02 January 2009

How to Be A Good Pet Owner - Retro Article - Circa 1998

This article appeared in the Lind-Bohanon Neighborhood Association Newsletter in August 1998.

(LBNA Editor's Note ~ Kathleen is a certified pet and veterinary nutritionist, an animal behaviorist, c consultant with the Minneapolis Mounted Patrol Police Unit and an animal trainer. She will be contributing articles from time to time on pet ownership, care and training.)

Dogs and cats are loving, trusting and social creatures that thrive on interaction with other living beings, both human and non-human. Because these animals are socialized to cohabitate with their human families, they require regular attention and love in addition to the basics of food, water, shelter and health care. The quality of your relationships with your pet depends on all of these factors and being a good pet owner means meeting all of these.

Feeding: Puppies and kittens (up to one year) should be fed three to four times throughout the day. Adult dogs and cats should be fed one to two times per day, with two being the better option. To get the most "bang for your pet food buck" you should feed a premium food specifically formulated for your pet's age and lifestyle. These brands can be found in pet specialty retailers and stores like PetCo and PetsMart. Fresh, clean water should be available at all times for your pets.

Litter Box Training: For cats, get a litter box and put it in a low traffic, low noise area separated from the cat's food and water dishes. Show your kitten or cat where the litter box is located several times. Keep the box clean by scooping out the waste daily and changing the litter every few days. Pregnant women should not clean litter boxes as it is dangerous to the developing child. Any pet defecating or urinating outside the box could be exhibiting a serious health problem and you should contact your veterinarian if this persists.

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