Did you know that pets, in France and in Europe, just like human beings, have certain rights? These rights make it possible to guarantee the well-being of the animal and therefore suppose a certain number of duties and obligations that the owner of the pet has towards it.
Animal welfare, as defined by the World Organization for Animal Health, consists of:
- Meet their physiological and behavioral needs
- Provide him with the necessary care, whether preventive or regular
- Provide him with a healthy diet that meets his nutritional needs
- Ensure good hygiene
- Take care of it regularly (walk it, play with it, etc.)
Any owner of a pet who does not fulfill his duties and his responsibility towards his mascot can then face sanctions, ranging from removal from the animal to fines or prison sentences. These arrangements have been made to reduce animal abuse.
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Providing quality care to your pet is therefore not only proof of the love you have for it… it is also a real duty and a responsibility!
Why is pet care so important?
Ensuring good health for your pet meets several criteria.
First of all, this ensures its well-being: a healthy pet will be happy and will fully flourish in your home. On the contrary, an animal that suffers from a health problem may suffer from depression, may show signs of aggressiveness and may even allow itself to die (by stopping to eat, for example).
In addition, providing regular care to your mascot can extend its life expectancy and detect any illnesses that could handicap it in the short, medium or long term.
Caring for your pet also contributes to the general health of your whole family (especially your children) and your other pets, if you have them. Indeed, animals can harbor parasites that can be transmitted to humans and affect their health. We obviously think of fleas, ticks and intestinal worms. Treating your animal preventively means avoiding this type of inconvenience.
Finally, an animal in full health is an animal full of happiness! He will be all the more complicit with his master, will overflow with energy and will play with enthusiasm and good humor with children or parents.
Preventive care for animals
There are two kinds of pet care.
- What is commonly called “preventive care”, which consists of a series of treatments to prevent the onset of diseases or other pathologies;
- Those “emergency”, which consist in bringing your companion to the veterinarian if he is sick or if he has injured himself.
Treat parasites preventively
Both animals and humans can be susceptible to internal parasites. One thinks in particular of the tapeworm, which is found in the small intestine of the human being. However, pets are much more exposed to these intestinal parasites. And for good reason: mammals such as dogs, cats or ferrets discover their environment with their nose, which exposes them more to these parasites.
For this reason, it is important to deworm your pet regularly, to avoid the development and proliferation of parasites within them which could, in time, damage the internal walls of the intestine. Generally, deworming treatments are carried out every month, in young animals (kitten, puppy), then once or twice a year once in adulthood.
External parasites such as fleas or ticks can be easily eradicated using appropriate treatments. You will need to talk to your veterinarian about this.
Vaccinate your pet preventively
Vaccinating your pet depends on both legal and health factors. Some animals must indeed have a certain number of vaccines to be in good standing, and this only in certain circumstances.
Vaccination is compulsory only in certain cases, in particular if you wish to travel abroad with your pet or if your pet regularly attends a pension or a refuge. In addition, dangerous dogs must be vaccinated against rabies.
However, if you are not legally obliged to vaccinate your pet if it does not travel and remains within your household, certain vaccines are very strongly recommended. Indeed, they make it possible to prevent diseases that are fatal or particularly disabling for the animal. For this, it will be advisable to follow the advice of the veterinarian who takes care of your companion.
Sterilization of your pet
Sterilizing your pet is particularly recommended to take care of its health and avoid the appearance of hormonal disorders or diseases.
First of all, in males, castration makes it possible to reduce the risk of fights and altercation with its congeners, to reduce the risk of running away and will limit the desires of the animal to mark its territory (in particular via the projection of urine on the walls of your house or in your garden).
In females, sterilization eliminates the inconveniences associated with heat (meowing, barking) and avoids unwanted pregnancy (especially in small rodents such as domestic rats or rabbits which reproduce at lightning speed). Moreover, the heat and the non-insemination of a pet can lead to the appearance of a hormone-dependent pathology which often proves fatal for the animal. Sterilization prevents the appearance of these diseases.
Contrary to a widely held idea among the French, there is no reason to wait for a first litter in a pet before proceeding to sterilization. Castration or sterilization does not represent any risk or danger for your companion (on the contrary, it allows him to live longer) and will not cause any change in his mood.
Pet care and administrative procedures
Owning a pet is usually accompanied by several administrative procedures depending on the type of animal you own.
Being the master of a dog, a cat or certain NACs (the new pets) will require you to chip or tattoo them, so that they are easily identifiable by the authorities. Each pet must have its own health book in which will be recorded its visits to the veterinarian and the vaccines it has received. If you are traveling in Europe or internationally, this health record will be one of the conditions for your pet to obtain a health passport, which will allow it to enter the territory of a foreign country.
France has more than 14 million domestic cats. It is the most popular pet by the French.
To do this, do not hesitate to check the condition of his eyes. These must not be cluttered or present any crust or other impurity. To take care of your cat, you can clean them preventively with a cotton ball soaked in physiological saline.
The ears are not immune to the little care that you can lavish on your cat. On this occasion, forget the cotton swab. Your veterinarian can recommend a product in the form of a spray to introduce into the cat’s ear to promote the expulsion of earwax.
Also check the condition of your cat’s teeth and gums. They actually turn out to be particularly sensitive. You can easily manipulate your cat to appreciate the look of its mouth. An intervention will necessarily require a veterinarian.
The claws are not left out: they grow regularly and if your cat lives in an apartment, they will have to be cut. A nail clipper will be your best ally on this occasion.
The dog is the best friend of the man… it is well known. It is for this reason that care for dogs is particularly well developed.
It will then be advisable to take care, in the same way as in the cat, of its ears, its eyes and its teeth. Your veterinarian will be able to provide you with the right products and tell you the best practices for taking care of your dog.
In addition, the dog is an animal that grooms very little. For this reason, a regular bath will allow him to eliminate dead skin, dead hair, and restore a silky and clean coat to the dog.
Care for NAC
The new pets, better known as NAC, are more and more fashionable among the French. They include a large number of species among which are rodents such as the guinea pig , hamster, rabbit or domestic rat , carnivorous mammals, such as the ferret , birds, such as the parrot or the canary and reptiles like the iguana, the python or the turtle (among others).
It will be necessary to follow the advice of your veterinarian to provide care to your NAC , and this to ensure its well-being. Some require very little maintenance while others will require special attention. Adopting a NAC requires as much responsibility as adopting a cat or a dog and therefore requires prior reflection.