Congratulations if you are considering adopting a pet or have recently brought one into your house! Pet parenting is a fulfilling hobby. Whether you have a loyal dog who greets you with a wagging tail or a graceful cat who curls up on your lap, having a pet around you can uplift your mood. Their affectionate nudges, wet kisses, and gentle purrs provide us with a sense of comfort like no other.
However, taking care of a pet also requires you to stay on top of several obligations. As a responsible pet owner, you should be well-versed in the following tips to keep your pet healthy:
- Get Regular Vaccinations
Vaccination is a key component of quality pet care. Vaccination effectively protects dogs against contagious conditions such as Lyme disease, rabies, and distemper. Likewise, you can protect your cats from feline herpes virus and feline leukemia with the use of vaccines.
In addition to the standard vaccines, it is important to consider cancer vaccines as part of your pet’s preventive care. Cancer is a prevalent and serious health concern for pets, just as it is for humans. Advances in veterinary medicine have led to the development of vaccines that can help reduce the risk of certain types of cancer in pets.
Just like a cancer vaccine for humans, this vaccine stimulates the immune system to recognize and target specific cancer cells. They are typically administered as a series of injections, following a schedule recommended by your veterinarian.
- Schedule Regular Checkups With The Vet
Effective pet ownership begins with regular veterinary visits. Due to their shorter life expectancy than humans, biannual check-ups for your dog or cat are essential. We recommend planning ahead to make the most of your vet visit. If your pet is unwell, jot down all the symptoms and take them to the clinic. This will help the veterinarian identify and treat the problem quickly.
That said, taking a pet to the vet is not always easy. Cats are particularly reluctant to venture outside of their familiar territory. Before going to the veterinarian, stroll your cat about the neighborhood. That way, it can release some pent-up nervous energy.
Remember, paying for routine pet check-ups could wipe away a substantial portion of your budget. If you do not want to break the bank while keeping your pet healthy, opting for pet insurance could be your best bet. Most pet insurance policies will cover visits to any legally practicing veterinarian. It also includes emergency and specialty care facilities.
- Spay Or Neuter Your Pets
Every year, eight to ten million pets end up in shelters in the United States. You can reduce that number simply by spaying or neutering your pets. Having your dog or cat spayed or neutered helps minimize the overpopulation of dogs and cats. As a result, the rate of abandoned pets also comes down.
When it comes to finding a partner, a healthy male dog will stop at nothing. This includes leaving the house by tunneling beneath fences or rushing out the front door. When the dog is let loose into the world, they are at greater risk of being hurt by vehicles or getting into confrontations with other animals. You can control this urge in your pet with timely spay or neutering.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals recommends waiting until the puppy is six to nine months old to be spayed or neutered. As for cats, the average age for spaying or neutering is between eight weeks and five months.
- Keep An Eye On Their Weight
In the United States, over 50% of cats and dogs are obese or overweight. It may surprise many pet parents, but being fat harms their animal companions! Medical conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease are not limited to humans; your pet is also susceptible to them. In some cases, pet obesity could lead to liver diseases, urinary tract diseases, and cancer.
Reading the pet food feeding guide is one of the best ways to ensure your pet maintains a healthy weight. You may find feeding instructions on the food’s packaging or the manufacturer’s website. It is also important to measure the food. This will enable you to keep an eye on the number of calories they consume. Do not keep food out for pets to eat throughout the day. Instead, give them tiny servings at predetermined intervals. That way, they will not be able to wolf down food rapidly, ensuring optimal digestion.
It bears worth mentioning that the ideal weight for each pet is different. It depends on several variables, including age, breed, gender, etc. Consultation with a qualified pet doctor is highly recommended to determine your pet’s appropriate weight.
- Monitor Oral Health
If you do not regularly clean your pet’s teeth, they could develop gum disease and cavities. If the infection spreads, it can cause a lot of discomfort for your pet and pave the way for more serious health issues down the road. A well-documented study reports that 80% of pets show symptoms of canine periodontal disease by the age of 3. You should keep an eye out for signs of tartar buildup or gum disease.
Dogs and cats are notorious for hiding these symptoms for fear of being judged as weak. Therefore, it is your responsibility to conduct timely inspections. If you notice any telltale signs of tooth decay, you should schedule a dental cleaning within the next six months. Otherwise, they develop painful diseases like gingivitis, which could be complicated and expensive to treat. As an added precaution, use pet-specific toothpaste and a toothbrush to clean your pet’s teeth at least once a week.
When you adopt a pet, you make a lifelong commitment to care for another cherished member of your family. From playful moments to heartwarming snuggles, every day with your pet is a treasure trove of priceless memories. However, you must remember that being a responsible pet owner goes beyond the fun and cuddles – it involves providing proper care and attention to safeguard their health. By adhering to the tips covered in this blog, you can ensure your pet’s health and well-being for years to come.