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5 Things Every Pet Owner Should Do

1. Get Insurance ASAP

Obtaining an accident/illness plan from a pet insurance company is perhaps the best thing you can do for your pet. With the rising costs of emergency and specialty medicine, bills of over 6 thousand dollars are commonplace. Insurance can help offset 80-90% of these costs and offers additional benefits, while giving you peace of mind that you will be able to afford your pet's care when they need it most.

We recommend obtaining insurance when your pet is young and free of pre-existing conditions. Check out our guide to pet insurance.

2. Train Your Pet

Whether you choose a local training facility, or get a book and train at home, training your pet helps make them a better house pet and can prevent costly issues like dog bites and foreign body ingestion. Start when your pet is young and continue into adulthood with consistent positive reinforcement. There are few excuses for a poorly behaved or uncontrollable adult pet. It is a pet owner's responsibility to try their hardest to train a pet not to be a nuisance or risk to humans and other animals, and seek professional help when needed.


3. Have a Plan for Problems

Knowing where your local emergency clinic is, having your pet's medical records on hand, and keeping a pet first aid kit at home are just some of the steps every pet owner should take to ensure the proper care of their pet. Not knowing when your pet last obtained a rabies vaccine, for example, can make a world of difference when they are involved in an altercation with another pet or have to visit an emergency clinic at 2am. We provide pet medical history packets for puppies and kittens upon their first visit- make this your resource for your pet's health and keep it in a known place for easy access. Taking and storing pictures of important records and documents like rabies licenses on your cell phone is a great way to have them available wherever you are. 

Pro Tip: Email these important papers to yourself so you can search for them when and where you need to.


4. Think Ahead

Obtaining vaccines for kenneling on the way to the kennel does nothing but put your pet at risk. If you take an annual vacation in June, for example, ask us (or your veterinary care provider) to establish an annual schedule of preventative vaccinations in April or May. This ensures the vaccines have biological time to help protect your pet, and that any side effects of the vaccines will be remedied well before their kennel trip.

Similarly, keep any daily medications, and also monthly prevention like heartworm or flea/tick treatments on hand for use when you need them so you do not fall off schedule. We recommend refilling prescriptions when you are down to 1/4 of your supply to allow time for refills to be processed and to take shortages or shipping delays into account.


5. Don't Hesitate

As discussed at the start of this article, having pet insurance can help you save thousands on your pet's care. It can also make smaller issues, like dirty ears or swollen anal glands, easier to take care of earlier. We find that our customers with pet insurance have their pets seen for smaller issues sooner, which helps them not turn into bigger ones. 

Pro tip: Reaching out the day your pet doesn't want to eat, or starts scratching at their ears, for example, can help stop those problems fast.



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