Having a pet is a wonderful experience. Pets can provide companionship, love, and joy to any home. Many of us have fond memories of our childhood pets, growing up alongside them and, in some cases, viewing them almost as second, furry parents or siblings. Pets have long been a part of many families throughout the United States and around the world, and our lives would be less full without them. From dogs and cats to lizards and fish, there’s a pet out there for everyone to love and enjoy.
No matter what kind of pet you have, it’s important to be knowledgeable in pet care from the first day of ownership to the end of their lives. Proper pet care and medical visits are important for the continued health and growth of your animal, and an experienced veterinarian can help to ensure that your pet does not succumb or suffer from treatable conditions.
If you have adopted a baby animal like a puppy or a kitten, it will likely be your responsibility to make sure that he or she gets all of the required vaccinations. This typically goes on until the puppy or kitten is sixteen weeks old (or four months) with regular vaccines every three to four weeks up until that point. Heartworm prevention is also important for dogs under seven months, as prevention at his age can be started without the need for a heartworm test. This heartworm prevention is key in reducing the risk of heartworm, but your dog should still undergo regular heartworm tests after six months on the preventative treatment.
These heartworm tests are important, particularly for dogs, and can usually be conducted at your pet’s yearly check up with their vet. If heartworms are particularly severe, a consult with an emergency vet may be necessary. An emergency vet should be consulted on a case by case basis, as an emergency vet specializes in response to critical situations, such as intoxication and a threat posed to the animal. An emergency vet can be a necessity when animals are exposed to toxic chemicals. More and more dogs in particular are becoming exposed to antifreeze, which can be toxic if consumed. Many an emergency vet has seen cases of antifreeze poisoning, which is sometimes done intentionally. Every year, at least ten thousand animals like cats and dogs die from exposure to and consumption of antifreeze alone.
But an emergency vet should never take the place of a regular vet, which your animal should see at least once a year – twice a year for animals that are older and therefore more likely to develop a degenerative condition. Animals should also see a vet to be spayed or neutered. Spaying or neutering your young animal is recommended as soon as possible, as cats of just five months old have been known to become pregnant and bear children after the gestational period. Overbreeding of animals can be hugely detrimental to their health, and spaying or neutering animals provides as a form of limiting animal populations among your cats and dogs. Without spaying or neutering, it would be far too likely that many pet owners would end up with litters of baby animals that they would not know what to do with. Because of this, more than eighty percent of cat and dog owners have their cats and dogs neutered as soon as it is possible.
Taking care of your animals is hugely important. Without proper care, it is far more likely that they will develop treatable health conditions. The location of your nearest emergency vet should also be familiar to you, as you never know when an emergency or health crisis with your pet may arise.