Becoming a pet parent is a pretty big moment. After all, owning a dog or cat means purr-fectly wonderful snuggles and pawsome kisses and tail wags!
When you bring your new pet home, there will be a time of adjustment – for everyone – while you get to know your new furry addition, and they become familiar with you. Once they do settle in, it’s important to remember that becoming a pet parent means lots and lots of responsibility.
Yes, there will be moments of joy, laughter, and even frustration as you navigate the world of pet parenting. Let your pet adjust naturally to the new environment while also providing them excellent care. Besides giving your pet unconditional love, there are a few practical things to keep in mind, so that your four-legger is well cared for.
Wag! has the top 11 pet health tips to help you ensure your favorite dog or cat leads the best life possible. And with October being National Pet Wellness Month, it’s the perfect time to provide pet parents with a primer to their pet’s care!
Get on the grooming bandwagon
A healthy pet is one with well cared for teeth, skin, and nails. All are important, with dental care exceptionally essential because the condition of your pet’s mouth can affect their entire body. Gum disease, for instance, can lead to heart and kidney disease. Keep your pet’s nails trimmed and their coats clean and free of tangles.
Choose the best vet
The best vet is one that your pet is comfortable with – and the one that works well with your four-legged pal. Your philosophy on the care of your animal should match that of your vet. If you are interested in traditional and holistic therapies, for example, and your vet is not, then it’s best to find a vet with whom you have an excellent rapport.
Immunize and prioritize
Immunize your pet against disease and prioritize taking care of your dog or cat’s flea, tick, and parasite protection, too. A protected pet is a safe and healthy one! For veterinary advice, connect with a licensed veterinarian 24/7 through Wag! Health.
Meet their nutritional needs
Your new furry addition will go through various stages when it comes to their nutritional needs. From puppyhood to the senior needs of a cat, the type of food you feed them can set the stage for health. A puppy may need food to build strong bones, whereas an older kibble may need food specific to their urinary health. Be attuned as part of your pet’s wellness.
Train your pet
A dog that gets walked outside every day needs training to enable them to be the friendliest tail-wagger on the block. Not pulling when walking, not jumping on people, and greeting other dogs calmly are all essential skills for pooches. Cats need to be taught to keep clear of household plants and to stay off the counter, avoiding injuries like burns from a hot stove. Remember, a trained pet is a confident and happy one, too!
Have a handle on holiday hazards
Tinsel at Christmas is not a cat’s best friend, and munching on mistletoe can give your mutt a massive tummyache. When it’s holiday time, keep your pet’s best interests at heart and decorate in a safe and pet-furiendly way!
Neuter or spay as needed
Not only does neutering and spaying prevent needless pet pregnancies, but it also curbs overpopulation and homelessness of animals who, despite being healthy, end up being euthanized just because of lack of homes.
Work with the seasons
The time of year has an effect on the wellness of your pet. When the temperatures are soaring, make sure your furry bestie has plenty of water and a cool place to rest. Temperatures dipping? Dogs need booties to protect their feet from road salt and ice. Cats should be inside, where it’s warm and cozy.
Microchip your pet
We try our best to prevent pet loss and escape in unsafe circumstances. But if it does happen, a microchipped pet may find their way home quicker because of their microchip identification.
Respect your pet’s age
The exercise, sleep, nutritional, and mental stimulation needs of dogs and cats changes with age. Be aware and respect the needs of your pet. Young puppies need lots of exercise and outdoor time, whereas a senior cat will appreciate a restful place to call their own at nap time.
Recognize your pet’s signals
This is important no matter the type of pet you have, or their age. Watch for signs of stress, anxiety, fear, and illness. Accommodate their needs, live in harmony with your pet, and give them the best life possible.
That’s what being a pet parent is all about!