Animal lovers will tell you that owning a pet can be one of the most fulfilling experiences you will ever have. However, there is more to owning a pet than just feeding it. Any pet you own, be it a dog, cat, fish or bird, will depend on you for everything from nourishment to medical attention and exercise as well as safety. Below are important tips that will bring you closer to giving your pet the best care.
- Take the Pet for Regular Check-Ups
Just like human beings, pets are prone to a number of health risks. Your pet may get heart complications, develop arthritis or even have a toothache. It is therefore imperative that you take it to a veterinarian at least once every year for checkups. As a matter of fact, taking your pet for regular health checkups is the single most important way to keep it healthy.
Ensure that the visits focus on issues such as weight control, parasite control, health screening and vaccination as well as nutrition.
- Provide a Conducive Environment
The environment in which your pet lives in has long-term effects on its health and overall well being. Pets need mental stimulation, thus they have to be walked on a daily basis and provided with things to scratch their bodies against.
You should play with your pet more often to keep its muscles well toned and get rid of boredom, in addition to strengthening the bond between you and your animal companion. In other words, ensure that your pet lives in an enriched environment.
- Groom Your Pet Regularly
Pets need grooming at least twice every week but long-haired pets might need grooming more often. It is worth mentioning that grooming involves checking the teeth and nails as well.
Brush the teeth to ensure that your pet has healthy and strong teeth to keep dental illness at the bay. You may contact your veterinarian for information on the brushing techniques, nail cleaning, and good grooming practices.
- Spray and Neuter Your Pets
Statistics show that close to 10 million pets end up in animal shelters in the US alone. However, this number can be reduced significantly if pet owners spay and neuter their pets. This procedure can be performed when the pet is as young as eight weeks of age.
Besides reducing the number of unwanted pets, spaying and neutering pets lowers the risk of certain cancers and the tendency to roam.
- Control Parasites
Parasites are a common cause of certain conditions in pets such as plague, irritated skin, hot spots, and hair loss. Parasites such as fleas can take a toll on your pet’s health, especially if it’s a dog.
In fact, all it takes for your pet to develop tapeworms is to swallow a flea. It thus goes without saying that parasite control is an integral part of pet care. Parasite prevention should be done all throughout the year coupled with heart and tapeworm prevention.
Taking care of your pet also comes down to how well you pay attention to the small details. It is these small things that most pet owners ignore that tend to have the biggest impacts on their animal’s overall well being.
Besides the above tips, ensure that your pet maintains a healthy weight, has an ID microchip and is properly restrained in a vehicle. Lastly, never give your pet medications meant for human consumption.