Responsible care and safety for a cherished pet is vital to their growth and well being. Cats need subjects to rule and dogs need consistency, routine, and a pack or family. Failure to provide consistency and routine for a dog will give it behavioral problems. Any training or development of dogs requires patience, persistence and consistency. You may not be aware of it but most dogs spend much of their time quietly observing you. Every move you make is not unnoticed. They try to figure out your routine and evaluate how they can fit into what you do. They anticipate your every move. As responsible pet owners we need to be equally as vigilant of their behavior. We also need to be good and considerate pack leaders in the instance of dogs.
Cats are solitary and prone to have subjects. Dogs strive to be part of a pack with their human counterparts. Dogs require good nutrition, grooming and they desire to be with their human pack. Cats are finicky eaters, not pack animals, and groom and care for themselves. Dogs need their hair/fur combed regularly, nails trimmed, teeth brushed, regular walks, and baths. Cats are pretty maintenance free.
Keeping your pet safe is entirely a different matter. We have a six foot high wire fence to keep our dogs safe in the back yard but we never leave them unattended. To do so is simply inviting trouble. If you have small dogs or cats they are subject to about every predator in Colorado including those who are airborne. A mountain lion can jump 15' in a single bound. A coyote will attempt to lure your pet off into a trap where they will be ambushed. Wolves will simply attack and kill your pet.with their 1500 lbs per square inch bite strength. Raptors will swoop down and your pet will be gone is an instant. Fences do not particularly contain cats but do give dogs a level of safety. Invisible fences are unsuitable because some dogs will run past the temporary pain and go right through them. Besides they keep dogs in but not predators out. If a dog gets outside the electric fence it then has the problem of getting back into the contained area. Keeping the dog in a restricted area is a low form of safety, but invisible fencing does not begin to keep predators out. Mountain lions have been know to use dog doors to pursue a dog inside a house or garage. The best protection for your pets is to have you with them where you can see potential problems early on. Deer and hoofed animals can do a lot of damage to an animal. It takes a vigilant pet owner to keep your pet safe and protected.
Even when you have done all you can do, accidents can occur, like the time our dog Gypsy lunged when she saw a coyote and her collar broke. She was after that coyote in an instant and we tried to keep up unsuccessfully. 'We' was myself and our large GSD Ben. The coyote led her right into an ambush and she was no longer the chaser but the chased. She headed directly back to us as fast as she could run and just made it but the coyotes were rapidly closing the gap when they saw a full set of German Shepherd teeth and accompanying growl that came from the very pits of hell itself. They broke off the chase only a few feet from us. You don't anticipate quality collars breaking, so accidents can and do happen. Having the human available is critical to keeping a dog or pet safe.
Having pets is important in Colorado for early warning and a form of protection as well as companionship. It is also important to provide them equal protection to keep them safe. The value of having pets is incalculable and the benefit we receive from them is far greater than the little effort we expend to keep them safe and healthy. Next topic is training, hazards and first aid. What training commands are essential.