Veterinarians dive deep into the pages to master the ins and outs of pet care. But what about us? Sometimes, we strut around as if we’ve earned a Ph.D. in Paws, believing we’ve got all the answers about our furry companions. Instead of contacting a vet, we’re quick to consult Dr. Google, our primary source for pet advice. Here are some things you’re probably doing that a vet wouldn’t!
We’ve all had those moments, pretending to be the vet with our pets as if we’re channeling Dr. Dolittle. But here’s the deal: even minor sniffles or coughs could signal significant issues for your pet.
Your pet might be grappling with dental troubles, heartworm concerns, achy joints, or even experiencing depression. That’s why it’s important to schedule regular check-ups with the vet and keep a record of all their health history, from past to present.
Delaying veterinary visits
Let’s talk about why we dodge the vet for our pets. It’s a stress fest. Your pet’s freaking out, and you’re feeling the pressure (maybe even a tad embarrassed) by their behavior. So, you end up treating them at home or delaying the vet visit. But guess what? Prevention beats cure any day! Even if your pet appears to be in good health, scheduling regular veterinary check-ups as a precautionary measure is a wise decision.
When that reminder card slides into your mailbox, announcing it’s vaccination time for your pet, don’t brush it off! These shots act as a protective shield, guarding your pet against the harmful diseases that may be present in your home or the surrounding environment. And it’s not just the cats and dogs – even your fluffy rabbits and farm crew (swine, cows, and chickens) need their vaccine fix. So, never skip vaccinations!
Let’s address a common oversight many pet owners encounter: overfeeding their pets. Surprising as it may seem, packing on excess pounds isn’t exclusive to humans. Obesity poses a significant threat to your pet’s well-being and can significantly reduce their lifespan. So, it’s important to chat with your vet about your fur baby’s weight and come up with a game plan. Think about giving your pet balanced meals and regularly getting their paws moving with some exercise.
Ignoring dental care
Here’s a situation that often surprises pet owners: discovering dental issues during a vet visit. Dental disease is not common knowledge, but it’s a very big deal! Beyond maintaining a set of pearly whites, dental health profoundly affects your pet’s overall well-being. That’s why dental health is a must-do. So make a routine of daily teeth brushing for your pet, and never skip those yearly check-ups with the vet.
Using human medication without vet approval
When your pet feels under the weather, you want to make them feel better. However, it’s crucial to exercise caution and refrain from delving into your human medicine collection for your pet. Paracetamol, Ibuprofen, Tylenol – all those are meant for us, not our furry buds. They need specific medications tailored to their needs, and only your veterinarian can recommend safe options. So, when in doubt, dial your vet for the pet-friendly medicine.
Neglecting parasite prevention
Roundworms are a common problem for cats and dogs. These troublemakers don’t just wreak havoc on our pets with symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting – they also pose a threat to us humans. Do you know roundworms can even cause blindness and tissue-related troubles for humans? To reduce this risk, we highly advise you to consult your veterinarian about incorporating a regular deworming regimen for your pets.
Not providing enough mental stimulation
While the cozy indoor atmosphere may seem appealing for your pet, it can result in serious issues such as obesity and stress-related problems. How does this happen? Well, boredom often translates into excessive snacking. So, what’s the solution? Daily doses of exercise and mental stimulation are key. Just like us, our pets need to engage in physical activity and flex their cognitive muscles regularly. Your veterinarian will tell you about suitable exercises for your pet.
Not trimming nails regularly
If you’ve ever experienced unexpected claw marks from your cat during playtime, you understand the importance of keeping their nails trimmed. But guess what? Lengthy nails can pose a challenge for dogs, too, making walking on certain surfaces uncomfortable. So, to dodge this problem, create a routine of regular nail trims from a young age, both for your pup and your kitty.
Switching food for no reason
While humans may grow tired of eating the same meals repeatedly, our furry family members have no qualms about sticking to a consistent diet. Contrary to our perceptions, pets are content with their daily fare and don’t necessarily crave variety like we do. It’s actually good for their bellies to keep things consistent. So we suggest you keep their diet the same and offer special meals on special occasions.
Every furry friend, regardless of breed, needs their fair share of exercise to stay healthy and happy. Neglecting daily walks or play sessions can lead to various issues, including illness and rude behavior.
But hey, if you can’t keep your pet active, we suggest you adopt a more relaxed pet regarding exercise requirements. Need suggestions? Get yourself a turtle or a hamster.
Ignoring behavior changes
Have you ever noticed your pet acting up by barking a lot or jumping around? Some people say to just ignore them when they do this, but if you only do that, they might keep doing the dramatics. While ignoring them is a good start, teaching them the right way to behave is important, too. If your pet continues to show different moods, you should take them to a vet.
Not spaying or neutering
When you neuter or spay your furry friend, you’re not only stopping surprise babies and helping control the number of stray animals. You’re also giving them a superpower shield against serious illnesses like genital cancers. But here’s the important part – after the procedure, your pet needs some extra care to recover well. Make sure to provide them with the post-surgery attention they deserve so they can bounce back and feel like champions!
Not socializing with others animals
We all love our furry friends, but they also need to spend time with other animals sometimes. This is extra crucial for our tiny furballs – think young kittens and puppies. If you have a dog, let it meet and play with other dogs while it’s on a leash. If you’re a cat owner, you can help your cat get used to the scents of other cats before they interact directly.
Keeping toxic plants at home
Before you bring your new furry friend home, it’s important to check your living space for potential hazards. Some plants, such as aloe vera and poinsettias, might seem harmless to us, but for our pets? They can cause major problems. And let’s not forget plant fertilizers – they’re like the secret villains of the green world. Remember, our pets are as curious as kids, so it’s on us to keep them safe from these plants.
Not providing a proper ID
Rather than relying solely on a leash, why not equip your pet with some fancy identification gear? Consider getting them tags, a microchip, or even a stylish GPS tracker. It’s like having a digital way to keep an eye on your furry friend! Just picture the peace of mind you’ll feel when your phone alerts you that your pet is nearby.
Not keeping your pet warm
Did you know pets can feel the cold much sooner than we do? And their fur coat isn’t enough to save them from the chill. How so? When fur gets wet or tangled, it loses its power to keep your pet warm.
That’s why dressing your pet in those cute sweaters when the temperatures drop is important. Keep them indoors so they can stay warm and dry in winter.
Allowing unchecked outdoor access
When it’s outdoor time for your pet, it’s time to amp up the supervision. You’ve probably seen those viral videos on TikTok where a big bear or a sly fox tries to stir things up with a pet. To keep your furry friend safe from those outdoor escapades, give the surroundings a quick once-over before unleashing them. And here’s a tech-savvy move – get yourself a fancy pet door you can control like a pro.
Using harsh training methods
One approach to avoid when training your pet is using tough or harsh methods. Instead, consider using positive reinforcement techniques. Engage your pet in enjoyable activities (play fetch or hide and seek) and reward them for their efforts. You’ll be amazed at how quickly any negative behaviors vanish. By giving them a boost of encouragement, you’re not just teaching them tricks – you’re building a bond and showing them some serious love.
Assuming all pets have the same needs
Providing food, water, and shelter is essential for all animals. However, here’s the thing: every pet’s wish list is a little different. Some like it hot, while others prefer a chilly environment. Some are snackaholics, while others are more into the occasional feast. Before you add a new member to your fur family, remember that taking care of a pet is a big deal! You need to understand and meet the different needs of all your pets.