solution to help you through when difficult circumstances occur.
The main benefit of having pet insurance is that eliminates any future moral dilemma. Being forced to choose between your pet and other expenses would be a horrible situation that nobody wants to be trapped in, so insurance balances out the potential costs and gives you a safety net, meaning you can make a decision purely based on the likely health benefits for your animal when you need to.
Another factor to consider is that vet’s bills aren’t getting any cheaper. As treatments become more advanced (which is great, of course), we’re able to give animals better care than ever, but it comes at a price. General checkups are getting more expensive, let alone surgery that wasn’t cheap to begin with. Insurance helps mitigate these costs too.
You might be amazed (and perhaps overwhelmed) by the choices on offer when it comes to pet insurance. The benefit of this is, as long as you have all the necessary knowledge to make an informed choice, you can pick a plan that’s perfectly suited to the needs of you and your pet. For a cat or a dog, you’re probably just looking for insurance that covers all their potential medical costs, but for some animals like horses, the problems and costs can be more complex, so you may consider cover that includes your equipment, stables, and other property as well as accidental damage.
Above all, insurance for your pet is easy to arrange in comparison to the headaches associated with unexpected bills and problems. In order to guarantee you’re doing everything you can to protect your pet, we would highly recommend at least some level of cover.
Looking after some pets is more complicated than simply buying a few bits and pieces to keep them entertained. A horse is a classic example – looking after one is a hugely rewarding experience, but it doesn’t come easy! Fortunately you can find equestrian equipment online at great prices from a good tack shop, and this is all relatively easy. You just need to know what to look for!
Before you have your horse, you probably need to establish exactly what you’ll do with your current outside space to make sure you have room to house them and keep them happy. If you have a sufficiently large yard at the back of your house, you can construct a stable or convert a suitable outbuilding into one if necessary. You’ll need access to fields nearby or at least to your transport if you need to go elsewhere for riding.
In terms of furnishings, your horse probably won’t be too demanding. They don’t even need their own bed! However, you might need built-in storage to keep all your equestrian equipment near the stables, and other pieces of furniture to help you out when feeding your horse, cleaning out the stable and so on. Tools are essential, including shovels, pitchforks and wheelbarrows to assist in moving and cleaning around the yard.Read more: Low Cost Equestrian Products