Whoever coined the phrase, "It's a Dog's Life" wasn't familiar with 21st century dogs. Time was when the average canine slept outside, ate whatever scraps of food were tossed his way, and if he was lucky, was thrown the occasional bone. He was even expected to earn his keep!
Times have changed. As the world has grown more affluent, so have our pets. We're obsessed with keeping our canine companions happy, healthy, and properly accessorized. So much so that many of us worry about our own welfare less than that of our dog. This didn't happen overnight-- the trend started decades ago.
Take, for example, my grandmother Rose. During the 60's and 70's, Rose and Henry discovered cruise vacations. On every cruise, whenever they pulled into port to "shop", Rosie made it her mission to find stray dogs and feed them. She'd head straight for the butcher, buy a few pounds of fresh meat, and comb the islands for the hungry and homeless. She would exclaim, "It's a crime the way these animals live!"-- in spite of the fact that the people of those islands were desperately poor!
Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not passing judgment on Grandma, or anyone else. I spoil my pets as much as the next guy or gal, and take immense pleasure in it. Truth be told, I'd rather hang out with my dog than with a whole lot of people I know. We share a special bond, my best friend and I. Hey, admit it... lots of you feel the same way!
Companion animals can enrich our lives in an almost endless number of ways. Whether greeting us enthusiastically at the door, keeping us company on daily jogs or simply entertaining us with their play, sharing your life with a pet is a great way to increase the length and improve the quality of your life. For all they add to our lives, we owe it to them to do all we can for them in return. One of the ways to ensure your animal companion enjoys a long, happy life is to avoid the pitfalls of the most common pet-parenting mistakes:
Just as parents ‘childproof’ their home, so should pet owners ‘petproof’ theirs. Four-legged members of the family, like infants and small children, are naturally curious and love to explore their environment with their paws, claws and mouths. But they can’t know what is dangerous and what is not... so it’s up to you to make your home a safe haven. The following tips can help ensure that your pet enjoys a long, happy and accident-free life in your care.
In the garage
Pets like the smell and taste of antifreeze and windshield washer. Tightly cover their containers and wipe up any spills.
Paint, gasoline and other dangerous chemicals should be stored out of reach.
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