Consider Spaying and Neutering
The best thing you can do for your pet’s health is to have him or her neutered, a term that can refer to spay or castration surgery. Yes, neutering does decrease aggression in most dog breeds, including the so called “dangerous dog breeds” on the most bitten lists we see every year. However, it does not make a dog any less protective of his or her human family. Your new female pet, meanwhile, will not feel less important in life for never giving birth. PetNewsBlog suggests, “In fact, it would be worse for her to have her babies taken from her than to have never given birth at all.” Still unsure? Ask your veterinarian and a pet expert for their recommendation.
Pet-proof Your Home
Chewing gum can be deadly for dogs and ibuprofen can be deadly to cats. It is very important to go through your home now, before you bring a new pet home, to look for possible hazards and get them out of the house. This includes shelves, cabinets at pet level, counter tops, bottles of cleaners on the floor, small toys, electric cords and curtain strings. You will also need to check your home and yard for toxic plants and stay away from having any sugar-free gum, which often contains xylitol which is known to have severe health issues if your pet gets to chewin’.
Choose an Age and Breed Appropriate Food
From the time they are young until the time they are seniors, your pet food choices should be guided by the pet’s specific needs, life stage, and lifestyle. You can do some cursory research to get a good idea of why it is important and what to look for, but for the best advice about your pet, consult a pet expert that offers free advice, your veterinarian, and a holistic veterinarian.
Select Appropriate Toys
Toys should be free of buttons, strings, and anything that can be bitten off and swallowed. Stick with rubber balls made for dogs (because they are much harder to tear apart); nylon-bones, toys marked as non-toxic, and ask pet experts for advice on toys. For cats, feather wands are always popular, but have proven to cause choking and digestive problems. They also often contain feathers that are dyed with colors, most dyes noted as causing cancer. Pet experts suggest laser light devices. Don’t forget the old standbys: large paper grocery bags and the old boxes. Cats love treats too, so go with the same advice as above and treat sensibly. Organic treats are often just a few cents more, but are much healthier for your pets.
Interview a Veterinarian
Not all vets are the same, and you want a veterinarian that best matches your needs. Read online reviews of the vets in your community, ask pet experts, ask groomers in your area who they recommend, and make interview appointments with them. Be sure that you don’t rely entirely on a vet’s friendliness toward humans. A good veterinarian often has better skills relating to animals than to people and will be open to the use of holistic and organic ideas. Consulting a holistic veterinarian is also a must, and any good conventional medicine vet will be more than happy to work in conjunction with a naturalistic approach.