Although February 2017 is in the books, it was Responsible Pet owner month so I thought it was worth reviewing some basics of what is involved in being a Responsible pet owner
- Research various breeds to decide which breed is right for your family. Things to consider include size, activity level and grooming needs. Talk to breeders at shows, ask your veterinarian, read information about different breeds at akc.org or breed specific websites. Make sure if you decide to buy from a breeder they are reputable. Shelters and rescue organizations have wonderful dogs and cats as well.
- Know the cost of pet ownership. Besides the initial adoption or purchase price, there is food, vaccines, medication, and insurance.
- Keep up on your pet’s health. The staff at Willow Creek can make recommendations on needed vaccines and preventative medication that will keep your new family member healthy and happy. Preventative care can help you avoid some of the larger medical bills in the future.
- Feed your pet a healthy, balance, age appropriate diet.
- Spay or neuter your pet. Besides helping with the pet overpopulation problem, spaying or neutering pets can help avoid medical problems such as mammary tumors, infections and tumors of the uterus, testicles, and prostate.
- Make sure your pet has ID. Microchips are a way of permanently identifying your pet if tags or collars come off.
- Have a basic first aid kit, and know some basic first aid skills. Keep the ASPCA Poison Control phone number in an easy to find location (1-888-426-4435).
- Train your dog to be a good citizen. There are several excellent trainers in the area. We can provide you with a list of local trainers. Your pet will be easier to care for, and you will enjoy your pet more if they are well behaved.
With the right preparation, pets are a wonderful part of our lives.
Ann E. Bastian, V.M.D.