Puurfectly part of the family

By Andreas Wilson-Späth


Imagine a life without pets? From kids delighting in the antics of clumsy puppies to the family cat who manages to be haughty while snuggling… you’ll find animals easily become part of your growing family.

These days you can even take your pawed loved ones on family outings. Check out this amazing app, which helps you discover the growing list of dog-friendly eateries, galleries and public venues in your area.

And they are good for you!

Pets don’t just keep you active - think of the many walks you wouldn’t have taken if you didn’t own a dog? – but they also give you invaluable psychological support by being a friend who is always willing to listen to your problems. Bringing laughter and happiness into our lives, pets have been shown to help people cope with conditions like anxiety, depression and high blood pressure. What’s not to love?

For children, the benefits of having a family pet are clear. Studies show that kids who have a dog during the first year of their life tend to have a stronger immune system and suffer from significantly fewer allergies and respiratory tract infections than those who do not. Children with dogs also enjoy more active outdoor playtime and often have higher self-esteem.

Beyond educating kids about compassion and empathy, having pets can teach them practical life skills like time management and the responsibility involved in taking care of another being on a daily basis.

Pet Care 101

Beyond plenty of love and attention, pets don’t require a whole lot… just wholesome food, water, shelter and healthcare.

Find out more about having pets in one of the many great magazines on the topic. When you get a new pet, take it to the vet for a check-up – it may require injections, worm, tick and flea treatment, and vaccinations. You’ll also get expert advice on feeding your pet and on whether or not you should consider neutering or spaying.

Invest in the proper pet gear, including sturdy bowls, a good supply of high-quality, age and size-appropriate food, and healthy snacks.

If you have concerns about your pet’s health, go to the vet as soon as possible. Watch out for these warning signs:

- unusual behaviour

- lethargy and loss of appetite

- raised temperature and dehydration

- vomiting and diarrhoea

- bloody urine

- lameness and limping

- skin irritations, abrasions, cuts and wounds.

But mostly, owning pets means more love in your family… and that’s always a good thing.


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