Information for Kids

A Guide to Happy, Healthy Pets

The things that you need to live a happy, healthy life are the same things that your pet needs: food, water, shelter, exercise, regular medical check-ups, and some fun!

Care for All Pets:

· Feed your pet high-quality food that is best for that animal not people food!

· Provide fresh water for your pet everyday, and make sure water is always available to your pet.

· Pets need appropriate shelter inside your home.  Small animals need cages that are the right size for that animal.

· Every pet needs exercise!  You can walk your dog (and even a cat or rabbit!) and provide exercise for small animals by giving them time outside of their cage to move freely.

· Every pet should see a vet at least once a year for a wellness exam.  Some pets need vaccines to keep them healthy.  If a pet seems ill, it should be taken to a vet immediately.  Regular brushing, nail trims, and tooth/ear checks at home are a good idea.

· Just like us, pets need entertainment!  Toys and games are fun for pets, as long as they are appropriate.

· SPAY/NEUTER your dog, cat, or rabbit!  This helps prevent unwanted litters as well as certain types of cancer.

Dog Care:

· Feeding your dog twice a day, on a regular schedule, is best for her digestion and helps with housebreaking.  Feed your dog an amount appropriate for her weight.

· All dogs can benefit from training!  Puppies need to learn manners from an early age, but even older dogs can learn better manners.  Teach your dog by rewarding her good behaviors rather than punishing her bad behaviors.

· Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise every day leash walks, running in a fenced-in area, or fun games inside on a rainy day.

· Keep a collar and tags on your dog at all times!

Cat Care:

· Feed your cat dry food, and add wet food in as a treat.  Do not feed her milk or other dairy products!

· Let you cat keep her claws they are there for a reason!  Give her regular nail trims and a scratching post to keep them short.

· Keep your cat indoors traffic and wildlife pose a major threat to the safety of our pet cats!

· Cats can have a lot of fun with toys, including balls with bells in them, feathered toys, and even a crumpled ball of paper.

Small Animal Care:

· Your small animal needs a large cage with a solid bottom that is cleaned daily.

· Recycled paper pellets, shredded paper,  and timothy hay make great bedding choices wood chips can be harmful.

· Spend a lot of time holding, petting, and socializing your small animal.  This will help them become more comfortable.

· Litter-box train your rabbit to keep her  cage cleaner longer.

· Give your hamster, gerbil, mouse, or rat exercise out of her cage in a safe area and keep a close eye on your little pets!

· Offer your small animal fresh fruits or vegetables on a regular basis, but make sure they are safe for her to eat.

Bird and Reptile Care:

· Make sure your pet has an appropriate cage or tank for its size and needs.

· Provide your bird with safe, non-mirrored toys and branches.

· Reptiles need special lamps and heat sources, and sometimes eat very specialized food.

· Have a professional trim your bird’s wings so she can hop around outside of her cage safely.