When choosing to adopt a pet, not much thought goes into the responsibility and care required of that new living being. A new puppy or kitten immediately enters your heart by looking into those playful, pleading eyes; you are now hooked. As loving, fun and sweet as it is to add a new pet to your family unit, there are many needs to be met as a pet owner. Four things you should be aware of as a pet owner are:
Vet Care and Immunizations
You need to acquire a personal veterinarian such as the Carmel Veterinarians in order to keep your pet healthy year-round, including vaccinations. Your dog should be protected from parvovirus, distemper, influenza each year, among other concerns depending on your area and lifestyle. Cats need to be protected from panleukopenia, leukemia, herpes virus, calicivirus and FIV which is the feline immunodeficiency virus. Your veterinarian will set you up with what is considered the best preventatives to meet the needs of your particular pet. Along with an immunization regimen for your pet, your veterinarian will discuss a healthy nutritious balanced diet to avoid health issues and obesity. You will also be informed about the importance of oral hygiene and how you can prevent dental disease in your new pet.
Rabies and Parasite Prevention
It is normally a law to have your pet protected with annual rabies shots which in itself is as important as recommended health vaccinations. Additionally, know the significance of having your pet tested each year, through blood testing, for heartworm so that you can begin a heartworm preventative program. This is a disease that begins with the bite of an infected mosquito and can be fatal for your pet if not protected and treated immediately. Preventatives to avoid this devastating disease are available in chewable tablets taken each month. You can also speak with your vet about the vaccination preventative known as Pro Heart-6 which is an injection administered twice yearly. Some medications for heartworm include formulas to prevent other parasites at the same time such as some worms, fleas and ticks so be sure to inquire the best option for your pet.
Training and Socializing your Pet
A good, happy healthy pet requires training and socializing in order to be a respectable member of the family. Along with housebreaking your pet, it will require basic obedience training, despite its size and breed. Positive reinforcement training always works best rather than using punishment. Never raise your voice or hit the pet to get it to obey; this never works. Pets are so eager to please an owner that it realizes a good job through praise and rewards. A professional trainer can help with the basic obedience training to get your pet on the right path. Also introduce your pet to many other pets and people when young so it learns to be a social, well-behaved and loving creature.
Pet proofing your home and yard
For the safety of a new pet, you need to pet-proof your home. Lay on the floor at the pet’s level and look up to determine what lurks above that could endanger your new family member. Remove toxic plants or keep them out of reach, cover up electrical plugs and tie up loose cords, restrict small toys or other items to a room away from the pet to avoid choking dangers and keep all medications, cleaners and chemicals in locked up cabinets. Examine your yard in the same fashion, avoid chemicals on the lawn or provide a special dog pen to ensure a safe area for your pet.
To sum it all up, a close relationship with your veterinarian will provide a good, healthy and happy pet, along with proper training, socializing and plenty of TLC. Your pet is relying on you for all its needs and, although it takes a little time and effort on your part, all your attempts will be worth the unconditional love and attention you get in return.