Getting a family pet is unlike any other household event. As such, it should be painstakingly considered from every perspective, along with ensuring you'll have the ability to care for the pet for as long as it's expected to live. With the great fun and enjoyment of a new pet comes great responsibility and having a veterinarian to guide you through is the best possible way to start your new life with the new family pet.
Choosing The Best Type Of Animal For Your Family
Even if you're a loyal dog person, depending on the different members of your family, budget, type of housing you're occupying and other factors, a cat or dog may not be the right pet. Furthermore, if you did want a dog, you should look at the individual breeds, in order to determine which would be most suitable for your household. While cats are mostly self-sufficient and don't need to be brought outside to do their "duty", if anyone in the home is pregnant, intends to become pregnant or there are very young children, toxoplasmosis might be a consideration. Despite being the most popular types of pet in America, a dog or cat may not be right for your family and there are a number of factors to ponder as you make your choice:
- Safety for each family member, along with the safety of the animal itself, with people handling it.
- Quality of life for the pet, from the size of its living quarters or habitat to the amount of exercise and affection it's afforded.
- The economic feasibility of long-term ownership and care.
- Assigning responsibility of direct-care for the pet, be it cleaning a cage or going for a much needed walk in the middle of the night.
- Potential allergies of family members, which should be investigated with your pediatrician or family physician, first.
The Best Way To Find The Pet You're Looking For
Finding the right pet isn't always easy, even though you may have a number of outlets to choose from. Because this is such an important event for your family, make sure the pet suppliers you seek out are going to have everyone's best interests in mind:
- Classified ads may offer affordable pets, but those posting for free or low-cost animals aren't usually held accountable for their honesty or the care they've given the animal.
- Pet stores can be the ideal place to buy a pet, especially if you live in California, where pets at retailers must be rescue animals.
- Shelters in your area likely have a number of pets needing homes and you can usually verify the origin and health of the animals.
- Your veterinarian could have adoptable animals in-house or be able to forward you to a great source.
- Strays won't always be the exact type of pet you're looking for, nor can you be certain taking one in won't put your family's health in jeopardy; however, if you can transport the animal to the vet's office (before bringing it into your home) and they get a clean bill of health, you could end up with a very grateful, loyal and suitable pet.
Getting The Animal A Check Up Before You Commit To Buying
Although it can be challenging, try not to get too emotionally attached or committed to any one animal before you're certain they'll check out. If you're looking at a small pet, such as a hamster or gerbil, you're not likely to bring it to a vet for examination; however, you still need to verify the general conditions under which this animal was born or raised. Most especially if you're about to spend a significant amount of money on the pet, reassurances from a veterinarian that the potential pet is in good health is essential, not to mention the fact that you don't want your family becoming attached to an animal that may not be in good health. An examination or other form of health verification should be sought:
- If the pet seller or retailer tells you the pet has already been seen by a vet, ask to see the records or have your vet to call their vet to confirm.
- Otherwise, have the pet checked out by your local vet for signs and symptoms of possible problems, such as fever, low weight, fleas, worms, respiratory or eye infections (common among animals kept together in tight, but unfavorable conditions), along with anything else that may indicate poor health or unsanitary living conditions.
If there's no way to first bring your potential pet to a vet nor any other vet to contact that may have examined the animal, you're probably better off if you keep looking. Vet approval is essential to ending up with a pet that won't cost you a lot of money to bring to good health, if it hasn't been maintained, and a vet exam can avoid other possible issues, such as welcoming an animal into your home that could have behavioral problems due to abuse, neglect or disease.
Your New Pet's First Full Checkup With The Veterinarian
After you've brought the new pet home, it's time to start enjoying the pleasure of their company, but still important that you follow up with the vet for a full-fledged physical examination. Depending on the type of animal, there may be a number of procedures in order both now and in the near future:
- Cats and dogs need vaccinations in a timely manner.
- You need to consider having the animal spayed or neutered when they're old enough.
- Talk to your vet about preventing fleas and ticks, as they're not just menacing, they're a health hazard as well.
- Your new pet may need regular heart worm prevention medicine.
- You should definitely seek advice from the vet on what the best diet is for your new pet, no matter what type of animal it is.
- If your family has chosen an exotic pet, such as a snake or lizard, they have special requirements and threats from diseases unique to them, making partnering with a vet even more important.
Living Happily Ever After Together
Because you want your new pet to live as long and enjoyable a life as possible, be sure to schedule regular annual checkups, the same you do for yourself and children, and bring any health and wellness issues that may arise in the interim to the vet's attention right away. Also, as the animal ages, their needs may change, so you'll want to update your knowledge base as this occurs. Teeth cleanings may be needed to ensure good health, too and this is also something your vet can see to. If any health crisis arises that may result in bills that would push your family budget over the edge, talk to the vet about making special payment arrangements, as many will allow this, especially for long-standing customers who are diligent about taking care of the family pet.
Since a pet becomes a permanent part of your household, it's imperative that you're careful about selecting and screening one, even if it seems tedious. All the care you take in finding just the right animal and ensuring its good health with the vet should equate to many years of happy living together. For more information, visit websites like http://www.emergencypetclinics.com.