Man and dogWhen considering adoption, the Beatles said it best: “all you need is love!” Right? Of course love is central to your new role as a pet owner, but that’s really just the beginning. Before you take the plunge, there’s a lot to consider.

That’s why the pet experts offer the following tips on what it takes to be a responsible pet owner. Your new pet will thank you for being prepared – and ready for the adventure of a lifetime!

The Big Picture

Most shelter pets are already “fixed.” If you’re adopting from a breeder or your pet is still too young for the procedure, we urge you to spay or neuter your pet as soon as it is possible.

We can discuss the right time to schedule this simple procedure during your pet’s first preventative care visit. Spaying or neutering also impacts our community and can significantly reduce pet health problems and behaviors.

Small but Meaningful

During your pet’s spay or neuter surgery, we can also insert a microchip. Microchipping is the best way to make sure your pet gets home quickly in the event he or she becomes lost. A collar with an ID tag and license should also be employed.

Vaccinations make disease prevention easy. Even pets who stay indoors should be vaccinated against certain conditions, such as rabies. Likewise, parasite prevention is vital to your pet’s health, and we can get him or her started on the right flea/tick/heartworm preventative.

Grooming is another fantastic way to inspect your pet’s coat and skin for any problems. It also keeps him or her looking and feeling great. Similarly, the benefits of pet dental care go far beyond just looking good. Regular cleanings, annual exams, and at-home brushing can prevent problems in the mouth and throughout the whole body of your pet.

Eat Well, Live Well

Just like us, your pet requires a balanced diet. We can work with you to find food that benefits him or her the most and can also let you know which items to avoid. The link between nutrition and obesity is undeniable, and diseases such as diabetes can be avoided with a controlled diet.

Outside Time!

A responsible pet owner provides many opportunities to explore the great outdoors. Whether it’s backyard playtime, extra walks down the block, or planned off-leash adventures, the overall health of your pet depends on getting enough exercise.

Socialization and behavioral training is also necessary. Interacting with other people and animals can teach your dog important lessons, and jaunts away from home can reinforce acquired skills.

Being a Responsible Pet Owner

Being prepared is central to becoming a responsible pet owner. Know the signs of a pet emergency and know what to do when quick thinking can save valuable time. Also keep your pet away from antifreeze and other poisons and be aware of certain garden dangers.

So Much Love

Establishing a routine and setting aside regular playtime are other important priorities of a responsible pet owner. Remember, adopting a pet is a lifelong commitment, and we hope you have many wonderful years together.

The pet experts at Elmhurst Animal Care Center are always here to help. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.