Owning a pet can be a very rewarding experience. However, it does come with responsibility. Ensuring your pets are in great health and that they have a good care routine will help them live a long healthy life. Today, our Harlingen vets share some tips on taking care of pets and what types of healthcare they'll need to thrive.
Taking Care of Pets
Every pet owner wants the best for their four-legged companion. Your animal must get everything it needs from puppyhood or kittenhood, through their adult stage and into their senior years. This includes veterinary care, training, food and nutrition, and exercise.
Our Harlingen vets are experienced in treating pets at every stage of life and every health status - from young and energetic fluffballs to older fur friends who may have recurring or comorbid health issues. One thing they have in common is that they all need routine pet care that's tailored to their needs.
Your veterinarian is your partner in your pet's healthcare, and we're passionate about educating pet owners about what type of care your cat or dog will need, and how often. Having a quick pet care checklist to keep on hand for reference (and planning these items on a calendar) will help to ensure your pet gets to all its annual visits, vaccine, grooming, and dental appointments.
In this post, we'll share which tasks your vet should perform and what every pet owner should budget time and financial resources for.
Dog Care Checklist
While your vet focuses on checking your dog's health status from head to toe and keeping vaccinations up to date, there are daily tasks every pooch parent will need to keep on top of at home.
Here's what needs to be taken care of by a professional:
- Routine Exams
- Dental Hygiene
- Fleas and ticks
- Worming (heartworm and intestinal)
These are things you'll need to take care of at home consistently:
- Bathing, Cleaning & Brushing - It's important to bathe and brush your dog at home in between professional grooming sessions to maintain their clean coat.
- Feeding - Your cat or dog needs a consistent feeding schedule to stay healthy and thrive.
- Exercise - Your cat or dog needs a lot of exercise - make sure you get your daily walks, plenty of outside time, and bonding time in.
Cat Care Checklist
Similar to dogs, cats will need routine care from both our vets at Altas Palmas Animal Clinic and you at home. Here's what will need to be managed by a professional:
- Dental Cleanings
- Fleas and ticks
- Worming (Heartworm and intestinal)
- Physical checkups
In addition to regular veterinary care, cats will need a few extra elements of care from their owners at home. these include:
- Housing - Cats need their own space inside your home - a cat tree, condo, or other structure to climb on, sleep in, and scratch on (without ruining your new sofa).
- Toys - Cats need to have the mental and physical stimulation they need to stay entertained. High-quality toys will stand up to their claws and teeth and keep their minds sharp.
- Cleaning - Cats are fastidious self-groomers. However, if you notice a lack of grooming you'll want to contact the veterinarian right away as this may point to a more serious health issue.
- Play & Exercise - While cats spend many hours a day sleeping, they do require exercise and playtime. It's important to ensure they have enough space to run around.
- Feeding - Similar to dogs, cats benefit from being on a feeding routine and getting fed at the same time every day. They prefer a schedule. Maintaining a feeding schedule will be important for your pet's well-being.
Wellness Exams, Vaccinations & Dental Care at Altas Palmas Animal Clinic
Our vets in Harlingen should see your cat or dog every year for a physical checkup, so they can capture a complete snapshot of your animal's general health. Routine wellness exams, combined with regular vaccinations, parasite prevention, and dental care, form the foundation of your pet's care plan. We also want to ensure your animal gets the dental healthcare it needs since most cats and dogs do not and later experience dental health concerns such as periodontal disease and oral pain.
Of course, your veterinarian will customize this plan so it's tailored to your pet's needs. That will become more important as your pet matures and its health needs evolve.
If you ever have any questions during vet visits or between appointments about how to take care of a pet, please don't hesitate to ask - it could contribute to a health condition being detected and diagnosed earlier, or even save your furry friend's life.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.