In This Chapter
- Providing your pet with a permanent home and a good diet
- Attending to your pet’s needs for shelter, exercise, and attention
- Establishing your pet’s physical and mental health in your home
All pets need things from their owners, but adopted pets need some special favors. No matter what kind of pet you adopt, this chapter lists ten favors your adopted pet needs from you.
A Forever Home
A pet that has been passed from home to home probably has learned not to depend on humans, and that can lead to health and behavior problems. Make your pet feel like he’s in a permanent home and he’ll likely settle down into a grateful, loving, well-behaved animal friend.
The Right Diet . . . at Last
If your adopted pet is too thin, too fat, or suffers from physical problems related to malnutrition, find the best diet for your pet and watch his health and behavior improve.
With few exceptions, domesticated pets should live inside, with time to play, supervised, outside. Give your animal the shelter she deserves to keep her safe and out of the elements.
Exercise, Exercise, Exercise
Animals that don’t get enough exercise can become overweight, destructive, or exhibit other behavioral problems. Exercise can solve a multitude of problems often attributed to supposedly incorrigible adopted pets.
All animals need it. Even for animals that don’t necessarily like or need handling, like reptiles and amphibians, attention is important for taming them.
Physical Touch . . . or Not . . .
Many adopted animals crave physical touch, while other animals, like reptiles, amphibians, and spiders, can do without it. Whatever your adopted pet’s need for or reluctance to physical touch, respect that need, and you’ll gain your pet’s trust.
Mental Challenges for Better Behavior
Animals without mental engagement can develop serious behavioral problems. No matter what kind of pet you have, give it something to do so it can exercise its mind and body.
Family Member Status
Your adopted pet thinks of you as part of his family, so please consider him a part of yours rather than an expendable possession.
Grooming and Good Housekeeping
Good grooming and good housekeeping of your pet’s enclosure are crucial to good health and good behavior. Give them that gift, and they’ll reward you by being extra clean, soft, and sweet-smelling when you play with them.
Regular Vet Care
Many adopted pets may never have seen a vet in their lives, but veterinary care is one of the greatest things you can do for your adopted pet. Even for the smallest or most exotic pets, regular vet care is worth every penny.
by Eve Adamson