I had the pleasure of meeting two furry mates, Max and Willow, cocker spaniels, a few years ago.
They looked beautiful, well-groomed, and beautiful in their glossy coats; one could tell they were well-cared for, and it was hard not to stare.
Megan and Carl, their parents say the most rewarding thing about being a pet parent is having the most unconditional love for and from a being who just adores you.
“You can always rely on receiving a happy face to come home to, a cuddle buddy in the winter and an adventure buddy in the summer,” Megan tells IOL Lifestyle.
Using the opportunity to learn about how to care for your pets to your best ability will enrich your life, says Megan.
“That animal is dependent on you and it is your responsibility to care for them,” she adds.
Max, 5, and Willow, 3, are also chief operating dogs at the Max and Willow shop, a pet and lifestyle boutique offering, which sells practical, yet stylish products for pets and pet parents alike.
The family loves sniffaris. Megan says that they enjoy taking long walks in nature together because it encourages nose work, which is great for mental stimulation.
For those who are thinking about getting a pet or even current pet parents, Megan and Carl share some helpful tips on how Max and Willow manage to stay on fleek:
Don’t skimp on their food
We know how expensive food can get but try your best to feed your pet a healthy diet from a reliable brand within your budget. Pet and vet shops now offer more affordable food brands which still provide great nourishment for your pet.
You want to look out for recipes that are low in corn/wheat/grains, salt, monosodium glutamate, artificial colourants, or meat meal.
Invest in decent pet insurance
Yes, medical aid for pets exists and it’s amazing. Often, people cannot afford to pay for their pet to have emergency surgery or treatment for a long-term illness, so they are put to sleep.
Pet insurance offers peace of mind in case of illness or emergencies but also ensures that those regular health check-ups are not neglected.
Dogs don’t naturally understand human language, so you need to teach them, as well as take the time to learn how they communicate too.
Having a well-trained dog ensures that your dog is safe and reliable and that anyone who enters your home or your dog’s vicinity is safe too.
Spending time training them also establishes a special bond between you and your dog. It builds confidence and trust and encourages them to learn more which is an investment in your future together.
This is one of the most important commitments you have to follow through with when owning a pet.
Daily walks to release pent-up energy are essential. Most dogs are active and require a release of the energy they spend all day building up.
Your dogs also deserve to explore and see life outside of the four walls of your house, so give them that enrichment and they will be happier for it. A tired dog is a happy dog!
Groom, groom, groom
If you have a long-haired dog, brush them daily or every second day. For all dogs, ensure their teeth are brushed, nails clipped and ears cleaned regularly!
You might think this is extra but it saves expensive vet or grooming bills in the long run.