Tuesday, June 4, 2013

PET RESPONSIBILITIES-PART 3 (GROOMING, TRAINING & IDENTIFICATION)

Here is the last part on 'Pet Responsibilities'. If you have not read the first two parts, please click on the links below:
Your last responsibilities on pet ownership are to provide your pets the grooming it needs, sufficient training, and most importantly identification.

Grooming
Believe it or not, I believe that every living creature has the need to be clean. All animals are able to groom themselves and keep their home or living space clean. However, that doesn't mean they have to smell good at it. Their definition of smelling good is a complete opposite of our good. It's definitely very good for them to be smelly in the wild, because they need that to survive, but pets with bad odor issues in our living space is a huge no no.

My late dog, Brownie grooming herself under the car. Gosh I miss her so much.

First part of grooming is to give your pet a bath and a dry after that. It doesn't only keep your pets smelling fresh and looking good, but it also helps get rid of dead skin, dirt, loose fur, and also promotes good blood circulation in your pet. How often your pet needs a bath depends on their breed, length of hair, levels of activity and etc. Some pets only need a regular wipe down with a moist cloth. Always do your research on what is best for your pet and follow what is advised.

Sonnig having a bath. He doesn't smell bad, he just have constant problems with his skin.
Besides that, due to centuries of selective and cross breeding, some pets are more prone to different types of skin problems, while some may have problems of being hairless, and some with too much fur. No worries, there are plenty of pet shampoo choices that you can find in stores today that are dedicated to help you deal with the variety of problems you may encounter. You could also consult your veterinarian for the best course of action if your pets are having problems with mites, ticks, parasites and the worst case of all, mange.

The different types of shampoos I use on the dogs. Which reminds me, I gotta go to the store and get more of Sonnig's shampoo.
Next on the grooming list are brushing, nail clip, ear clean, oral care and sometimes even anal gland expression (mostly dogs and cats).

The tools I use to groom the dogs.
Brushing and regular trimming on your pet's coat, especially pets with long hair/fur is very important. They are prone to serious matting problems if they are not groomed properly. I hate mats because it could hurt your pets in so many horrible ways. Some heavy matting between the legs have been known to cut off blood supply to your pet's limb causing amputation, while matting around the anal area would lead to defecation problems. Thus creating even more problems. 

To help pet owners take better care of their pets, I opened a neighborhood dog wash in my neighborhood. Charging them only half what professional groomers would, but I only got 2 clients so far. Here, I had to deal with a long haired dachshund with some matting problems.
It was the hardest thing my sister and I ever had to do. Took us almost half an hour to carefully snip off the mats off the dog.
This is the after picture and the dog seems to be really happy with what we did. Tails a-wagging.
Overgrown nails in the other hand could be very uncomfortable for your pets. Not forgetting ears could get infected if not cleaned for a long period of time, teeth could also suffer from decay if not taken care off, and infected anal glands are known to be fatal.

I am extremely lucky to have a dog that run laps around the house everyday, that I never have to clip it's nails. Sonnig does a great job taking care of his pink nails. Even the vet advised me not to clip cause it's already at it's shortest. The last nail clip he ever had was the day I adopted him from the shelter.
I say, THANK GOD for GROOMERS and grooming equipments.
Question is, are you willing to spend all that time, money and effort in keeping your pets healthy by providing them the grooming they need? If you are not up for it, you are not ready to have a pet.

Training
Some may find training your pets difficult, but it's definitely worth it in the end of the day. Training not only enable your pets to do tricks and stay out of trouble, but also enforces a bond of trust between pet and master, only if you are willing to try.

Sonnig is the first dog I ever trained to do this. I never thought I could ever do it, but I tried and it sure surprised me. I am so proud of Sonnig. Such a smart fast learner and obedient too.
Basic training such as toilet training and obedience is definitely a must when it comes to my pets. The tricks are not as important, but I still try to teach them any just to see how far they could go. Of course I only use positive reinforcements when I'm training, and I got to say, Cesar Millan has taught me a lot on the proper and affective ways to discipline my dogs.

Question is, are you willing to dedicate your time, effort and money to do the responsible thing and train your pets as well as disciplining them the right way? If you're not, you are not ready to have a pet.

Identification
In Malaysia, animal control units scare the hell out of me. The way they deal with animals are just inhumane and terrible. I would hear stories which I am not sure are true or not, about animal control units shooting down any pets without license or identification, even if they were in the owner's compound of the house. One thing that I believe is true is that they really shoot down strays as a way to control the situation. 

No matter where or what country you live in, you must always provide your pets with identification tags or dog license. This is so that, if they ever got lost due to some natural disaster or anything, your chances of being reunited with your pet will be higher. The number or code on your dog license will be their way of finding their way back home to you. 

Yup, Sonnig chewed on his license when he was at that chewing phrase.
Besides that, you could also microchip your pet so that if they were stolen to be sold again, the police could help you catch the culprit and get your pet back.

Question is, will you protect your pets no matter what? If your answer is no, then you are not ready to have a pet. 
My answer to that question is simple. I would do anything for my pets of course, even if it comes to fighting a wild venomous cobra head on, just to save both the cobra's life and my pet. Oh wait, I already did that and no doubt I would do it again in a heartbeat.

If you truly love your pets and want that beautiful wonderful experience only a human and an animal could have, you know what to do. In a way, it helps us be the best we could be, and the feeling is absolutely MAGICAL.

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