Pets are family and we rely on them for unconditional love and support, to cheer us up when we’re down, and to provide company and entertainment in our daily lives. In return, we owe them the best care we can provide, from basics like food and water to play and cuddles and medical care including emergency vet options if needed.
A nation of pet lovers
A significant proportion of U.S. households are pet owners, with over 46 million owning dogs and nearly 40 million cat owners. Many households have multiple pets, including both dogs and cats. Not only are a significant proportion for American households pet owners, they also treat their pets like family members.
That means taking care of their comfort and wellbeing across all fronts, such as play, comfort, food, and medical care. Even during the recession, Forbes Magazine found that 92% of pet owners maintained their expenditures on pets, or even increased it. Medical care is an important part of pet care, and while we hope our pets never need medical care, it’s good to be prepared.
Vet care 101
Even if your pet is in perfect health, it’s a good idea to be aware of veterinary services near you. Sometimes word of mouth can be a good way to find a good veterinarian. It’s always a good idea to get feedback from local residents, whether it’s your neighbors, colleagues, pet sitters or the friendly check out clerk.
Veterinary care begins at an early age, and your puppy or kitten?s first vet visit happens at the age of 3 to 4 weeks. Vaccines are given in sequence until the pet is 16 weeks old. After that, it’s a good idea to bring in your pet to the animal hospital for an annual check up. For older pets, a biannual check up might be a good idea.
What are your veterinary options?
What are some things to look for in a good animal medical center? Many animal hospitals now offer state-of-the-art equipment and treatment that is on par with those found in human hospitals. They have in-house labs and an extensive monitoring network. Many offer emergency vet options, or will refer you to a 24-hour facility if needed.
Sometimes it’s a good idea just to watch the staff and doctors interact with pets. You can get a good sense of whether or not you would feel comfortable having them handle your pets.
Pets give us so much, from unconditional love and support to hours of play and laughter. In return, we owe them the best care we can provide. This includes the best medical care we can find, including emergency vet options, though we hope it won’t be necessary to use them.