February is National Responsible Pet Owners Month, so this is the perfect time to review some of the different types of care that goes into owning a pet.
- Vaccinations- Not only is making sure your pet is current on their Rabies vaccination the law, but it is also the quickest and easiest way to ensure your pet's health and safety if they were to encounter another animal with rabies. At Dog Tired, we also require your dog to have their Distemper and Parvovirus vaccination. There are also other vaccinations available such as Leptospirosis, Canine Influenza, and Bordetella that your vet can advise you on whether these vaccinations would be beneficial for your pet.
- General Health- Since our pets can't voice their discomfort or pain, it is our job as owners to look for signs of illness. Most vets recommend that you bring your dog in every six months to a year for a wellness checkup. During this annual exam, your vet can do blood work, a physical, and ask you questions on your pet's overall health. It's also good to stay in touch with people who see your pet frequently such as a pet sitter or employees at daycare to see if they notice any changes that could be cause for concern.
- Nutrition- Do you know what is in the food you are feeding your pet? Staying up-to-date on any pet food recalls is important to make sure the foods and treats are safe for your pets. Dog Food Adviser is a helpful website for finding good foods as well staying current on any recalls. Since there are so many types and brands of pet food, it can be really confusing when trying to choose what is best for your pet. Consulting your vet if you have any questions is the best option since they receive special training on pet nutrition and can also make recommendations based on your pet's health history.
- Grooming- Some pets require more upkeep than others. For example, a Lab needs the occasional bath to wash off all the water and mud they like to play in whereas Cairn Terriers require a specialized type of grooming called sheering. When adopting your pet, it is important to research exactly what time of grooming your pet will require.
- General Hygiene- Aside from grooming, you want make sure you care for your pets nails, teeth, and ears. Keeping your pets nails trimmed is important so they don't develop any discomfort in their feet, legs, or back. Most people aren't comfortable doing their dog or cats nails but that's where we come in! Dog Tired employees are trained on how to clip and dremel your dog's nails safely. For cats and other pets, your vet is your best resource for trimming their nails. You should also keep an eye on your pets dental health since dental disease can lead to other serious issues. Dog Tired offers a tooth brushing service if you don't want to try it yourself.
- Exercise- Just like in humans, it is important for your pet to get regular exercise and maintain a healthy weight. Doggy daycare and dog walking is a great option for getting your dog up and moving even when you can't do it yourself. In addition to the services we offer at our facility, we also have an entire Pet Sitting and Dog Walking department! Check out our website for more information.
- Identification- Don't forget to update your pets ID tags and microchip if you move or change your phone number. It is also a good idea to keep a recent photo of your pet with all of your vet information in case your pet gets lost or if you have to evacuate like everyone did in 2016 with Hurricane Matthew.
- Training- Sometimes puppies don't grow out of those annoying puppy habits. In those cases it is time to enlist the help of a certified dog trainer to work with your dog on their manners. Even if the most well-behaved dogs need a refresher every so often. When looking for a trainer, make sure they are certified through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT). Here at Dog Tired, we work closely with Nildan from Z&E Canine Manners who is dedicated to bettering the lives of her clients and their dogs.
Dog Tired is happy to answer any questions you may have on caring for your animal. We have great working relationships with vets and trainers throughout Charleston, so if you have a question we can't answer, we can help you find someone who can. We care for your pets like family, so we want to make sure they receive the best care possible.