10 signs that you are a responsible pet owner
We are really excited to have officially launched our new service, VetBox. Our subscribers receive a monthly delivery of worm, flea and other health treatments chosen by vets specifically for their pet. Our mission is to take the hassle out of pet care.
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For our first post on Medium our Head Vet, Will, has listed the 10 things that he believes make a responsible pet owner.
1. Your pet is micro-chipped
Chips can easily be injected under your pet’s skin without sedation. Micro-chipping mean that your pet can be returned to you quickly if it ever gets lost. Most vets charge between £10 and £20 per pet. When compared to the anguish of a missing pet, this is nothing!
2. You buy good quality pet food
The importance of a good diet for your pet cannot be overstated. In general dry food is better for your pet’s teeth than wet food; and raw food diets have their pros and cons. We are planning a future blog post all about food so stay tuned!
3. Your pet is fully vaccinated every year
Dogs should be vaccinated annually against Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvo and Leptospirosis. Ideally they also be vaccinated for Parainfluenza and Kennel Cough. Cats should be vaccinated against Herpes, Calicivirus, Parvo and ideally the Leukaemia virus. These diseases sound rare, but are an all-to-common occurrence in UK pets due to a lack of vaccination.
4. You don’t delay going to the vet
If you suspect that something isn’t right with your pet then don’t just wait and see. Early detection can drastically improve the prognosis in many common diseases. Vet treatment can be expensive, but regular treatment against common ailments can help prevent this (see 6 and 7 below).
5. Your pet is insured
Advances in pet healthcare mean that human-level treatment is now available for domestic animals. There is no NHS for pets, so it is definitely worth having a decent life-time policy in place. Prepare for the worst and your pet will always receive the best care.
6. You treat them for fleas regularly
Fleas lay hundreds of tiny eggs which fall from your pet into carpets, bedding and sofas where they lay dormant for around 3 weeks. If you wait until you see fleas on your pet before taking action, there may already be an infestation in your home. The best way to prevent fleas entering your home is to treat your pet for fleas on a regular schedule.
7. You treat them for worms regularly
Parasitic worms such as tapeworm, roundworm and hookworm are easily picked up via soil, other animals or even fleas. They survive by feeding on the contents of your pet’s stomach or by sucking on their blood. They often show no symptoms, but can be a serious health risk if left untreated. Worms can also easily be transmitted to humans, especially children so it is vital to treat your pet for worms on a regular 3 month schedule.
8. They get exercise every day
In order to stay healthy, pets require mental stimulation and physical exercise each day. Walking your dog or playing with your cat is also great exercise for you and your family so plan it into your daily routine! We will be writing a future post all about fun ways to exercise your pet, so follow us to stay tuned.
9. You monitor their weight
Much like humans, pets in the UK are unfortunately getting fatter. Weight gain can often happen slowly without owners realising, so you should weigh your pet regularly. Friends, family or your vet can offer an objective opinion as they will likely spot changes more easily. Weight also determines the dose of flea and worm treatments, so should be monitored closely.
10. You treat them as one of the family
In the UK we are a nation of animal lovers with many treating their pets like any other member of the family. We wholly support this but it’s also important to remember that pets a have different dietary and health needs to humans — definitely no chocolate!
Are there any other points that you would include on this list? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
If you have any questions about the above please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
The VetBox team