Owning a pet can be a lot of fun, but it can be a lot of responsibility, too. If you’re a new pet owner, or someone who’s always had an animal companion, there are some basic things to think about when it comes to the care of your pet. From diet and exercise to toys and fun, here are a few animal pet care tips you should follow to ensure your pet’s overall health.

Diet Options

It might be easy as a new cat owner to run to the store and pick up the first bag of cat food and catnip you see on the shelf. While it likely won’t do any immediate harm to feed your cat a standard or low cost grain mix from a box store, it might be in your feline’s best interest if you first consult with a veterinarian. If you own a dog or a cat, consider asking your vet about switching to raw or homemade foods. While it might be more expensive and take more time to prepare, it could add years to your furry friend’s life and make their coats healthier, too.

There are dozens of kibble options for cats and dogs. What some people don’t know is that there are many options for exotic pets, too. Whether you have live feeders who thrive on feeder insects or snakes or reptiles that need something more, owners of exotic pets have choices, too, when it comes to their animal’s diet. Consider buying Dubia Roaches from a vendor like TopFlight Dubia to give your bearded dragon or chameleons something superior to the drier diets.

Exercising Your Pets

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Whether you’re a cat owner, dog owner, or thinking of getting a ferret, it’s important to know exactly what your pet needs when it comes to exercise. Different breeds have different needs. A pug, for example, won’t need the same amount of exercise as a hunting breed. Consider this when finding your perfect pet. If you already have your pet, invest in a no pull harness and be sure to set aside time for walks and adventures outside.

Depending on your pet’s needs, you’ll want to think about products to help keep them safe every step of the way. Maybe you own a barn cat who lives mostly outside. If this is the case, a great investment would be in a cat tracker. This nifty device makes it so that you can watch your cat’s movements on a GPS app connected to your mobile device.

Toys and Fun

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While every pet needs exercise, they need toys and time out for fun, too. Consider combining exercise with toys to make your pet extra happy. Simple items like Frisbees for dogs or catnip wands and balls for cats will bring joy to your pet’s life. Maybe you have a rabbit. Pet shops online and on Main Street offer grass huts, tunnels, and timothy hay balls they can munch on and play with. For a small animal like this, hammocks and climbing structures are always lots of fun and will mean exercise for your pet as well. With reptiles and amphibians, consider switching out baths, rocks, and other tank features to give your pet stimulation and something new to explore.

Socializing Pets

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Pet socialization is just important for them as it is for humans. When playing with or exercising your pet, consider switching up locations. Take your pet to a dog park, soccer game, public fair, or anywhere they’ll be able to meet other people and animals. This will help them stay stimulated and to maintain a healthy temperament. When bringing pets in public, be sure to know the leashing and other rules ahead of time so that you don’t run into trouble. For example, some cities and parks require harnesses where others have areas your pet can run free or might need a simple leash.

At the end of the day, your pet will be happiest with a healthy balance of a good diet, exercise, toys, and time with you. Taking some time every day to show your pet how much they matter to you will make all the difference.