As a pet owner, you’re probably aware of how important it is to take care of your pet. This doesn’t just mean concerning yourself when they’re ill but also paying attention to their health in general, even when there’s nothing evidently wrong.
With how much love you have for your pet, keeping an eye out on their health can prove to be nerve-racking, with you feeling worried about even their smallest new action and habit. To ensure that you don’t stress yourself out worrying unnecessarily, it’s essential to learn how to take care of your furry best friend properly — and here are some tips that should help.
Most people don’t think that they’ll ever lose their pets. However, emergencies happen, and animals are known to make a run for the door when you open it for any reason. Indeed, over 10 million pets are reported missing in the country each year, and that’s where proper identification comes in.
Proper identification is the key to ensuring your pet is returned to you, safe and sound. It includes a collar and tag that has all your information printed, as well as a microchip implanted under their skin.
Most lost pets end up in animal shelters, making a point to check for both forms of identification so they can reunify with you. However, when it comes to those without any form of identification, only 2% of cats and 15% of dogs are reunited with their owner – and the last thing you want is for your pet to become just another statistic lost in a shelter.
Regular visits to the vet are an essential part of pet ownership. Before getting a furry friend, make sure you’ve budgeted enough money to be able to adequately care for them, including paying for emergency vet visits if required.
As your pet ages, you’ll likely need to visit the vet more. Make sure to take note of their diagnosis and ensure that they get any medications prescribed. One of the common medications for pets is wild Alaskan salmon oil for dogs and cats, which is prescribed if your pet is suffering from dry skin, allergies, or skin irritation. Other common prescriptions include famotidine, treating upset stomachs in dogs, and Clavamox for bacterial infection in cats.
No matter the medication prescribed, it’s essential to ensure it is administered to your pet on time and schedule. Some pets can be resistant to taking medications, which may force you to try to trick them into it, including by hiding pills in food or grinding them up into a powder. Consult your vet for suggestions to ensure your pet takes its medications without diluting the effect.
Spaying and neutering
If your pet has not been spayed or neutered, it’s essential to ensure that they are sterilized as soon as possible. Keep in mind that you may have to wait until your pet is old enough to be neutered — for example, female kittens should be fixed at about five months of age, while small-breed dogs should be fixed by six months of age.
Spaying reduces cancer risk, including testicular cancer in male pets, and prevents heat cycles and inappropriate behavior.
Additionally, spaying and neutering form a key method of reducing the overpopulation of pets. Many animal shelters are overwhelmed with homeless animals and are often marked “kill” shelters due to their inability to cope with new finds.
Neutering them reduces the risk of abandoned animals. It increases the chances of adoption, as potential owners will look to shelters rather than private breeders and “oops” litters from pet owners who have not spayed their animals. It can even be financially beneficial for you because you may be liable for your pet’s litter if they are male and have to pay for vet care for pregnant female animals.
Most pets are social animals and need to spend time around others of their species to be truly happy and healthy. Additionally, they need to be socialized among all types of humans, not just you and other members of your household.
Accordingly, it’s important to start training them on appropriate behavior around other people and animals as early as possible. This includes toilet training and ensuring that they will not attack other animals that they see as encroaching on their territory.
Take them for frequent walks, especially if you have pet-friendly parks in the neighborhood where they can safely interact with other animals.
Be a responsible pet owner
As a pet owner, the responsibility for your pet’s health and well-being is ultimately in your hands. It’s essential to pay close attention to their mood and physical health, so you know as soon as possible if anything’s wrong and can take the necessary steps to fix it.
These tips should become part of your daily life, and you’ll soon find that your pet is as happy as a clam — the benefits are sure to enhance your happiness as well!