-Don’t hesitate to call your vet with a health question.
You may or may not need a visit, but your vet is the best resource for
your pet’s health. If you’re not satisfied with your vet’s
response, call another vet.
-Persistent problems can often be remedied or treated. Sometimes minor
skin/itch issues or soreness/stiffness often ignored by pet owners, but
early treatment for health issues like these are often simple, and they
often help keep a small problem from becoming a big problem.
-Particularly with dogs, but also cats, be careful what they eat or chew
on. Pet health problems often come from dogs eating something they shouldn’t.
Be aware that if your dog leaves your yard he may find hazardous items
to eat in a neighbor’s yard, or elsewhere. While houseplants are
not often lethal they are a common source of digestive upset in pets, and
certain types of plants are particularly dangerous. Also puppies and chronic
chewers sometimes eat fabric. This can cause a blockage which is a major
medical problem. If your pet either eats fabric or is suspected of eating
a toxic substance contact a vet immediately, time is of the essence.
-Keep pets contained. Indoor cats have a significantly longer life span
than outdoor cats because of all the hazards of the outside world. Similarly
dogs encounter numerous problems if allowed to run free. Also, in many
places it is simply illegal for dogs to not to be contained or on a leash.
-Play, run, have fun. Most dogs need a place to run, and all pets benefit
from exercise and play. This is much of the fun of having a pet anyway,
but it is also a basic part of having a healthy and happy pet. Pets benefit
from the bonds formed between themselves and ‘their human’ and
exercise helps keep them at a reasonable weight and reduces the risk of
a myriad of health problems.