Owning a pet is commonplace here in the United States. In fact, it’s estimated that around 45% of all home owners and people here in the United States own at least one dog, with many other home owners owning multiple pets and other kinds of pets as well. In fact, an even greater number of households – more than 38 million of them – own cats. With so many animals to chose from, with cats and dogs and rabbits and fish and reptiles all easily and readily available here in the United States, it should come as no surprise that the vast majority of households found here in the United States are owners to at least one pet, with many actually owning multiple types of pets or even just multiple pets.
Owning a pet of some sort can be a very fulfilling thing, providing love and companionship and family for many people. However, pet ownership comes with a great deal of responsibility as well, often akin to many of the responsibilities that com along with having a child (though certainly not all of them, of course). This is something that must be considered before a pet is brought into the home, as providing the proper care for any animal, no big or how small, is absolutely essential to their overall happiness and welfare.
For instance, regular veterinarian appointments are hugely important for many animals, much as regular doctor’s appointments are critical for humans to maintain their overall quality of health. This is especially important for very young cats and dogs, as puppies and kittens should receive regular veterinary check ups in the first few weeks and months of their lives. This is essential to keep your pet healthy, as part of this task to keep your pet healthy is providing them with the vaccinations that they need, as is the case for human babies as well (though, again, the types of vaccinations that are administered will differ). When your pet reaches their adult age, you only need to take them in once or twice a year to keep your pet healthy, unless they develop any kind of health problem between wellness visits to the vet clinic in your area.
Part of kitten and puppy care, however, will also involve the neutering and spaying of the vast majority of animals, something that is actually now considered an essential step to keep your pet healthy. And it is a step to keep your pet healthy that needs to happen earlier than most first time pet owners are likely aware of. After all, cats and dogs alike can first get pregnant at the tender age of only five months. Therefore, having them spayed and neutered as soon as is possible is necessary to prevent unwanted puppies and kittens from joining your family – and can certainly be critical to keeping your pet healthy in very young female cats and dogs.
Fortunately, taking such a step to keep your pet healthy is relatively simple. Most veterinary clinics will be able to perform such procedures, and most can be done as soon as the cat or dog in question reaches the young age of two months. Having the procedure done so early one is easier on the animal and their care givers alike, and eliminates the risk of unwanted pregnancy entirely. For areas where cat and dog populations are growing rapidly, such a measure can help to provide some level of population control as well.
Proper dental hygiene is also critical to keep your pet healthy. In fact, though up to 65% of all pet owners don’t brush their animal’s teeth, doing so is very much recommended by vets throughout the country. Getting the hang of dental care for a dog or for a cat can certainly be difficult, but it will become easier and easier with time until it feels like second nature. Such attention to dental care can help to prevent dental abscesses, chronic pain, and tooth loss in dogs and cats alike, particularly as they grow older and into their later years of life.