More Basics of Pet Care — What You Should Know by Now

Augusta veterinary clinic

Did you know that there are 39 million households with cats in the U.S. — and 46 million households with dogs? Veterinary care is an important part of having a pet, yet not all these pet owners are keeping up with this aspect of pet care. Here?s a few important things you should keep in mind going forward.

Spay and Neutering isn?t Really Optional

A lot of people think that it would be ?cute? if their dog or cat gave birth — and they could subsequently give their friends and family the puppies or kittens. While this might be tempting, consider this: anyone truly ready for a pet in their life would likely already have one. Not only this, but nearly 10 million pets will end up in shelters every year — ideally, you should encourage your friends to get a shelter dog or cat so they are not euthanized to make room for more animals. Also keep in mind that animals that are spayed and neutered live longer on average.

Veterinary Clinics No Longer Advise Declawing

20 or so years ago, declawing your cat was considered a fairly routine solution to the problem of cats scratching up furniture. Today, though, most animal hospitals recommend against this operation unless there are absolutely no options left. Declawing is more than simply removing a nail because it effectively removes a part of the cat?s toe through amputation. For many cats it can create a lifelong distrust of being touched near their paws, and it can also prevent cats from effectively protecting themselves if the need arises. There are other ways to deal with cat claws, such as clipping the claws yourself (start from an early an age as possible so that they are used to it!) as well as getting numerous scratch pads for the cat to use.

Pet Care Involves Visiting the Vet

Would you avoid going to a doctor for 20 years? A lot can happen during that stretch of time. The same is true for your pet — a few years of avoiding the vet, for them, is like decades for you since they have comparatively shorter lifetimes.

Have a Vet Hospital Number

No one knows what the future holds. For this reason, don’t leave off knowing what your options for emergency care are. If something happens to your pet you’re going to want a way to take care of them. Ask your veterinary clinic for recommendations.