With proper care, your pet can enjoy a longer and happier life. Here are a few tips to help accomplish that:

  • Select a pet wisely, based on your lifestyle, schedule, and budget. Also take into consideration the animal's expected physical and behavioral characteristics. Are you getting a high-energy dog that needs a lot of exercise? Do you have time for extra walks and play time? Do you have room for a big dog? Are you going to be home to let your puppy outside for a bathroom break every few hours?

  • When considering adopting a pet, keep in mind the cost of providing proper medical care yearly. Dogs require regular medical exams, heartworm testing and preventatives, flea and tick protection, rabies shots, other annual vaccinations, and emergency care to name a few. If you choose to adopt a cat, they'll also need regular medical exams, FIV/FeLV testing, rabies shots, other annual vaccinations, flea protection, and emergency care. How much does a pet really cost each year? Visit this site!

  • Before you bring a new pet into your home, you should "pet-proof" your house. Think about what most people do when they have a baby: they walk around their house and try to remove unnecessary risks like open outlets and sharp corners. With a pet, you should hide cords they might try to chew, hide away cleaning products and chemicals, and place breakables, food, plants, and easily swallowed objects somewhere your animal can't get to them. (Common houseplants can be very dangerous - for a list of harmful plants, visit this website). Use your common sense and think like your pet - if it seems dangerous, don't let your pet get to it. In this case, it's always better to be safe than sorry. Unfotunately, no matter how hard you may try to prevent accidents, your pet will still probably find an unexpected way to get into trouble. That's why you need to have a veterinarian lined up before your pet comes home!

  • Always provide your pet with the appropriate type of food (based on pet age and nutritional needs). Never feed your pet table scraps, because your pet will gain unnecessary weight. Foods such as chocolate, grapes, and milk can also make your pet sick. Feeding cheap food with a lot of corn will require your pet to eat more to get the nutrition they'll need. Save some money and keep your pet healthy - try to feed your pets high quality foods! Want another reason to feed your pet better food? Better foods contain less filler, which means less waste!

  • Plan to spend time with your pet everyday to ensure your pet learns solid social skills. Cats may seem stand-offish somtimes, but they need mental stimulation and often crave your affection as much as a dog.

  • Depending on your pet's age and physical condition, most pets should have (at least) between 15 to 20 minutes of exercise daily. Take your dog for a run or visit a park. Engage your cat with a toy mouse or a feather wand. Animals need to move to stay fit and healthy!

  • You should begin basic house and discipline training of your pet at an early age, and then progress to obedience training. Be sure to include some play time, however, to balance the training regimine. Just like people, learning needs to be fun to be successful!

  • Ask your vet about early signs of pet illness. Some things to watch for include: discharge or odor from eyes, nose or ears, loss of appetite, diarrhea, sudden change in bowel or litter habits, coughing or sneezing, frequent urination, excessive thirst, lumps or growths on or under skin, limping, or signs of pain or discomfort. If any of these signs are noticed, call your vet promptly. The above-mentioned symptoms are not all inclusive, however, so if your pet acts differently at all, consult your vet. Also, if your pet is prescribed medication, be sure to follow the directions completely.

  • In some situations, it is essential that your vet or an emergency clinic be contacted immediately. These include burns, choking or difficulty in breathing, cuts or bites, insect stings, poisoning, heat stroke, bleeding, vomiting blood, electrical shock, frostbite, seizures, losing consciousness, swallowing foreign objects, or physical injury (car accidents, animal fights, gun wounds, fractures).

For more information on pet care and safety, please check out some of the resources on our links page.

Pulaski County Humane Society
P.O. Box 1046 Dublin, VA 24084
(540) 674-0089
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