5 Tips for Having a Happy & Healthy Pet
Help us celebrate National Pet Week this May 6th – May 12th by following these tips.
National Pet Week® was created in 1981 by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the Auxiliary to the AVMA. The purpose is to celebrate America’s more than 200 million pets that give us so much joy in our lives but also to encourage responsible pet care every day of the year.
In celebration of National Pet Week this month we’d like to give you some tips to help you have healthy and happy pets.
Selecting Your Pet
There are many things to consider when you select a pet. Make sure the pet you chose is right for you and your family. It is a lifetime commitment. Too many animals are surrendered to shelters because they weren’t the right fit for the family to begin with. You can save you and your pet heartache by planning ahead before getting a new pet.
Here are some things to consider:
Time. How much time a day will your pet require? Can you commit to the time your pet will need?
Space required. What size pet do you want? Do you have enough space for your pet to get adequate exercise?
Costs. Be prepared for costs such as food, litter boxes and litter, pet beds, water and food bowls, toys, vet visits, etc. Everyone loves their pets, but not everyone is aware of what their pet needs to be happy and healthy long into their senior years.
Welcoming your pet into your home
Prepare ahead of time. Decide where your pet is going to be most of the time. Set up the space with their food bowls, pet bed, etc. In the beginning you want to limit their space in the home until they get use to their new surroundings. Gradually increase their space.
Keep loud noises to a minimum. Make the environment peaceful and calm for your new pet. If you have children, explain to them why they shouldn’t scream or shout or jump around the new pet. Remember, animal’s sense of hearing is much keener than human’s sense of hearing. For example,
Dog’s range of hearing: 67 to 45,000 hertz
Cat’s range of hearing: 45 to 64,000 hertz
Rabbit’s range of hearing: 360 hertz to 42,000 hertz
Human’s range of hearing: 64 hertz to 23,000 hertz
Pet proof your home:
- Check your home, yard, garden, shed, garage, etc. for poisons. For example, pesticides, insecticides, rodenticides, anti-freeze, human pharmaceuticals, etc.
- Find out what foods, plants, etc. are toxic to your animal and remove them from any areas your pet will be.
- Cover electrical cords. Kittens, puppies, rabbits, etc. like to chew on electrical wires. Pet proof all your electrical cords.
- Check your yard fence and gates for escape routes as well as the fence height for dogs that are able to jump.
Bonding with your new pet
Just as no two humans are exactly alike, animals have their own unique personalities. It takes time to get to know their personality. Take it slowly. Don’t be in a rush to have your pet fall in love with you. Find out what they like and what they don’t like.
One of the best ways to bond with your pet is with exercise and/or play time. This will also help your pet stay trim and healthy.
Treats also help create a good relationship with your pet when you use them for positive training. Don’t hand out treats randomly. Only give your pet a treat when they do something you want. Then they learn through positive training rather than punishment.
Regular wellness checkups
Pets can’t talk to us and tell us when they hurt. And often pets hide signs of illness. Therefore, regular checkups are vital to catching health problems early. Early treatment means better health for your pet. It can also mean you save money by catching a problem early before it becomes more serious.
Plan for their long-term care
As pets get older they need extra care and attention. Regular veterinary examinations become even more important as they can detect problems in older pets before they become advanced or life-threatening. This will improve the chances of a longer and healthier life for your pet. Learn about what to expect as your pet gets older so you can be more aware of a problem that may need veterinary care. Especially as your pet gets older you may want to look into pet insurance or other financial options such as Care Credit to cover your pet’s medical costs
We hope we have given you some tips that will help you and your pet enjoy a long and happy relationship. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your pet’s health don’t hesitate to call us. Contact us now, we’ll be glad to help.
Dr. Dominic Carrica DVM