Having a pet may seem as simple as making sure the little guy or girl has food, water, and daily exercise, but there is so much more to it than that. It is almost like having a child. You have to teach your pet as well as have play time, you have to give treats and tasty foods as well as pay attention to nutrition, and you have to take steps to keep your little companion healthy. The latter is called pet wellness, and it is an important part of being a good pet owner.
Here are some things a pet owner should know to have a healthy and well-cared for pet:
Have Regular Check Ups
Image via Flickr by JBLivin
One of the biggest parts of pet wellness is making sure your pet has a check up at least once a year. This gives your veterinarian a chance to check the overall health of your little companion as well as mark any changes over time. It also lets your vet recommend any necessary changes in your pet’s daily routine and schedule appropriate vaccinations.
You also need to be aware of your pet’s behavior and stay ready to help when trouble arises. Make sure that you know what to do in the case of choking, poisoning, cuts, bites, and car accidents without having to look it up on the Internet first. While it is always best to take your pet directly to a veterinarian, there may not be time — seconds can matter in an emergency — so stay ready.
Have a Plan
You might know your own veterinarian’s phone number, but what if you are on vacation out of the area, or even just on the other side of town, and you need help? You need to have an emergency plan for every place you take your pet. Either use a service like Kuddly.co to talk to a board-certified vet when non-lethal trouble strikes or research veterinarians in the area you are visiting.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
It can be difficult to know what the proper weight is for your little companion, especially if it is a mixed breed or mutt. In fact, over half of all dogs and cats are clinically overweight, often because of a misunderstanding about what the dog or cat should weigh. Your veterinarian can help make sure you understand where your pet’s weight should be for the lifestyle you lead together.
Provide Good Dental Care
Pet wellness also involves good dental care for your pet. Most animals have some form of dental disease by the age of three. Not only is this painful and can cause bad breath but it can have a serious impact on your pet’s health. Brushing your pet’s teeth or having a groomer do it is a great step in the right direction, but oral examinations and cleanings by a veterinarian are also necessary to keep your pet in top shape.
Being a pet owner is a big job. It is rewarding but pet wellness has to figure into your plan if you are going to keep your little companion happy and healthy.