Have you thought about adding a pet to your family? Pets such as cats and dogs can make wonderful companions, and there are many in need of loving homes right now. No matter where you live, there are likely hundreds of animals who would benefit from your love, care, and attention — from cuddly kittens to abandoned Labradors in need of a new mom and dad.
But before you choose one to bring home, here are some tips for routine preventive care for pets.
Tips For New Pet Owners:
First, choose a veterinary practice that you are confident will offer quality veterinary care for your pet. We’ve found that a good vet will be your partner in making sure your new family member has the best health possible. They will help you keep on track with the best schedule for your pet’s care. It’s generally recommended that puppies and kittens receive vaccines every three to four weeks until they are 16 weeks old. For older pets, veterinarians recommend check-ups twice per year. In addition to preventative care, many practices offer services such as professional pet grooming, bathing services, and therapeutic services for pets, too.
Remember that just as people do, your pet needs a healthy diet with the proper amount of calories. A small, inactive dog only needs about 185 to 370 calories per day, and a 10-pound cat should have 240 to 350 calories. As much as your pet may beg for additional food or snacks at the dinner table, overfeeding them may put them at risk for obesity, leading to additional health problems such as cancer, high blood pressure, and kidney disease. Your new veterinarian will be able to make a good recommendation based on your pet’s weight, age, and lifestyle.
Non-Optional Pet Care
And lastly, there are two things every pet owner absolutely must do: always ensure that your pet has a collar with your identification information and schedule spaying or neutering for your pet. If you prefer a more permanent method of identification, microchipping is also an option offered at many pet hospital locations.
Sadly, for pets who get lost and don’t have identification, there’s only about a 14% chance they will find their way home. Not only is this heartbreaking, it also adds to the high numbers of animals in shelters. There are about 8 million to 10 million lost, abandoned, or homeless pets who end up in shelters in the United States every year. Getting your pet spayed or neutered is the best thing you can do to avoid increasing that number, along with always keeping your identification information on your pet at all times.
We hope you keep these tips for routine preventive care for pets in mind as you search for the perfect pet for your family.