Our pets are our dear companions, and we want to make sure they are happy and healthy. Today, our Fort Pierce vets are sharing pet care tips that can help you provide your cat or dog with the highest quality of life possible.
Tips For Taking Care of Your Pet
We all love our pets, and it is important that we provide them with the quality care they deserve and make sure all of their needs are being met. Here, our vets at Animal Urgent Care Center share a list of tips that can help you take care of your furry animal companion.
Bring Your Pet For Routine Exams
Even healthy-seeming adult cats and dogs should be taken to see their primary vet once a year for a routine wellness exam (pet checkup) to make sure they don't have any illnesses or diseases or catch them early when they are easier to treat. Young or senior pets and animals that have underlying medical issues may have to see their veterinarian more frequently.
At these veterinary appointments, your vet will assess your pet's overall health, make sure their vaccinations are up to date, recommend preventive care products, and inform you of your furry friend's nutritional and exercise requirements. These visits provide your pet with their best chance at lifelong optimal health.
Provide Your Cat or Dog With a Healthy Diet
There are many benefits to providing your pet with a diet that contains all of the nutrients they need to be healthy, such as strengthening their immune system, helping their coat stay shiny, keeping your pet's skin healthy, maintaining their intestinal health, increasing your animal's mental acuity, keeping their muscles and joints in optimal health, and more.
If you aren't sure what type of food to feed your pet ask your veterinarian, they will be able to recommend the types of food that will be best for your cat or dog.
Help Your Pet Maintain a Healthy Weight
Obesity can negatively impact your pet's lifespan, and just a few extra pounds on your cat or dog's waistline can increase their risk of various conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and more. Bringing your pet in for their routine exam, your vet will be able to weigh your pet and inform you what their ideal weight should be.
Your vet can tell you how many calories your furry friend should be consuming every day, so you will be able to know how much you should be feeding your pet at every meal. In addition to this, you also need to provide your cat or dog with enough exercise every day to help them maintain a healthy weight.
Keep Vaccinations Up to Date
Another important thing you need to do to keep your pet healthy is ensuring their core vaccinations are provided on schedule and kept up to date. Vaccines help protect your cat or dog from a range of serious often life-threatening diseases and illnesses, and some vaccinations such as the rabies vaccine are mandatory by law in most states.
The exact vaccination schedule for your cat or dog will depend on the health of your pet and where you live but generally, they should start receiving their first round of shots when they are 6 to 8 weeks old. Ask your primary vet which vaccinations your pet needs and when you should be bringing them in for their vaccines.
Get Your Furry Friend Spayed or Neutered
Having your cat or dog spayed (female) or neutered (male) does more than just prevent the birth of unwanted litters, but these common procedures also prevent a range of dangerous conditions and undesirable behaviors including roaming, territory marking, howling, scooting, and animal aggression. Your veterinarian will be able to inform you how old your pet should be to get spayed or neutered.
Care for Your Pet's Teeth
Like people, cats and dogs can develop a number of dental conditions like periodontal disease and tooth decay if they aren't provided with proper dental care. This makes it imperative to keep your cat or dog's teeth and gums clean by brushing their teeth, providing them with dental chews or treats, and bringing them to the vet annually for regular oral health exams and hygiene cleanings.
Keep Your Pet Well-Groomed
Make sure you are keeping up with their grooming requirements to prevent painful knots, mats, and skin conditions. Cat and dog breeds (and even individuals within breeds) have their own set of needs for how often they need to be groomed, pet's with longer fur need to be groomed more regularly than shorter-haired breeds. Grooming can include brushing, bathing, nail trims, and more. We suggest writing down in your schedule or calendar how often you should be grooming your animal friend, your veterinarian can inform you of your pet's unique needs and recommend the best tools to use.
If you have a stubborn pet, are uncomfortable performing certain tasks (such as hair cuts or nail trimmings), your animal has tough knots in their fur or hair, or if you just want your cat or dog to look their absolute cutest, take them to a professional pet groomer.
Supervise Your Pet
While you may think you are doing your pet a favor by letting them roam unsupervised, it's best to always keep an eye on them and know where they are. Monitoring your pet means that you can keep them from getting injured by cars or bikes, keep them out of fights with other cats or dogs, being taken, predation, consuming harmful substances (ex. poisons, toxic plants, unsafe foods), and prevent them from being exposed to potentially dangerous parasites, contagions, and more.
If you have a cat you should consider keeping them indoors for their own health and for the surrounding native wildlife; or if you have a dog you can keep them on an appropriate leash, in a fenced backyard with shade and access to fresh water, or supervised at a dog park.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.