Around the holidays, hundreds of animals are adopted from shelters and given new homes. Especially this year, with COVID-19 keeping people at home, the number of pets adopted from shelters has skyrocketed. At points, some shelters even reported that all of their pets had been adopted, leaving their cages empty. This has also led to an influx of first-time pet owners, so we asked our Veterinary Technicians to share some advice to help ease the minds of those who may feel like they’ve bitten off more than they can chew.
Snuggle Your Babies
From when they’re first adopted to their very last days, the animals you bring home are truly your babies. They rely on you for food and shelter, and you’re also the one responsible for training them and providing them with the emotional support that they need. Moreover, if you adopt from a shelter, you are adopting a pet who will be even more grateful for the home you provide them, but these are also the pets that need your love and time the most. Before adopting a new four-legged friend, ensure you have the time and the ability to give them the support that they need in order to thrive in their new home.
Get Your Pets Vaccinated
Animals are typically able to be rehomed at 6 weeks old, and this is also the time their first round of vaccinations should be administered. Vaccines are the most effective way to safeguard against many canine and feline diseases, and pets should avoid socialization until these vaccinations are given. At Countryside, we can recommend a plan for vaccinations based on where you live and your pet’s risk of exposure to certain diseases, and we also have comprehensive Puppy and Kitten Packages that we tailor to meet your pet’s specific needs.
Befriend Your Vet
Finding a vet that you and your pet can trust is so worthwhile. Not only will they be there for your pet on their worst days, but they also possess a wealth of knowledge and resources that you’ll likely need if this is your first time owning a pet. Being comfortable with your vet will not only make doctors’ visits better for your pet, but it will also allow you to ask questions that pertain to more than just your pet’s care. Ask about training, what food your pet should be eating, or any aspect of pet ownership that may be stressful or confusing. A good vet will be your partner in pet care, and their guidance will be readily available throughout you and your pet’s time together.
Don’t Go Grain-Free
If your pet has a grain sensitivity, then a grain-free diet is definitely the correct path for you. However, it is rare for this sensitivity to occur, and it may actually be more harmful to remove grain from your pet’s diet than to leave it in. It has been shown that feeding your pet a grain-free diet can lead to a fatal heart condition called dilated cardiomyopathy, and this can lead to heart failure. The FDA has encouraged pet owners to work closely with their vets to decide which diet would work best with their four-legged friends.
No Rope Toys
While your pet may love to play tug-of-war, playing with a rope toy could be very dangerous. Your pet could chew and accidentally swallow strands of rope, which are almost impossible to pass naturally. These strands are known as foreign bodies, and not only do they lead to a costly vet bill, but they are also very painful for your pet. A foreign body can cause internal injuries to your pet, and it can also cease the process of passing waste along the digestive tract, causing your pet to stop eating and drinking or to become ill after meals. To keep your pets safe, monitor them as they play, and possibly play with them rather than letting them play on their own, especially if they like to chew.
We hope you, your family, and your pets have a safe and happy holiday season! If you need a veterinarian to help you welcome a new pet into your home, or if you have a sick four-legged friend in need of veterinary assistance, give us a call at (770) - 788 - 7387