Tips for general pet care – Part 1

When we take animals into our homes and lives, and they become our responsibilities, and the biggest responsibility is to provide for their health and well-being. Here are 10 general areas of pet care you need to consider, and that will help keep your furry friends fit, safe and happy for many years to come.

1) A Good Veterinarian

Even before you adopt, find a good vet. They can help you select the pet suited to your lifestyle, they will advise you on health and behavioral issues, they can help you over the trying times of illness and death. A good veterinarian is more than a doctor, they can be an ally in the joys and sorrows of pet-parenthood.

And if your vet doesn’t do emergencies at three in the morning, have the number of and directions to the nearest emergency clinic.

2) Weight Control

Especially in America, many pets are overweight. Obesity can cause all sorts of problems including heart disease, diabetes, joint and bone problems – if nothing else, it can reduce your pet’s life by years. And loosing just a few pounds can put a new spring in their step, giving them a new lease on life.

But don’t go to far the other way – especially if your dog is very nervous or very active, make sure they aren’t too much underweight either.

3) Sufficient Exercise

Most people don’t get enough exercise and neither do their animals. Couch-potato pets tend to become overweight and/or they may begin to suffer behavioral problems. Excessive barking, jumping, begging for excessive attention or destructive behavior may be resolved with a brisk 30 or 45 minute walk everyday.

4) Entertainment

Dogs can die of boredom, or at least that’s the way my dogs act sometimes. Animals need entertainment, just as humans do, to keep their minds active. Toys, games or agility/obedience competition can all contribute to your pet’s general health and well-being. One of the best recommendations is to use a treat dispensing toy such as a Kong or a Busy-Ball. Give a cat box with small hole cut in the side, with an old golf ball inside, and they will be amused for hours.

Keep in mind that if you don’t provide them with entertainment (and exercise), they will find their own ways to keep busy, and their activities may not be appropriate or acceptable.

5) Parasite Control

Fleas, ticks mosquitoes and intestinal worms are the most common parasites that may try to thrive on your pet. Fleas and ticks can carry diseases such as heartworm and Lymes disease. Intestinal

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