Are you thinking about getting a new dog or cat? Will this be the first time that you've actually owned a pet? Owning a pet can be a rewarding experience for anyone, full of fun times and experiences. However, it's also important to be prepared for things that can go wrong. Although, hopefully, nothing will go wrong with your new furry friend, being prepared means that you're ready in the event that something does go wrong. Before you even bring your new companion home, here are some things that you should do:
Locate a good veterinarian: Unfortunately, many people don't actually look for a good vet before they need one. This leads to hasty decision-making and choosing one that isn't right for your needs. Some veterinarian offices offer wellness programs where basic shots and yearly exams are covered so long as you pay a monthly fee. But the costs for more urgent care may be slightly higher than offices who don't offer this service. Some offices allow you to make payments, while others do not. Because of all of the variables involved, it's definitely a good idea to find a good veterinarian as soon as possible.
Know emergency vet locations: Your veterinarian will likely have suggestions on where to go if something should happen to your pet in the middle of the night or on days when your regular veterinarian's office isn't open. But what they think is convenient and what you think is convenient may be two different things. The nearest emergency vet to them may not be the nearest one to you. There are typically far fewer emergency vets in an area and they may be spread out much less evenly than non-emergency veterinarian offices. If your pet should be hit by a car or become violently ill in the middle of the night, you don't want to be wasting time trying to decide which animal hospital to take your cat or dog to.
Create or add to first aid kit: Ask your veterinarian for advice as to what should be put into a household first aid kit for your cat or dog. He or she will have suggestions on things that you may not have previously considered. For instance, an old towel kept with the first aid kit can be used to wrap up an injured animal so that they can be comforted and carried. For larger animals, big beach towels can act as a makeshift sling for carrying.
For more tips on how to prepare for owning your first pet, contact veterinarians at facilities like the Pittsburgh Spay & Vaccination Clinic.