Here are some things to consider doing. Some items may not be applicable to you.

Pets

Before deciding to obtain a pet:

  • Be aware that many dogs and cats are stolen for research or for animal fights small animals are used to train larger animals
  • Be aware that some people are allergic to some pets, especially pets with fur or feathers, and may be uncomfortable visiting your residence
  • Consider the possibility that your pet might bother neighbors, e.g., noise, droppings
  • Consider getting a smaller pet first, e.g., a hamster
  • Consider taking care of someone else's pet first to get a feel for what's involved
  • Consider whether a pet would be at danger from wild animals, e.g., coyotes
  • Consider whether your residence is well-suited for the type of pet you're considering, e.g., room for dogs to run around, no small places for hamsters to hide in
  • Be aware that many pets often carry fleas which live in carpets, etc.

Before deciding whether to get a specific pet:

  • Determine how good the pet will be with children
  • Determine how loud the pet is likely to be
  • Determine if the pet is pure bred
  • Determine if the pet has any papers verifying breeding, vaccinations, etc.
  • Determine if the pet is sick, or has been sick. Give your pet CBD for cats to improve his or her health. Visit SF Weekly for more information about this product
  • Have the pet checked by a vet

After obtaining a pet:

  • Have pet spayed/neutered it will make them less likely to roam, thereby reducing risk of getting lost or stolen
  • Have a microchip inserted under the skin and/or have your pet tattooed—most researchers check for these before using an animal for research
  • Consider pet health insurance—the average annual cost of vet care (routine and otherwise) for a dog is $160

Regularly:

  • Keep teeth clean with brushing (use toothpaste designed for your pet and consider using a finger toothbrush), sprays, chewable pills, hard food and/or chewable toys
  • Clean ears with cotton balls, etc. (avoid cleaning ears with cotton swabs) approx. every 1-2 weeks swabs can push wax, etc. further into the ear canal
  • Use a shampoo designed for your type pet

If's:

If you are bitten by someone's pet:

  • Report it to authorities, e.g., animal control to force negligent owners to control, and perhaps train, their pet

If you become aware of a pet owner who does not properly control their pet and the pet poses a hazard to others:

  • Report them to authorities, e.g., animal control to force the owner to control their pet

If you can no longer care for your pet:

  • Don't give it away free to a stranger (charge something) they might sell it for research (dogs and cats have organs similar to humans)
  • Check with an animal shelter

Death of a pet:

  • Some areas prohibit backyard burials
  • Vet should give you alternatives, e.g., cremation ($100-200), cemetery burial ($600-10,000)
  • Use similar procedures as you would for a human funeral
  • Insist on viewing your pet before it is buried
  • Ensure cemetery has necessary funds to stay in business

Cremation:

  • Ensure your pet is actually cremated (e.g., not just dumped into open pit)
  • Ensure the ashes you get back are those of your pet

Burial:

  • Get a contract which includes:

    • Exact location of burial
    • Your rights and responsibilities regarding maintenance of the plot

Kennels:

If you're considering leaving your pet at a kennel, etc.:

  • Call American Boarding Kennels Association (719) 591-1113
  • Visit the recommended kennel(s) to check for:

    • Adequate space
    • Cleanliness
    • Staff interested in your pet
    • Ventilation
    • Are they willing to use your pet's personal bedding, toys, food, etc.?

Pet sitters:

If you're considering using a pet-sitter:

  • Seek referrals, e.g., call National Association of Professional Pet Sitters, (800) 296-7387

For prospective pet-sitters:

  • Determine if they will:

    • Walk pet
    • Play with pet
    • Take in mail, newspapers, etc.
    • Turn lights on and off
    • Stay overnight
  • Ask for proof of bonding and insurance

  • Check references

Transporting a pet:

If you're considering taking a pet with you:

  • Consider not taking your pet and having it cared for by a pet sitter, kennel, etc. (see Pet sitters, Kennels)

If you decide to transport your pet:

  • Ensure your pet is not:

    • Pregnant
    • Frail
    • Too young
    • Sick
  • Be aware that cats tend to get confused and lost on trips

  • Obtain copy of medical records for emergencies and crossing borders

  • Seek advice from a vet

  • Ensure all hotels, etc. at which you might stay will allow pets

  • Put an ID tag on your pet

If you're considering flying your pet:

  • Check the policies of the airline(s) for travelling pets
  • Beware that airline flights can be fatal for pets which fly in the baggage compartment
  • You can usually take your pet in the cabin with you if it will fit in a carrier which will fit under the seat

If your pet will be flying in the baggage compartment and/or unaccompanied:

  • Get a non-stop flight to reduce the risk of death from overheating during loading or unloading
  • Get an evening flight to avoid the hottest time of day

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