Even though caring for a pet is no rocket science, when you get a pet, you are making a lifelong commitment to feed, play, bathe, and train them. Although this might seem like a lot at first, the happiness, smiles, and unconditional love that a pet brings into your life outweigh all else. So, whether you have had pets your entire life or have recently adopted one, there is bound to be something in this pet care tips list that you didn’t know but should. Keep reading to learn the seven essential pet care tips to keep your four-legged friend happy, healthy, fit, and safe all year long.
1. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Did you know that more than 60% of cats and 56% of dogs in the United States are obese? While chubby animals might seem cute, overweight pets are at a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases, metabolic abnormalities, weak immune systems, joint diseases, and other health problems. The weight won’t let your pet play, run, and have fun. Instead, it will make them lazy and prone to illness. Thus, do your furry fellow a favor and make sure to feed them the amount of food as advised by the vet.
2. Tattoo and Microchip Your Pet
When it comes to the safety of your four-legged companion, one of the most important pet care tips is to get them a microchip or tattoo to minimize the risk of losing them. According to research, one in three pets is expected to go missing at least once in their lifetime. In fact, due to the lack of identification, only 14% of pets cannot find their way back home after getting lost. Therefore, it is essential to get a microchip inserted under your pet’s skin or get them a tattoo.
If you are worried that installing the microchip might hurt your pet, note that it is as small as the grain size, and it takes less than a minute for the vet to insert the chip safely in your pet’s neck.
3. Prevent Parasites
Ticks, fleas, and lice are your pet’s biggest enemies. Active during the months of March to May and August to November, ticks can be a scratching nightmare for pets. Fleas can lead to hair loss, skin irritation, infection, and hot spots. If this wasn’t scary enough, know that swallowing a flea can cause tapeworm infection, which can be dangerous for your beloved pet.
Therefore, it is advised to bathe your pet thrice every week and use an anti-tick spray to kill the blood-sucking insects before they harm your pet. In case your pet is infected with external parasites, call your vet and ask them to prescribe parasite medications according to your pet’s needs.
4. Make Sure That Your Pet Is Vaccinated
Regular vaccination is essential for the optimal health of your pet. When you have welcomed your pet into your home, schedule a vaccination appointment with your vet. The healthcare provider will conduct a full-body checkup of your pet and give them the necessary vaccinations to reduce the risk of canine hepatitis, distemper, rabies, and feline leukemia. The vet will also provide you with a vaccination schedule in consideration of your pet’s health, lifestyle, and age. No matter how old your pet is, every animal should be immunized.
5. Don’t Skip Dental Care
Like humans, animals can also suffer from tooth loss, tooth pain, and gum disease. This is precisely why it is important to brush your pet’s teeth twice a day and bring them for regular dental checkups.
According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, 70% of cats and 80% of dogs suffer from some kind of dental illness by age 3. Caused by tartar and plaque buildup, periodontal disease can cause your pet tooth loss, abscesses, and chronic pain. If not treated on time, the dental disease can also have an effect on the pet’s liver, kidneys, and heart. Dental pet care tips include oral rinses, brushing, and dental treats.
6. Provide a Safe and Enriching Environment
To ensure comfort for your pet, keep them in a temperature-controlled area in your home. Just like a baby, your furry companion loves to get attention and will get sad and sick without it. Set up a cozy resting area for your pet with some toys, a bowl of water, and a warm blanket. Furthermore, keep all household chemicals like pesticides and cleaners, and trash away from the pet’s reach. Last but not least, take out the time to take your pet on a walk and play with them every day.
7. Never Give Your Pet Human Food and Medications
Most pet owners love to feed their pet anything they eat, such as onions, avocados, and chocolates. Although these foods are harmless to us, they can be toxic for your pet, causing serious ramifications. Make sure to keep human food away from your pet’s reach and never feed them anything unless and until the vet recommends it.
For example, if you have a dog, the vet will never allow you to give your pet candies and gum as they contain xylitol, a toxic sugar-like substance. However, the vet will allow you to feed your dog canned pumpkin, plain chicken, or rice.
Similarly, human medications like naproxen and ibuprofen can cause pet poisoning. Whereas muscle relaxants, acetaminophen, decongestants, and antidepressants can cause cardiac arrest, seizure, and kidney damage in cats and dogs.
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