There are many reasons to own a pet. For one, pets provide companionship. They give love and provide someone for you to love back. They will often offer comfort as well, and can even give much meaning to the lives of those who own them. In fact, pets are so well loved and common here in the United States that very nearly thirty nine million households throughout this one country alone own cats. Many other households own dogs, and even more own more low maintenance pets such as fish, reptiles, and smaller rodents (like gerbils, guinea pigs, and even rats).
But owning a pet is not a small responsibility, and is one that should be taken very seriously. For one, you must consider the cost of owning a pet. While many people don’t factor in how expensive a dog or cat or other such animal can be, the answer is often this: very. From emergency veterinarian fees to the simple costs of keeping your animals well fed with quality pet food (as low quality pet foods can cause any slew of digestive concerns), the costs of owning a pet rack up. In the last recession alone, more than ninety percent of pet owners were actually spending more on their cats and dogs than they ever had before.
And animals are a lifelong commitment. It is irresponsible and even cruel to take an animal into your home only to give it away a short time later. Of course, there are always circumstances where this becomes a necessity, circumstances that can’t be avoided, such as one of your children unexpectedly developing an allergy. But in most cases, it is far better to plan for an animal long before you get that, doing your research thoroughly in order to ensure that your animal will be a good fit into your home environment.
Once you do have a pet, it is important that you keep their health in mind. If you adopt a very young puppy or kitten, this will be more of an intensive process, as such young animals need to see the veterinarian every few weeks until they reach about four months of age. This is to ensure that they will be protected from as much disease as possible, as vaccinations can help to keep them safe as they grow into adulthood. Once they reach adulthood, it is likely that they will only need to see the vet around once or twice a year, depending on a number of factors, like the vet themselves as well as the physical health of the animal in question.
Of course, sometimes you will need to take in your animal to see an emergency veterinarian. An emergency veterinarian is likely to be ideal in a number of situations, as said emergency veterinarian will be able to give your dog or cat – or other type of animal – with the care that they are likely to be very much in need of on a very short term basis.
There are a number of reasons to take your animal, cat or dog or other alike, to your nearest emergency veterinarian. In short – any time that you feat that there is a veterinary emergency. Such emergencies might include your animal eating something that they should not. Certain foods have been found to be poisonous for both cats and dogs alike (such as chocolate) and certain types of plants can be as well, if they are consumed in specific quantities.
If your animal sustains an injury or gets a suspected infection because of a prior injury, it is important that they be seen by your local emergency veterinarian as well. Even if it ends up that they would have been totally fine without the care of an emergency veterinarian, it is always far better to be safe than to be sorry. A 24 hour animal hospital would much rather see an animal be okay and owners be too cautious than the alternative.
Taking your animal to the vet is only one part of animal care, but it is most certainly a very important one.