As pet owners, we all want the best for our furry family members. Pets are a lot like kids: they need love and affection, but they also need regular maintenance and care. It’s important that your pets are getting everything they need to be happy and healthy pets. It can be hard to remember all of this when you’re busy with work or other obligations, so we’ve compiled a checklist of pet care musts that you should do in order to be the most responsible pet owner you can be.
A healthy diet is essential for your pet’s health and happiness. That said, it’s important to note that what constitutes a healthy diet for one animal may not be the same for another. The type of food you feed your pet should be based on their age, breed, lifestyle, and medical conditions. In general, it is important to make sure that each meal contains all essential vitamins/minerals plus any necessary supplements.
If you have an elderly dog with joint issues, you might consider feeding them extra glucosamine and chondroitin supplements in their food in order to get more out of each meal. Or, if you have an active, younger dog who loves going on long hikes, they may require higher calorie foods. If your pet has been prescribed special food by our veterinarians due to specific health issues, make sure that you stick with those guidelines every day to ensure the health of your pet.
There are many benefits of exercise for your pet. Exercise helps to keep them healthy and happy, as well as being good for their mental health by stimulating their curiosity and socialization.
Every pet needs regular exercise, but how often and how long depends on your pet and their age and conditioning. Some may enjoy only short bursts of exercise or play, while others may need to go for long runs or play fetch to burn off all of their energy.
If going out in public, be sure to keep your pet on a leash. This not only keeps your pet safe and under control, but it also allows other pet owners who may have aggressive or fearful dogs to walk their pets without worrying about your pet approaching without consent. Off-leash time is also equally important. It gives your pet the opportunity to choose what they’re doing, explore the world around them, and build trust between the two of you. Always make sure that where you exercise is safe and secure for both you and your pet.
Ensuring that your pet is properly groomed is a big part of being a responsible pet owner. From their coat to their nails, a well-groomed pet helps to ensure a healthy pet.
Pets should be bathed on a regular basis with shampoos and conditioners that are specifically labeled for them. The regularity of bathing your pet is dependent on their coat and routine activities. Always check with our doctors or groomers to decide on the best bathing routine for your pet.
Brushing your pet is also important. Brushing the hair coat several times a week will keep your pet’s hair from getting matted and will remove dead hair and potential allergens.
Ears should be cleaned using an ear cleaner that is approved for use in dogs and cats. Regular ear cleaning will prohibit the buildup of dirt and debris that could lead to ear infections. It is important to never use cotton swabs to clean your pet’s ears. If you are unsure about the proper technique to clean your pet’s ears, ask a member of our staff to show you.
You should also regularly check your pet’s nails to make sure they are a healthy length, as overgrown nails can cause a lot of pain and discomfort for your pet. If your pet does not tolerate getting their nails cut well, schedule a trim with one of our groomers at Sierra Veterinary Hospital – we are always here to help!
Love, Affection, and Play
It is important to show your pet that you love them. You can do this by playing, sharing treats, and talking to them. Playtime is an essential part of building and strengthening the bond between you and your pet. It allows you to establish a fun, positive relationship with them while also providing them with a productive outlet for their energy. Following up playtime with treats and kind words lets them know that you care for them and that they are safe. Your pet will reciprocate and show you how much they love you by how they treat you.
Routine Veterinary Care
It’s important to take your pet to Sierra Veterinary Hospital on a regular basis. Routine visits allow our veterinarians to prevent disease or provide early treatment if problems arise. If you have a dog, you should bring them in for checkups every six months and cleanings once or twice a year. Cats should be seen at least once every six months for checkups.
During your visit, our doctors will examine your pet and make sure that their health and well-being are being maintained. They will check gums, teeth, ears and eyes as well as listen to their heart rate and breathing patterns while paying attention to any other symptoms that may indicate problems. Regular exams also ensure that your pet is up-to-date with their vaccinations and necessary monthly medications, such as heartworm and flea/tick prevention.
Taking care of your pet’s oral health is vital to their overall health. Neglecting your pet’s oral health can lead to periodontal disease, a bacterial infection of the tissues that surround the teeth, which ultimately ends up destroying the surrounding soft tissue and bone. Once the surrounding tissue and bone are compromised, teeth begin to loosen and can start to fall out. Compromised tissue and bone are also at risk of bacterial infection, which can put your pet at risk for heart, lung, liver and kidney disease.
If you want to keep your pet’s mouth healthy, schedule annual dental cleanings with Sierra Veterinary Hospital. These cleanings allow our doctors to perform a full oral examination, which is otherwise difficult to obtain when the pet is fully awake. Our veterinarians can check for the presence of oral masses, loose teeth, foreign bodies, gingivitis, or tooth fractures. A thorough teeth cleaning will also rid the mouth of tartar buildup and will help prevent gingivitis, bad breath, and periodontal disease. In between cleanings, regular brushings and dental treats can keep your pet’s teeth and gums healthy.
The most important thing to remember is that your pet will appreciate all the love and affection you can give them. As you can see, routine care for pets doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. By following these simple guidelines, you can keep your pet healthy and happy for years to come!
The next time you visit us at Sierra Veterinary Hospital, be sure to enroll in our loyalty program. Earn one (1) coin for every $50 you spend. Download the PetPage app for easy tracking and redeem points for discounts or full services. We look forward to seeing you soon!