Has your child asked for a pet dog, cat, or small animal? Before excitement ensues, ask yourself if you are ready to take on this new life member. Pause and ask yourself these questions when choosing the right pet for your family:
- How much time and energy can your family dedicate to this pet?
- Are you prepared to have multiple pets in your home?
- Are you planning on any major life changes that can interrupt training your pet?
Be honest about whether now is a good time to add a pet to your family. Then, before you begin your search, read our fourteen tips on deciding which pet is best for you and your family.
Research Your Preferred Breed
Whether your pet comes from a shelter, a breeder, or a rescue, learning of any behaviors and health conditions associated with that specific breed is essential. Before bringing a pet home, ask yourself, “can I afford the upkeep and potential health costs of this particular breed?”
Know What to Expect
Animals use their bodies to communicate how they feel. Every pet has a unique personality, but some traits are commonly associated with different breeds of cats and dogs. Research your preferred breed types before settling on one specific pet.
Search for a Training School
Call around your city and search online for proper training schools. Training your pet is one of the most important things you can do as it is the building block to a healthy relationship with you and your pet.
Be Prepared for Your Pet’s Lifestyle
Before you bring a pet home, make sure the species you choose also complements your lifestyle. All animals love being active, but some dog and cat breeds require more exercise than others. Knowing your pet’s preferences helps you make better decisions for their care.
Ask a Vet About Your Pet’s Nutritional Needs
Your pet’s nutritional needs change with age, so it’s essential to learn about these changes and adjust your pet’s diet accordingly. We recommend you ask your vet during your pet’s annual check-up about your pet’s dietary needs in every stage of its life.
Know When to Neuter/Spay
Have your pet spayed or neutered by your veterinarian to eliminate or reduce the risk of many health problems, including:
- Testicular cancer
- Hormone-related cancers
Keep Up with Dental Care
Your fur baby requires regular dental care. You should be prepared to brush your pet’s teeth daily and for regular cleaning to prevent oral issues such as plaque build-up or periodontal disease. Call us or visit in person to schedule your dental care appointment.
Keep Your Pet Clean
Keep your pet clean to prevent health issues and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Dogs and cats must be bathed periodically for their skin’s health and well-being. Common parasites such as fleas and ticks should be treated and prevented on a regular basis.
Keep Your Pets Socially Active
Keeping your pet active is crucial to their health and well-being. This enables you to provide physical, mental, and social stimulation for your furry friend.
Microchip Your Furry Friends
Keeping track of your pets is easy with a microchip. It’s the most reliable way to positively identify your pet and reunite you with them if they get lost. Learn more.
Provide Mental Stimulation
Pets need mental stimulation as much as we do. Their general health must keep their brains working, just like physical exercise keeps their body in shape.
Know About Grooming Needs
Before you adopt a pet, knowing if you can meet grooming needs is essential. Dogs need more frequent baths and nail trims, but even short-haired dogs require brushing every so often. Cats are typically low-maintenance and can easily be trained to use a litter box.
Be Aware of Potential Home Hazards
Learn about the potential hazards for your pets and how to keep them safe. Dangers at home may include medicines, antifreeze, cleaning chemicals, and even glass. Read our previous blog to learn more!
Vaccinations are essential to the health of your pet. The routine vaccination schedule your veterinarian recommends can help prevent many illnesses before you notice them. Ask a veterinarian for a timeline of all vaccinations.
Research Other Topics Before You Bring a New Fur Baby Home:
- 5 Frequently Asked Questions on Spaying & Neutering Your Pet
- 6 Tips to Improve Your Exotic Pet’s Life with Valley Animal Hospital
- 7 Ways to Participate in National Cat Health Month With Your Feline
- Build These 7 Healthy Habits With Your Pet in 2023 with our Animal Hospital
Choosing the Right Pet for Your Family
Pets require much more attention and resources than most people expect. If you are ready to bring a pet home, schedule an exam first! Call (956) 787-2709 to schedule your annual exam. Contact us online if you have any questions.