Whether you’re a dog person or a cat person, one thing is certain—you love your furry friend. While owning a pet is exciting, it’s also a big responsibility, and the first few months after you bring your pet home can be overwhelming. It’s important to remember that a pet is part of your family when you’re taking care of them—in fact, a recent study by Western Financial Group showed that half of Canadians with pet insurance purchased a policy in case of emergencies or serious illness, while 26 per cent did it simply because they see their pet as a family member.

image001(1)Find the right veterinarian

While going to the vet may turn your feline into Grumpy Cat, regular visits are extremely important. Ask friends and do some online research to identify a vet who is a good fit for you and your new furry friend. Regularly visiting a vet helps ensure you are preventing illness, rather than reacting to it, which can help avoid more expensive medical treatments in the future. Schedule regular check-ups to ensure your pet is healthy.

Find the right pet insurance policy

Despite preventative care for your pet, they still can need costly treatments, and pet insurance can protect you from the high costs of an emergency vet visit or procedure. In addition, certain providers, like Petsecure, offer policies that can help lower the cost of regular veterinary visits.

Find the right food

Make sure to talk about food during your vet visit. Ongoing nutritional consultation will help keep weight gain and loss in check, and make sure your pet is getting the nutrition they need.

Keep their teeth healthy

The majority of cats and dogs will experience dental problems in their lifetimes and, given how much they rely on their mouths, it’s particularly important to properly maintain their teeth. A dental examination is part of every veterinary exam and, as always, prevention is better than treatment.

Make sure they’re ready to travel

Once you have a pet, your ability to go on a spontaneous trip is limited. Pet inclusive vacations are a great option! If you’re crossing a border, make sure you have up to date rabies vaccination certification for your dog. Schedule an appointment with your vet to make sure your pet has all of the required boosters—and that you have the required paperwork. Depending on your destination, additional vaccinations may be required. If your pet can’t make the trip, make sure you have suitable alternative arrangements, either with friends or family or with a reputable boarder during your trip.

Make your pet easily identifiable

Identify your pet in multiple ways – through collar and tag, tattoo, and microchip – in the unfortunate event that they get lost. Microchip databases are international and make tracking down your lost animal easier across provinces and borders.

Welcoming a new pet to the family is incredibly exciting. By following the above tips, you can help keep your pet safe and healthy, so you can enjoy years of family fun.

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Sheri McDonald is a family lifestyle blogger who has been sharing her parenting and travel adventures online for the past eight years. You can find her discovering the world with her children when she's not at home enjoying a good book.


Lifestyle Blogger. Traveler. Writer. Social Media Marketer. @SunwingVacay #Kidcations Expert Panel. Member of ITWA @PTBAssoc IG: familyenroute
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