We get lots of phone calls and emails here. Some of the questions we field are pretty common to animal shelters: What does it cost to adopt a pet? What does it include? Can I just stop in and buy one? Do you have any purebred (name the breed) puppies there…and are they housebroken yet? Why does everyone in the household need to visit…isn’t the dog friendly??
Then there are some questions that are just regular, good-to-know and glad-you-asked questions. So let’s focus on answering those today:
What brand of food is best for my pet? Any major brand of pet food is fine. Kibble versus canned depends on what owner and pet prefer. But you should feed puppy or kitten food for the first year and then switch to an adult food.
How much food should I feed? Each pet food is different as is each pet. You should use the food bag and your pet as a guide. The amount of food fed depends on your pet’s lifestyle and metabolism. For instance, if you have two identical and healthy pets, the more active one will need more food. Overall, you should feed your pet three times a day until it is 4 months old, and then reduce it to twice daily.
How do I know if my pet is too fat? Many pet owners simply don’t know how to determine if their pet is overweight. You should be able to feel your pet’s ribs, but also feel a thin fat covering over them. Behind the ribs there should be a waist. If you think your pet is overweight, try cutting back on its food by 5 to10 percent. If that doesn’t work, ask your veterinarian about low-calories diets.
What vaccinations do I have to give my pet? Well, for a healthy pet vaccinations should be started at 6 weeks of age and given every three weeks until the pet is 4 months old. Puppies are given DHLPP vaccine, which protects against many contagious diseases including hepatitis. A kitten is given FVRCP vaccine to prevent many potentially deadly contagious illnesses. Both puppies and kittens are given a rabies vaccine at 4 months. Puppies also get a vaccine to guard against kennel cough. AGAIN…schedule an appointment and talk this over with your veterinarian!
Can my new puppy go outside yet? It is safest to wait until the puppy has finished the series of vaccinations before letting it go outside, which is usually at 4 months old.
How often should my dog get a bath? Most dogs without a skin issue don’t need a bath more frequently than once a month. Over bathing can cause dry skin. It is a good idea to clean your dog’s ears more often to prevent infection….once or twice a week is a good idea depending on how much wax or dirt you find. Just use your finger, a piece of gauze and any major brand of ear cleaner for dogs.
How come my pet eats poop? Gross as this is, it may just be a bad habit. A pet could also be doing it out of boredom or just have a huge appetite. Generally speaking, a pet isn’t automatically eating feces because he’s missing an essential nutrient. Perfectly healthy pets with no deficiencies will also do this. BUT it is best to discourage the behavior because it is one way of introducing parasites, not to mention the bacteria. Yuk!
Can my pets make me sick? For the most part, if your pet has a cold…or if you have the flu…you can’t transfer it to each other. With that in mind, there are a few conditions, including intestinal parasites and skin diseases, that could be transferred to people. And maybe don’t let your poop eating pet kiss you on the mouth any more.