As a parent to two-legged and four-legged “kids”, I often wonder if there is a checklist to determine “Am I doing a good job?” or “What am I forgetting to do?”. Now, if I check the abundance of social media references, I may find out more than I wanted to, on what I’m NOT doing well. I may even find that my two-legged children’s birthday party was not Pinterest worthy, and was I supposed to throw a birthday party for my dog last month?
Where do we start?
As your family’s other doctor, I thought it would be beneficial to give you a “Pet Parenting 101” checklist to help you be the best pet parent possible! We’ve worked to communicate to our goal to our clients, which is ensuring your pet lives as many happy, healthy years as possible. After all, we care for your pet, as if they are our own. So, here are the “must-do’s”:
- Come see us the animal hospital bi-annually for preventive care: Just like humans, if we see your pet twice a year, we can prevent disease, parasites, and long term issues. Remember, 6 months in pet years, is the equivalent of 3.5 years in human time!
- Nutrition: Feed your pet quality food such as Royal Canin, and let us help you research special needs or concerns with skin issues, kidney, liver, or weight concerns.
- Vaccinate: Vaccines need to include more than rabies, alone. Our concerns around tick-borne illnesses, canine flu, feline leukemia and a multitude of other preventable diseases are important to evaluate in your pet’s tailored vaccine protocol.
- Dentistry: Starting in puppy- and kittenhood, your pet needs to have their teeth examined and cleaned – just like you brush daily and see the human dentist twice a year, your pet’s teeth need the same attention – go back to step 3…good oral hygiene for your pets can prevent disease. It’s not just about breath!
- Blood work: Throughout their lives, we need to have blood work done (not just when sick) to set a baseline. Just like humans, blood work shows us what we can’t see on just a physical exam.
- Monthly prevention: Please! Remember to give parasite prevention every 30 days, for life, to both dogs and cats. Heartworm disease, intestinal parasites, and external parasites (fleas and ticks) can be deadly to dogs and cats. Where you buy these products matter! We ask you to buy in-clinic, or from a hospital-affiliated online pharmacy. We can provide support, if issues arise, that you won’t receive elsewhere
- Exercise (physical AND mental), socialization, and play time: Enjoy your pet and spend quality time with them.
- Finally, consider pet insurance. These companies have evolved greatly in the last decade and have improved their array of coverage.
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What did my grandma say? “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. We can always help you find the most beneficial, investment friendly options for your four-legged kiddos. And, we always appreciate the opportunity to serve your family.
Carry on with that Pinterest pet party! (And send us pictures, too!)