Our
animal companions give us all the time, attention, and affection that we want,
and in return, they deserve the best care that we can provide. Here are the top
six ways to return the favor:

 
1.     
Suppertime

    Just like
    people, animals need high-quality, nutritious food, which is the basis for good
    health. They also benefit from having moist food, which is more palatable and
    helps prevent urinary tract infections. If you are concerned about supporting
    factory farms when you buy pet food, check out PETA’s factsheet on feeding dogs and cats vegetarian
    or vegan food
    . And, of course, we
    wouldn’t want to drink out of a dirty glass, and our animals don’t want to
    drink out of a dirty bowl, either. So give them fresh water daily in a clean
    container.

     
    2.     
    It’s Potty Time

      Have you ever
      walked into a public restroom stall only to turn around and walk right back
      out? Cats prefer a clean bathroom,
      too, so scoop at least twice a day. Similarly, a backyard filled with “land
      mines” is no fun for people or
      dogs, so be sure to scoop regularly. And dogs shouldn’t be expected
      to “hold it” all day (not only is this painful, it’s also harmful to
      their kidneys), so if someone can’t go home at lunchtime to let the dog out,
      hire a dog walker or, if you have a yard with a secure privacy fence, install a
      doggie door.

       
      3.     
      Don’t Keep the
      Doctor Away

        An annual veterinary
        visit for a check-up is a must, but if your animal shows any signs of not
        feeling well, be sure to schedule an appointment right away. Fleas and ticks
        torment dogs and cats, so they must be controlled (try using natural, nontoxic products), and heartworms and intestinal
        worms can be easily prevented with once-monthly medications. Additionally, spaying and neutering not only eliminates the
        risk of reproductive organ cancer but also prevents females from suffering
        through heat cycles and reduces the risk that animals of both sexes will contract
        contagious diseases. And why not take an animal CPR class to make sure that
        you’ll be ready in case of an animal health emergency?

         
        4.     
        Looking Good

          Dogs need regular
          brushing to keep their coats clean and to prevent matting. Avoid giving them too
          many baths, though. Dogs need to retain the oil in their coat to keep it
          healthy, and if your dog has a chronic “doggie odor,” that usually
          means that a change in diet is called for.

           
          5.     
          Tiny Chip = Safe
          Animal

            Tags are a great
            way to I.D. your dog or cat, but they can fall off or be removed. However, a microchip is permanent, as
            evidenced by the recent story of a woman who was reunited—thanks to a microchip—with the dog who had
            been stolen from her seven years earlier. 


            Hannah and I have found our favorite activity: enjoying the sun and surf at the beach.

             
            6.     
            Play Ball!

              While health
              care is important, what our animals appreciate most is quality time—playing
              fetch, taking a walk, chasing a piece of string, or having a cuddle session. You
              and your dog could even enroll in a fun, rewards-based agility class. Our
              animals depend on us for their exercise and enrichment. By trying out various activities
              and toys, even simple items like balled-up paper or an empty paper towel roll,
              we can discover what our animal companions really enjoy and have a lot of fun
              in the process.

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              Article source: PETA Files

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