We love our pets but sometimes we wish they came with instruction booklets. We want to take the best possible care of them but it can be difficult to figure out. Luckily, there’s a lot of information out there, and you can get good advice on nearly all aspects of pet care. There are a few basic things that all pet parents should know, about food, water, exercise, and safety. It’s always a good idea to keep an emergency vet number handy even though you may never need to use it. Most of all, you should pay attention to what your pets are telling you.
Pets are your family
Pet ownership is at an all time high, with 46.3 million households owning dogs and 38.9 million owning cats. People treat their pets like family, or even better. Forbes magazine reports that even during the recent recession, 92% of pet owners continued to spend as much on their pets as before. In some cases, they even spent more.
Any pet parent knows that the care we give to our pets is only a small return for all the love and trust they bestow on us. In fact it’s never entirely clear who is caring for whom.
Vet care: the basics
Beginning with your puppy or kitten’s first vaccines to twice-a-year check ups for older pets, it’s important to monitor your pet’s health and well being. You can also find plenty of helpful advice on pet care at the ASPCA website, on everything from food and water to which plants and human foods are safe and which are not.
Regular vet care includes check ups, vaccines, and dental care. Your veterinarian may also be able to advise on the best strategies for flea and tick control once the warmer weather arrives. Though you’re not likely to ever need it, it’s also a good idea to keep a number for an emergency vet handy.
Special veterinary services
For pets that are older or need special medical care, many animal hospitals offer 24-hour emergency vet services. These services can include pet surgery, treating cuts and wounds, poison control and more.
Many veterinary options are covered by pet insurance, which can be very useful.
Listen to your pets
Perhaps the most important thing you can do to take care of your pets and make sure that their needs are being met is to listen to them. Not literally, of course, because we can’t understand their language. But pets do communicate in a number of ways, through behavior, physical signs and even expressions. Pay attention to what they are trying to tell you.
They can make it perfectly clear without using words that certain situations and kinds of treatment make them unhappy, while others make them happy. As a pet parent, you can and should trust the close bond between yourself and your pet, which will help you understand their needs and provide the best possible care.
Our pets give us a whole world of love, affection and happiness. In return, we owe them the best care we can provide, from treats to emergency vet services. A well cared for pet gives a home a happy atmosphere that uplifts everyone.