1. You have your life, your job, your friends, and your family to provide your social interaction every day. Your dog only has YOU. Interact with your dog for more than five minutes per day and maybe your dog will not go out barking every five seconds.
2. Know what’s toxic for your pet. DEFINITELY don’t have lilies in the house if you have a cat.
3. It is not cute or sweet to have an obese pet. It can cause joint issues and heart disease among many things. Stop showing love through overfeeding (especially human junk food).
4. Your cat is not urinating outside the box because it’s a jerk. It probably has an infection.
5. Don’t buy a dog only because you like the way it looks. Huskies and most sorts of Shepherds are working dogs. They need lots of activities to be happy and they often turn aggressive if they do not get enough of it!
6. Ripping your cat’s claws out to preserve your furniture is absolutely disgusting and inhumane. Don’t justify it by saying that at least you’re giving him/her a good home. You’re depriving the animal of one of the core essence of being a cat!
7. Don’t complain about your dog not having boundaries when you’re literally feeding them scraps off your plate at dinner time! That’s 100% on you.
8. If your pet eats your weed stash, let the vet know. They are not going to call the police. They need to know everything they can to diagnose your pet.
9. Exotic animals (reptiles, birds, small mammals such as rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rodents) may be easy to acquire and assumingly easier to take care of but most of these animals have very specific housing and dietary needs that need to be met and require enrichment.
Also, not every veterinarian has experience with exotic animals, and exotic animal medicine is sometimes at a premium but is still necessary. I’ve met a lot of people who get a small mammal or a small bird for like $20 from the pet store and then won’t pay for medical care because it costs way more than the pet was purchased for.
10. PLEASE VACCINATE YOUR DOGS. IF YOU CANNOT AFFORD TO SPAY OR NEUTER YOU CANNOT AFFORD A PET.
11. Snorting is not cute. It’s a breathing problem.
12. Brush. Their. Teeth. (Insurance companies never pay out for dentals and poor oral health in later life can shorten their life span.)
13.Your older pet probably has arthritis. Arthritis HURTS. Make comfortable changes. Squishy beds. Short walks. A ramp or steps for heights. WE ALSO PROVIDE… PAIN RELIEF!
14. Exercise dogs enough. Many behavioral problems can be solved with ample exercise daily.
15. If your dog isn’t eating or drinking water, it needs medical attention. Don’t “wait a few days” if it isn’t drinking or eating. It will get dehydrated and it may die.
16. Your pet may have body or facial language that resembles a human, but that absolutely does not mean it’s conveying the same thing that a human is when doing that body/face language. In other words, stop projecting your human emotions on an animal and treating it according to your misunderstanding of its body language.
17. It’s not cute to have a dog that obsessively protects you. It means they see you as a resource to guard. Nothing more than a toy or bone. They are supposed to belong to you, not the other way around.
18. Any change in behavior of your pet should be critically looked at. Why is it that your pet suddenly growls/bites when you touch it in a special place? Could it have pain there?
19. Your pet has moods, just like a human.
20. STOP feeding table scraps. Pancreatitis sucks for everyone involved and is an expensive treatment.
21. If your pet is scratching and we find flea dirt, then your pet has fleas. Just because you take one pet out for just a few minutes doesn’t mean they can’t get fleas. Accept it, treat it, prevent it.
22. I can’t believe I have to say this. DO NOT USE FLEA AND TICK TREATMENT MEANT FOR DOGS ON YOUR CATS!
23. Your female pet absolutely DOES NOT want ‘just one litter’. YOU do. We have enough homeless pets in the world but if you are going to do it, be responsible and do it properly. But we would rather you left it to the professional breeders.
24. Turtles/tortoises live for-fucking-ever and require an obscene amount of space and fresh food.
25. Animals get stressed. I used to have customers laugh at me when I said this. Animals get MEGA stressed when their needs aren’t met, and stress is one of if not the biggest killer of non-dog/cat pets. Animals get stressed if they don’t have enough cover, if they’re a social animal and kept alone, if they’re solitary but kept in a group, if their habitats are too small, if their temperature/humidity/ph is wrong, if their food is wrong for their species, if they’re handled too much, etc etc etc. Stress leads to a weakened immune system, illness, and death, and is 100% preventable with a little research.
26. Stop getting mad at your animal for acting like an animal. Cats need to scratch, dogs bark, and all animals bite/scratch when they feel threatened.
27. Please understand what food your animal eats before you bring it home. You cannot feed a cat dog food, you can’t feed a rabbit hamster food, and you shouldn’t be feeding any reptile or amphibian the prepackaged shit from the store. The more exotic the animal, the more likely you will have to feed it fresh, pre-killed frozen, or live food. If you don’t want to touch worms or crickets or dead mice, do not get an animal that eats them.
28. DO YOUR RESEARCH. You should never ever rely on a pet store employee for anything more than: “Is X species in stock?” Some stores admittedly go above and beyond with their pet care dept training but most do not.
29. Animals need WAY more space than what’s currently suggested by stores. A beta fish needs a 10+ gallon tank (living in puddles is a myth that won’t die and any tank less than 10g is cruel and abusive).
A hamster or mouse needs at least a 36x24in habitat, as deep as you can find, with plenty of extra bedding for burrowing (Kaytee cages are extremely inhumane).
Birds need LARGE cages and should not be confined to them for the majority of the day.
Rabbits and guinea pigs need a FUCKTON of space, to the point that a moderately sized bedroom is only adequate. Etc etc etc. Very few of these animals are domesticated (tame == domesticated), especially birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish, and their needs should be matched as closely to their wild counterparts as possible.
30. Dogs are living creatures who need preventative medical care just like you do. And sometimes they get sick like you do. If you can’t contribute the bare minimum to take care of them, maybe you should think again about owning one.