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Help give me the tools to be a great cat and dog owner

Post date: 2019-10-28 16:44:24
Views: 13
S o my life situation is going to be more amenable to pet ownership soon. I'd like to start getting informed, as that will help me plan when and how I want to get pets :) more details inside!

As I mentioned in the blurb, I'm going to be settling down a bit more soon. My current plan is to first start with two cats, then see how that goes for a bit (6 months, let's say), then get two dogs assuming all goes ok. My SO is accepting but will probably not be taking on much responsibility, which I'm fine with. I will have friends and family in the area who are pet lovers and willing to help out if I travel etc (my parents especially are long time dog people and extremely willing to help). I've spent a long time around pets, but haven't raised my own as an adult (though I have help friends out for months at a time before). As such, I want to sort of fill in the gaps of my knowledge so I can plan accordingly (and of course abort the plan if I decide it's not the right time).

For both cats and dogs, I'd say the general questions could be summarized as: how do you choose what information to trust? How do you train them so they are used to necessary things which many pets find traumatic and freak out about? My current plan would be to get the respective dogs and cats when they are pretty young. For cats I do not have a particular breed preference, for dogs I want to get two miniature dachshunds. My desire to get two is so they have each other for company.

For cats, I am curious about a couple things:
- Is there a way to make cats not flip out when putting them into a crate to go to the vet etc?
- Any way to make it so that flying is minimally traumatic?
- How do you choose wet food, dry food, both, etc? On that note, how to choose when to feed them, esp for a working adult?
- Any ways to encourage them to be comfortable with people, affectionate etc? (I assume personality is a dominant factor but stuff)
- Are there any worthwhile gadgets? Some friends have the "cat poop robot" which seems pretty great. There is also the cat water bowl which circulates stuff. Anything else? Perhaps an automatic feeder?
- I'd be generally interested in scientific or at least well regarded books or whatnot on good cat ownership

For dogs I'm curious about a bit more...a lot of people have recommended the books by the monks of new skete, which I will definitely check out. I think in addition to the general above stuff, I'm somewhat mystified by proper training, but I'd like to try hard to train my dogs well. I don't care about anything fancy, just the solid core stuff to make our lives together better. The bulk of dog owners I know just seem to have one sided conversations with their dogs... But some specifics (which may be answered by the books above, but still)
- How can I get the dog to be comfortable with baths? Trips to the vet?
- How do you make decisions about whether to crate or not? I'd really love to not have to crate them (at night, for example) unless absolutely necessary and let them hang out in my apartment...but that means they need to be able to hold their business until the morning with 99.9% reliability, and not tear everything to pieces
- Any way to make it so that flying is minimally traumatic?
- I might have the pleasure of working in a dog friendly environment, but if I were to bring my dogs I'd want them to be able to exist well in that environment. Any training tips to ensure they can just sort of...be ok in that environment? Chill when I need them to chill? Not flip out?
- In the vein of the above, every once in a while (once a year?) they may need to live at my parent's place for a couple of weeks. To be honest my parents have a great place for some dogs, but I'm just curious about how to ensure they don't flip out from me not being there etc
- How do you make nutrition decisions? Or how about, when to walk them and how much?
- Any tips to make sure they behave relatively well with other people, and other dogs?
- How to make sure they handle themselves well on a leash
- Anything dachshund specific? I know they're sort of a stubborn, dumb breed but life is short and I want dachshunds
- And again I'm open generally to essential dog raising resources

As with many of my ask mefi questions, I know there's a lot of info out there already, it's just that it can be hard to know what to trust, how to cut through the noise. Y'all have generation been good at sort of giving me principled suggestions to tackle this sort of stuff. I welcome any general thoughts and recommendations related to cat and/or dog ownership
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