How to Be a Responsible Pet Parent

You've finally got a pet! Either it's your pet, or a family pet, but either way, it's still a responsibility you should help out with. Here's all you need to know.


  1. Image titled Be a Responsible Pet Parent Step 1
    Name it! This is a very fun part of having a pet. Choose a name that represents the pet, you, your role model, or just pick a name that you really like.
  2. Image titled Be a Responsible Pet Parent Step 2
    Make sure your pet always has enough food and water. Depending on the size of your pet, the bowls (Bowls are only used for dogs and cats. Caged pets usually have a bowl of food and a little drip bottle for water.) should be refilled about 2-4 times a day. If your pet is an outside pet, make sure it has a bowl of water outside as well. If you want, you can put a bowl of food outside as well, but it usually gets attacked by some sort of insect(s). If you have a fish, feed it fish food (preferably a tropical kind) about twice a day; once in the morning and once in the evening.
    • Always make sure it has a full bowl of water.
  3. Image titled Be a Responsible Pet Parent Step 3
    Keep your pet clean. If you have a cat, make sure you have a litterbox, and that the litterbox is always clean. If you have a dog, make sure to let it outside every other hour, or so. Or, and this applies for dogs and cats, you can install a pet door, allowing your pet to go in and out as it pleases. If you have a caged pet, make sure to change out the scraps (newspaper shreds or the cage shavings you can buy at a pet store) frequently. For a fish, clean the filter (if you have one; some fishbowls don't need one) once a month. Also, make sure that the water stays clean.
  4. Image titled Be a Responsible Pet Parent Step 4
    Train your pet. This part is pretty much geared toward cats and dogs (Any pet that doesn't have to live in a cage or a bowl. It's hard to get a goldfish to shake your hand!). If you want to keep it from doing something, punish it. For dogs, hit it (not smack-hard, but with a little force) on the nose and tell it that was not good, or it's a bad dog. But don't lean in close to it's face or scream at it. Just use a little force in your voice. For cats, tell it it's a bad kitty and hit it on the head. Like I said before, only with a little bit of force. If you want to commend your pet for something, give a treat, and shower it in praise. For example, if you are trying to get your pet to shake your hand, gently grab its paw and shake it, while saying, "Shake," repeatedly. Then, give it a treat and give it many complements. Do this about four or five times, then hold your hand out to it and say, "Shake." If your pet automatically puts its paw there, give it a treat and praise it.
  5. Image titled Be a Responsible Pet Parent Step 5
    Care for your pet. Make sure your pet always knows that you love it. Play with it or pet it or, and I know this sounds crazy, talk to it. Tell it it's a good pet.
  6. Image titled Be a Responsible Pet Parent Step 6
    Make sure to take it to the vet at least every 6 months. If it needs any shots, make sure to get the pet its shots right away.
    • If there are any problems with your pet, always go to the vet. Better safe than sorry.


  • Puppies need chew toys. To keep them from chewing on shoes or furniture, punish them when they do, and give them a chew toy, telling them to chew on that instead.
  • If you want to train your dog or cat to go through a pet door, you might have to stand on the outside of the door and call to it. You may even have to crawl through it to show the pet how it works!
  • Hamsters and other small pets that live in a cage may be very shy. So the don't have to sit out in the open and be scared to death, buy it a little tunnel or hut that it can hide in.
  • Train your dog to pace, or circle, when it needs to go out.
  • Kitties need toys, too. Usually, jingly toys or streamer toys are fun for a cat. Or a scratching post. Older kitties; cats, like scratching posts more.
  • In order to keep your fish's water clean, you may have to pump it out (or drain it out) and replace it with clean water. First, take a glass and dip it into the fishbowl. Scoop up the fish with a lot of water. Make sure the fish has enough water in the glass. Now, if you have a small, round fishbowl (easy and light enough to pick up), remove any of the small gravel or pebbles in the bottom. Make sure to take out any decorations (faux plants or figurines). Simply pour the old water into the sink and replace it with LUKEWARM water. If you have a larger tank, use a pump (available at a pet store) and pump out the water.


  • As soon as you get a pet it becomes YOUR responsibility. Make sure to take good care of it and clean up after it!

Article Info

Categories: Pets and Animals