RSPCA Great Southern inspector: New Year’s resolutions

Georgina BrownAlbany Advertiser
RSPCA WA Great Southern Inspector Georgina Brown, and Skittles the dog.
Camera IconRSPCA WA Great Southern Inspector Georgina Brown, and Skittles the dog. Credit: Supplied

Many of us would have rung in the new year this month with resolutions to get back to the gym, practice daily gratitude or even try a new hobby, all very worthy but RSPCA WA inspectors would love you to add these three pet resolutions too.

Don’t let your cat roam

For feline owners, keeping your cats contained to your property this year should be at the top of your priority list.

There are many benefits to keeping your cat safe at home, including fewer cat fights and related injuries, avoiding infectious diseases and lowering risk to wildlife in the area.

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Contained cats can live indoors and in escape-proof outdoor enclosures but steps must be taken by owners to ensure their cats get adequate exercise and enrichment.

Some enrichment ideas include climbing spaces, hiding areas, scratching posts, a sunny spot to lie in, and adopting a second cat for company.

Keep your dog entertained

If you’re wondering why your dog is engaging in undesirable behaviour when you’re away at work, it is likely their environment is unstimulating.

A lack of enrichment can contribute to anxiety, aggression, depression, excessive barking and howling, and destructive behaviour.

Just like us, our beloved pups require mental stimulation to keep their brains healthy and, without proper enrichment, your dog is more likely to become bored and frustrated.

To combat this, try training, problem-solving and memory tasks.

When leaving your dog home alone, rotate through a range of stimulating toys such as ropes, squeaky toys, stuffed animals, and tennis balls.

Feeding enrichment can help keep dogs occupied too by mentally challenging them while they eat or by slowing their eating pace using puzzle feeders and toys filled with food.

Regular walks and bike rides are a great way to expose your dog to different social situations as are doggy play dates and training classes.

Adopt your next companion

If you’re looking for a new companion, perhaps adopt an animal from the RSPCA or another reputable shelter or rescue.

The RSPCA cares for thousands of animals every year including cats, dogs, horses, birds, rabbits, and guinea pigs. They are all in need of a good home.

The great thing about adopting is the staff know the animals in their care really well and can help match the perfect pet to your home and lifestyle.

Georgina Brown is the Great Southern inspector at RSPCA WA.

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