Bringing home a new pet can be exciting and heartwarming. Before you get caught up in the excitement of adopting a pet, however, it’s important to do a bit of homework and have conversations to ensure you’re choosing a lifelong fit for your family. As you take your options into account, remember these guidelines to prepare for a successful homecoming for your newest family member.
Welcome a 4-Legged Family Member with Care
Tips for a successful, lifelong pet adoption
(Family Features) Bringing home a new pet can be exciting and heartwarming. Before you get caught up in the excitement of adopting a pet, however, it’s important to do a bit of homework and have conversations to ensure you’re choosing a lifelong fit for your family.
When considering adopting, keep in mind that pets can provide as many benefits to you as you do them, such as helping to reduce stress, providing companionship, getting the daily recommended amount of physical activity and more. As you take your options into account, remember these guidelines from the experts at PetSmart Charities to prepare for a successful homecoming for your newest family member.
For first-time pet owners, a healthy adult dog or cat can help teach new pet parents the joys of having a pet and may not require as much attention as a puppy or kitten.
Families with young children might consider a family-friendly breed or mixed breed such as a hound. Older kids may benefit from additional responsibilities such as walking the dog or cleaning the litter box.
If you live in a home, consider fencing your yard for more relaxed playtime. If you live in an apartment, discuss any restrictions with your landlord and find out where the closest dog parks are to ensure your dog gets plenty of exercise.
Dogs need a place to call their own where they’re contained overnight and while you’re not home until they can be safely left to roam. Get a crate so your new pet can have an ‘apartment’ within your home.
You should always have more litter boxes than you do cats; for example, if you have one cat make sure you have at least two litter boxes. Litter boxes need to be scooped daily and completely changed weekly.
You can prevent many common diseases by keeping your pet at a healthy weight, current on flea, tick and heartworm prevention, fully vaccinated and on a high-quality diet. Preventing diseases costs less money than treating them, so discuss any concerns you have with your veterinarian.
To ensure your pet is covered in case of emergencies, consider options like pet insurance or opening a designated savings account and depositing 5% of your pay each pay period. If you take out an insurance policy as soon as you adopt your pet, he or she will not have any “pre-existing” conditions excluded from your insurance plan.
Find more tips for a successful pet adoption and locate upcoming adoption events in your community at petsmartcharities.org.
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While regular exercise, a balanced diet and annual wellness exams are essential for keeping pets healthy, sometimes they require more care. This includes when an animal needs a medication, which can be costly, especially if it's for a chronic condition. Fortunately, if you discover your pet needs a medication, you have options for managing the expense.
(BPT) - If you own a pet, you're in good company. In fact, 67% of U.S. households own a pet, according to the 2019-2020 National Pet Owners Survey by the American Pet Products Association. Pets provide unconditional love and countless memories, and in return they look to their humans to care for them as best as possible.
While regular exercise, a balanced diet and annual wellness exams are essential for keeping pets healthy, sometimes they require more care. This includes when an animal needs a medication, which can be costly, especially if it's for a chronic condition.
Fortunately, if you discover your pet needs a medication, you have options for managing the expense. Few people are aware that by asking your veterinarian two simple questions, you could lower your costs considerably:
Using your local pharmacy for pet prescriptions
Many pet parents don't know that most of the medications their pets use are the same ones people use, potentially at the same or a different dosage. That means that many of the pharmacies you visit for your needs can also be used for your pets' prescriptions. The top five conditions pets share with people are diabetes, asthma, infections, anxiety and depression.
What's more, filling your pets' prescriptions at a retail pharmacy is often less expensive than getting it filled through the vet, plus it saves time because you can get all your family's prescriptions at once, including your furry family members.
How to get pet prescription discounts
To save even more on your pets' prescriptions, consider using a pharmacy savings card, like the Inside Rx Pets savings card offered by Inside Rx. This free prescription savings card helps reduce costs up to 75% on pet medications when purchased at a local pharmacy or when ordered for home delivery.
The card can be downloaded and presented at one of the 50,000 participating pharmacies located across the U.S. and Puerto Rico. These include national chains such as Kroger Family of Pharmacies, CVS and Walgreens. Learn more at insiderx.com/pets.
Always follow prescription directions
Remember, it's important to follow your veterinarian's recommendations for the prescription and dosage and not try to manage your pet's condition on your own. Do not use over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers you buy for yourself with your pet as experts note this can be dangerous.
"Although these products are approved for use in people, many of them are not safe for pets. For example, acetaminophen can cause severe illness, and even death, in pets. Talk to your veterinarian before you give any medication to your pet," the American Veterinary Medical Association states.
To keep prescription drug costs manageable for pets, ask these two simple questions and explore savings options at your local pharmacy. Laws vary by state, but over 40 states require veterinarians to write a prescription if asked, so it's worthwhile to inquire. You'll help your pets feel their best while helping ease your budget as well.
Sixty-seven percent of U.S. households, or about 85 million families, own a pet, according to the 2019-2020 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association (APPA).
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