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Q&A for New Pet Owners: Common Pet Health Concerns

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What should I do if my pet is vomiting or has diarrhea?

Vomiting and diarrhea can indicate various issues, from dietary indiscretion to infections. If it persists, contact your vet for guidance immediately. 

How often should I groom my pet, and what are the benefits?

Grooming helps maintain your pet's health and appearance. Frequency varies by breed and coat type, but regular grooming can prevent matting, skin issues, and detect early signs of illness. Be sure to check their ears after a bath to ensure they are dry to help avoid an ear infection. Avoid soap near the eyes to prevent irritation that could lead to permeant damage. 

What's the best way to prevent fleas, ticks, and other parasites in my pet?

Consult your veterinarian for parasite prevention options like topical treatments, collars, and oral medications. We typically will prescribe oral first with topical and/or a flea bath if there is already an infestation. We discourage "over the counter" preventatives you can pick up at a store as they are typically weaker in prevention. Regular checks and maintaining a clean environment can also help.

How can I identify signs of dental problems in my pet?

Watch for signs like bad breath, difficulty eating, and tartar buildup. Just like us humans, they need brushing everyday and a dental exam and professional cleaning every six months. We understand getting your cat to sit through a good brushing is like asking a toddler to sit still for hours... not happening. This makes dental exams and regular professional cleaning absolutely necessary. Dental health is vital, so consult your vet for dental care options.

What should I feed my pet for a balanced diet?

A balanced diet is crucial for your pet's health. Just like you and me, your diet is going to look completely different than someone with a heart issue, has kidney failure, or a food allergy. Consult your vet for recommendations based on your pet's species, age, and any specific health concerns.

How do I know if my pet is overweight, and how can I help them maintain a healthy weight?

Obesity is a common concern. Monitor your pet's weight, feed appropriate portions, and engage in regular exercise. A study has shown that an active owner will have a more active healthy pet. It's up to us to encourage a healthy lifestyle for our families. Take that walk around the block, explore that hike you've seen on your drive home, take your pet to the beach or the park. You and your pet will feel better and it gives great bonding time. Consult your vet for diet weight management advice.

What are the signs of common allergies in pets, and how can I manage them?

Allergies can manifest as itching, skin issues, or digestive problems. Your vet can help identify triggers and suggest management strategies, including special diets or medications.

How do I prepare for emergencies and first aid for my pet?

Have a pet first-aid kit on hand and know basic first-aid procedures. Take note of our location and hours for any family/friends who might be "Puppy-sitting" while you're out of town. We are here for you!

When should I spay/neuter my pet, and what are the benefits?

Discuss spaying/neutering with your veterinarian. We commonly look to spay before the first heat cycle and males before 5 months. This helps prevent serious deceases and common cancers that can grow in "intact" patients. It can also prevent unwanted pregnancies. We love a good kitten snuggle, but the shelters are full and there are still so many strays. Spray and Neutering helps save lives! 

What are the signs of pain or discomfort in my pet, and when should I seek veterinary care?

Watch for signs like limping, whining, excessive licking, vomiting, dry heaving, inability to settle and lay still, or changes in behavior are all concerns. Consult your vet if you suspect your pet is in pain.

How can I make vet visits less stressful for my pet?

Use positive reinforcement, practice handling like rubbing their ears, paws, tail, and remember to stay calm yourself. Your pet looks to you to know how they should fell. If they pick up that you are scared for their health, or anxious in anyway, they will feel the need to Fight, Flight, or Freeze. We created a calming and welcoming environment to help encourage a deep breathe of relief for you, so your pet can benefit by staying calm and thus can receive treatment better and go home to heal faster. Discuss anxiety management options with your vet.

What routine check-ups and tests does my pet need?

Regular vet check-ups, vaccinations, and preventive tests like bloodwork and parasite checks are essential for your pet's health. A wellness exam is meant to be a quick check-in and to catch anything at the start to help your loved one without a voice get the professional medical attention they deserve. 

How can I provide mental and emotional stimulation for my pet?

Enrichment activities, toys, and spending quality time with your pet can keep them mentally and emotionally healthy. Venture out into the world together, take them with you wherever you can, teach them "proper etiquette" when in public, teach them social skills with other pets, show them how to be in your life! You'll both be happier for it!

What are the benefits of pet insurance, and should I consider it?

Pet insurance can help cover unexpected medical costs. It's worth considering, especially for potential high expenses. Just like your own health insurance, it's a month payment that you'll eventually be grateful for when the unplanned happens.

What are the essential vaccinations my pet should receive?

Vaccinations are crucial to prevent various diseases in pets. Consult your veterinarian if your pet needs a tailored vaccination schedule, but commonly, pets need vaccinations for diseases like rabies, distemper, parvovirus, and kennel cough. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound in cure.