Are You a Pet Owner? Here Are Essential Things Vets Wish You Knew

Get to know your animal’s “normal.”

Every animal is different and has different normal vital signs. These include temperature, pulse, respiration, and color of gums. Knowing what is normal for your animal will help you identify health problems early on.

In addition, pets have different energy levels, sleeping habits, and appetites. By getting to know your animal’s normal behavior, you’ll be able to tell when something is wrong.

Dogs and cats age differently.

A dog’s age is similar to a human’s age in that they mature quickly and then age more slowly. For example, a one-year-old dog is approximately the equivalent of a 15-year-old human. This means they are considered senior citizens when they reach seven years old.

On the other hand, Cats age more like humans in that they mature slowly and then age quickly. A one-year-old cat is approximately the equivalent of a 16-year-old human. So by the time they reach seven years old, they are considered elderly.

Spay or neuter your pet.

This has been a controversial subject whether or not to spay or neuter pets. Some pet owners believe that it is cruel to do so because it means altering their animal’s natural state. However, there are many good reasons to find a cat and dog neuter hospital for neutering and spaying their female counterparts.

A study by the University of Georgia published in 2013 based on the medical records of 70,000 animal patients found that the life expectancy of neutered male dogs was 13.8 percent longer. Similarly, they saw that the life expectancy of spayed female cats was 26.3 percent longer.

In addition, millions of shelter animals are euthanized because there are simply not enough homes for them all. Spaying or neutering your pet helps reduce this problem.

Moreover, spaying or neutering can help improve your pet’s health. For example, female dogs spayed before their first heat cycle are much less likely to develop mammary cancer later in life. The risk of prostate cancer is also reduced for neutered male dogs. 

Feed your pet a balanced diet.

Like us humans, pets need a balanced diet to stay healthy. This means feeding them nutritious food and giving them the right amount of calories based on their age, breed, activity level, and any health conditions they may have.

Avoid feeding your pet table scraps because this can lead to obesity and other health problems. If you want to reward them with a treat, opt for something specifically made for them.

In addition, always remember that exercise is essential for physical and mental health. It helps reduce stress and anxiety, helps maintain a healthy weight, and can even help improve sleep quality.

Don’t forget dental care.

Pets need cat or dog dental care as part of their regular vet visits. This is because dental disease is one of the pets’ most common health problems. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats have periodontal disease by the age of three.

Also, dental disease can lead to other health problems like infections, pain, and even organ damage. So it’s essential to brush your pet’s teeth regularly at home and visit the vet for professional cleanings.

Be cautious with human medications.

Don’t try to give your pet any medication without first consulting your veterinarian. Even something as harmless as ibuprofen can be toxic to animals.

The same goes for human food. Many safe foods for humans can be poisonous to pets. For example, chocolate is toxic to dogs, and onions can cause anemia in cats due to their organic compounds called disulfides and thiosulphates.

On the other hand, chocolates contain a caffeine-like chemical called theobromine that can be toxic to dogs because they cannot metabolize as humans do. To be safe, always ask your veterinarian first.

Get pet insurance.

Pet insurance is an excellent way to help offset the cost of unexpected veterinary bills. It can also give you peace of mind knowing that you’re prepared for anything.

For example, if your pet needs a veterinary soft tissue surgery, the cost can be over a thousand dollars. But with pet insurance, you would only be responsible for a small portion of that.

There are many different pet insurance plans to choose from, so be sure to do your research before picking one. Also, ask your veterinarian for recommendations.

A complete vaccine is not enough, so they need booster shots.

Many pet owners think that once their animal is vaccinated, they’re protected for life. However, this isn’t the case. Booster shots are necessary to maintain immunity against certain diseases, especially as your pet gets older.

For example, dogs need a booster shot for rabies every three years, and cats need one every year. So ensure to talk to your veterinarian about how often your pet needs booster shots.

Ultimately, find a reputable vet you feel comfortable with and who you can trust. In fact, this is one of the most important things you can do for your pet. A good veterinarian will be able to provide all the necessary care and advice to keep your pet healthy and happy.

They can help you if your pet ever gets sick or injured. So take the time to find a reputable vet in your area, and don’t hesitate to ask the people around you. You may also want to look online by searching “vet near me” to limit your search within your location.