You want your furry friends to be healthy, but sometimes it is hard to know what they need and even how they are feeling. Knowing how to properly care for your companion can be a full-time effort so don’t take it lightly. An animal’s instinct is to hide injury or illness, so always be on the lookout for changes in behavior and follow these five tips for keeping your pet healthy and avoiding injury.
Do Your Homework
Thoroughly research the needs of a new pet before bringing him home. Some animals have special needs that inexperienced caregivers simply may not be aware of. Know the breed and proclivities that each breed brings to the table. Some breeds are extremely difficult to train and should not be adopted by the uneducated or unwilling to learn owner. If you are prepared for the challenge it will not seem as difficult.
Pet insurance companies claim that the 10 most frequently ingested items include socks, underwear, pantyhose, corn cobs and chew toys. Protect your pet by keeping dirty laundry and trash in lidded containers. Put small toys away before leaving or going to bed and never leave plastic bags or other hazards in the open. These hazards can be a nightmare for both you and your pet.
According to the American Veterinary Dental society, 80 percent of cats and dogs over age three have some type of oral disease. Give your pet treats designed to promote oral health, brush her teeth at home when possible, and have your vet perform an annual dental exam, including a professional cleaning if necessary. Proper dental care can extend a pet’s life two to five years as many diseases start in their mouths.
Know Your Vet
Take pets for checkups at least twice a year. Many pet owners visit the vet only when there is a problem or when vaccinations are due. This is so common that the American Animal Hospital Association’s Dr. Bill Swartz says that “a regular physical is the most overlooked pet health need today.” Early detection can make problems easier and less expensive to treat, so don’t dismiss wellness visits as an unnecessary expense. Going regularly to the vet, like the ABC Veterinarians, can help acclimate you pet to the office and make the experience less stressful.
Plan for Emergencies
Have an emergency evacuation plan for your pets as well as your family. Find out now what nearby motels allow pets and keep the numbers of local animal shelters and boarding kennels handy. Pack an emergency kit with canned pet food, water dishes, litter boxes, veterinary records and medications your pet needs. Check your bag annually to replace expired food and medicine. Pets left behind during emergencies rarely fare well.
If you provide your pet the care mentioned here along with a healthy diet and exercise, your pet will be at your side loving you back for many years to come.