Donkeys have been a working companion of humans for at least 5000 years. They are trusty helpers in transportation and agriculture. They are still widely used in under developed countries today.
Sadly, donkeys have long been replaced by machines in developed countries like the US. Most of the donkeys we see just serve as fun rides for kids. While there is nothing wrong about that, I believe we can welcome them in our homes as pets.
Donkeys are intelligent and social creatures. They can build bonds between humans like other pets can. They are gentle animals so it is safe to have kids around them. If space is a consideration, you may opt for a miniature donkey instead.
Here are the basic things you need to consider if you decide to have a donkey:
Feed your donkey with good quality grass or grain hay. If possible, feed them in small batches, 2 to 3 times a day. You can offer them treats, like apples and carrots, but cut them to bite-sized pieces to avoid choking. Never give them their treats by hand because they will learn to associate you with the treats and expect it from you every time they see you. Instead, mix the treats with their hay.
Give your donkey a plentiful supply of drinking water and check it every day to ensure that it never runs out. Do not forget to inspect the water container as well. It should always be clean and is not easily knocked over.
Shelter your donkey from the elements. A three sided shelter is enough to allow them to come in and out as they please. You also need to provide the donkey an ample amount of space to run and play. As always, ensure that the shelter and surrounding structures are pest free to avoid infestation. Our friends at Pest Control Denver CO provides affordable treatment for any pest that can present danger to your property.
Clean you donkey’s hooves using a hoof pick at least once a week. The hooves also need to be trimmed by farrier every two to three months. Remember that you need to keep the hooves in proper shape. Otherwise, it can cause knees and joints pain to the donkey.
Your veterinarian will advise you of proper vaccinations to be given to your donkey. These vaccinations should be given as early as possible to prevent diseases. Regularly brush your donkey’s coat to check for wounds and other problems such as lice. Parasitic worms also affect the health of donkeys. Contact your veterinarian for information on the most effective way to de-worm your donkey.
Donkeys are herd animals. They are not happy being alone. It will benefit them if they have a companion of their kind. If having another donkey is not possible, another animal such as goat or sheep will do. Donkeys need the attention of their owners, too. Visit your donkey and take it for walks to strengthen your bond.
Remember, taking care of pets is a big responsibility no matter the size of the animal. It requires your time, effort and love. In return, your pet will give you unconditional love and companionship.
Find more useful advice at https://www.thedonkeysanctuary.org.uk/donkey-health-and-welfare