We care for our animal companions, and we want to make sure they are happy and healthy. Today, our Fremont vets are sharing pet care tips that can help you provide your cat or dog with the highest quality of life possible.
Pet Care Tips
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 Ace Animal Hospital share a list of tips that can help you take care of your furry animal companion.
Bring Your Pet in for Routine Exams
A healthy adult cat or dog should see their 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. Juvenile and senior pets, in addition to cats and dogs that have underlying medical issues, may have to see their veterinarian 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. These visits provide your pet with their best chance at lifelong optimal health.
Feed Your Cat or Dog a Healthy Diet
There are a number of major advantages to providing your pet with a diet that contains all of the nutrients they need to be healthy: fortifying their immune system, supporting coat and skin health, maintaining their intestinal health, 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
Your pet's longevity can be affected by their weight; various conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and more are more common in overweight pets. 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 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.
Ensure Vaccinations are 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.
Your cat or dog's exact vaccination schedule will depend on the health of your pet and the guidelines of your area of residence but generally, kittens and puppies 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
Having your cat or dog fixed doesn't just prevent the birth of unwanted litters of puppies and kittens, but these common procedures also prevent a range of dangerous conditions and some undesirable behaviors. Some of these include roaming, territory marking, howling/yowling, scooting, aggression, or other inappropriate behaviors. Your veterinarian will be able to inform you how old they think your pet should be to get spayed or neutered.
Help Maintain Your Pet's Dental Health
Like people, cats and dogs are at risk of developing various dental conditions (e.g. periodontal disease, tooth decay) if they aren't provided with proper dental care. It's imperative to your pet's overall health to keep their teeth and gums clean by brushing their teeth, giving them dental chews or treats, and bringing them to the vet annually for regular oral health exams and hygiene cleanings.
Keep Up With Your Pet's Grooming
All pets benefit from some routine grooming – maintaining a regimen of brushing, bathing, nail trims, and other 'services' your furry friend might require can both help them look and feel their best, and improve their overall health. Each breed of cat and dog has its own set of needs for how often they need to be groomed; pets with longer fur need to be groomed more regularly than shorter-haired breeds. We suggest making a note in your schedule or calendar to remind yourself how often to be grooming your pet; if you'd like guidance, 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 mats or knots in their fur, or if you just want your cat or dog to look their absolute best, consider taking them to a professional pet groomer for a session. They can handle anxious pets and are equipped with the tools and training they need to provide a number of services for cats and dogs.
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. By monitoring your pet you can keep them from injury (e.g. car accident, fights with other animals), harm (e.g. being stolen, predation from other animals), or other consequences that pet parents dread to consider. Supervising your pet can also prevent them from being exposed to serious contagions, parasites, or poisonous or toxic substances.
If you have a cat, consider keeping them as an indoor companion for their safety and to prevent negative impacts on native wildlife; if you have a dog you can keep them on a leash, in a fenced backyard with adequate space to play, shelter for sunny or hot days, and access to fresh water. You can also keep an eye on your pup 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.