We know how important your cat or dog is to you, which is why our Lithia Springs vets are sharing some helpful tips that can help you provide your pet with the care they need to stay happy and healthy.
Useful Pet Care Tips & Advice
Because you love your pet, you want to give them the quality care they need and deserve so they can live a long and healthy life. Below, our vets at Westside Animal Emergency Clinic have provided you with a list of tips that can help you take care of your four-legged friend.
Take Your Pet to the Vet For Routine Exams
One of the best things you can do to help your cat or dog achieve lifelong optimal health is to take them to the vet once a year for a routine wellness exam or pet checkup to make sure they don't have any diseases, conditions, or illnesses or have them diagnosed early when they are in their most treatable stages. If your cat or dog is in their senior years, very young, or has an underlying medical problem they might have to visit their vet more often.
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.
Feed Your Dog or Cat 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 Animal Stay a Healthy Weight
Obesity can shorten your pet's lifespan, and just a few extra pounds on your cat or dog's waistline can increase their risk of various diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and more. When you bring your cat or dog in for their routine exam, your vet will be able to weigh your pet and inform you what their ideal weight should be.
Your veterinarian will be able to tell you how many calories you should be feeding your pet every day, this will help you determine how much food your should be giving your cat or dog for each meal. Helping your pet maintain a healthy weight also includes providing them with enough exercise every day, your vet will also be able to tell you what your animal exercise requirements are.
Keep Your Pet's Vaccinations Current
Another important thing you need to do to keep your pet healthy is ensure 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 vet which vaccinations your pet needs and when you should be bringing them in for their vaccines.
Have Your Cat or Dog Spayed or Neutered
Spaying or neutering your pet doesn't just keep them from giving birth to unwanted litters, these safe and common procedures are also able to prevent a variety of dangerous conditions and some undesirable behaviors such as scooting, animal aggression, territory marking, roaming, and howling. Your veterinarian can tell you the age they recommend having your cat or dog spayed or neutered.
KeepnYour Pet's Teeth Clean
Like people, cats and dogs are at risk of getting various dental conditions such as periodontal disease and tooth decay if they aren't provided with proper dental care. This is why it's very important 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 Furry Friend Well Groomed
Another important part of pet care is keeping up with your cat or dog's grooming needs. This helps prevent painful skin conditions, mats, and knots. Every breed of dog and cat has its own set of requirements for how frequently they have to be groomed. If your pet has longer fur they will have to be groomed more often than shorter-haired breeds. Grooming consists of brushing, bathing, nail trims, and more. We recommend keeping track of how often you should be grooming your animal by writing it down in your schedule or calendar. Your veterinarian will be able to inform you on what your pet's grooming requirements are and recommend the best tools to use for your furry friend.
If you have a stubborn pet, are uncomfortable performing certain tasks (such as hair cuts or nail trimmings), your animal has tough Knotts, or if you just want your cat or dog to look their absolute best, bring them to see a professional groomer. A quality groomer will be equipped with the tools and training they need to groom the most anxious pets and perform the grossest tasks such as anal gland expressions and shampooing for pets sprayed by skunks.
Keep an Eye on Your Pet
While you might think it's a good idea to let your cat or dog run around unsupervised, we highly recommend keeping an eye on where your pet is and what they are getting into. By monitoring your animal you can help prevent them from getting into fights with other animals, car accidents, consuming harmful substances (ex. dangerous foods, toxic plants, poisons), being taken, being exposed to serious contagions, predation, and more.
If you have a cat you may want to keep them as an indoor companion, or if you have a dog you can keep them on a leash, in a fenced back yard, 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.