As a pet parent, there’s nothing worse than realizing that something is drastically wrong with a pet. Whether it be a sudden illness or injury, visiting the animal emergency room is frightening for both man and beast. Although there is no way to protect your furry family members one hundred percent of the time, there are things you can do to help avoid the dreaded trip to the emergency room. Here are a few tips from animal experts to keep your pet out of the ER.
1. Get your pet vaccinated.
If your dog is less than two years old, be sure you’re making and keeping scheduled vaccination appointments. It can be a hassle, but not having that protection could leave your pet vulnerable to some potentially deadly diseases. For instance, the parvovirus is nasty, and treating it can cost upwards of $2,000. Getting the preventative shot saves a lot of grief and money.
2. Get annual wellness checks.
Schedule and keep wellness checks once a year. The vet will conduct a physical and lab tests that may detect serious illness before it has a chance to advance. In addition, several years of wellness checks gives doctors a “baseline” on which to compare should problems present themselves later on.
3. Pay attention to your pet’s weight and eating habits.
Obesity in pets is a big problem that leads to other, more serious health issues as they age. Get in the habit of taking your dog for a walk every day to help keep him keep a healthy weight, and avoid feeding table scraps, as many human foods can be toxic to animals and they add extra calories the animal doesn’t need. On the flip side, if your pet begins losing weight for some unexplained reason, you’ll notice it right away.
4. Keep your pet under control at all times.
When out for a walk, use a leash – every single time. Even the most disciplined dogs can become distracted or excited by something and run away. When at home, keep pets fenced or tied up in the yard. Keep cats indoors. There’s only one way to prevent sudden injury from passing cars or an ill-intentioned neighbor or passerby, and that is by keeping a tight reign on your pets at all times.
5. Pet-proof your home.
Having pets is similar to having a baby or toddler in the home. If it can be gotten into, it will. Dogs, especially, love to chew on things and play with things, and they don’t always know that something is dangerous. Keep medications out of reach, and household cleansers and other poisons behind closed cabinet doors.
Following these few expert tips will help you stay out of the pet emergency room.