If you’re a first-time pet owner, you’ve probably already realized that there are many different things you need to remember when it comes to taking care of your pet’s health. Although many of these points are pretty similar to how you need to take care of yourself, here are just a few specific pet healthcare basics that dogs and cats need from their humans:
- Spaying or neutering your pet is important for a few reasons, and it will even keep your pet healthier in the long run (especially if the procedure is done when the animal is still a puppy or kitten). Spaying or neutering a dog will generally extend his/her life by about one to three years, and spaying or neutering a cat will extend his/her lifespan by about three to five years. This procedure also decreases aggression, decreases the risk of cancer, and makes the animal easier to train (and it’s important, for his/her safety, that commands like “stay” and “come” are followed).
- Paying attention to your pet’s dental health is very important — and it’s easy to take care of, too. Many vet clinics will offer dental care for pets where they’ll sedate your dog or cat for a short time in order to perform a thorough teeth cleaning. In between teeth cleanings, you can find plenty of products in the pet store that will help keep your pet’s teeth clean — between animal toothpaste and dental chews, it’s very affordable to make sure that your dog or cat has clean and healthy teeth.
- Vaccinations are also important for pets, just like vaccines are important to humans! Most dogs will need a rabies vaccination in order to be licensed, but you may also need to get additional vaccinations depending on where you live and depending on how much contact your pet has with other animals. Flea and tick medication, as well as heartworm prevention medication, are also important basics of pet healthcare.
Remember — your pets are depending on you to keep them healthy!