Proper care for your furry friend.
The SPCA is dedicated in making sure every animal has the proper care it needs, but it starts with you, the pet parent.
Your animal MUST have the following necessities to thrive:
- Shelter – never leave an animal outside for too long. Extreme heat and cold temperatures are considered “harsh elements,” and can hurt or kill your pet. If your animal spends any extended amount of time outside, you MUST provide shelter for that animal along with…
- Fresh water. In extreme heat, water can reach boiling temperatures and can scold your animals mouth. Stagnant water is a breeding ground for mosquitos and can lead to heartworm in dogs; a deadly mosquito-driven disease.
- Your pet deserves a daily feeding – failure to provide adequate nutrition can lead to several health issues.
- Pets are like people – if they don’t move, they can get sick and have multiple medical issues like arthritis and/or diabetes, and medicine to treat these issues is very expensive. Certain breeds of dogs need lots of exercise or they can become destructive. Play time and exercise will curb this behavior!
- Heartworm, rabies and flea treatment. Animals need vaccinations – so whether you get your pet treated at the SPCA or with your local veterinarian, just make sure you take your pet for their annual exam and give them monthly heartworm and flea treatments, and a annual rabies shot.
Other suggestions and common sense:
- Microchip your pet. If your pet was ever to get lost (or worse) places like the SPCA can scan the animal to see who the pet is registered to. This helps reunite the animal with its rightful owner quickly. Many lost pets are never reunited with their owners because they failed to get their pet micro-chipped. It is an inexpensive and painless procedure. All animals adopted out through the SPCA will already be micro-chipped, vaccinated, spayed and/or neutered.
- Your dog needs to go outside to go “potty” several times a day. Being left along for more than 8 hours can put tremendous stress on their bladder. Make sure you pick up your yard feces as this can breed disease like Parvo. Don’t forget the “poop bags” on your daily walk as no one likes to see poop on the sidewalk or on someone’s lawn.
- A cat litter box should be changed daily, especially if you have more than one. Cats will urinate outside of their box if it isn’t clean, which could lead to urinary tract infections, and even destructive behavior.
- Pet toys are great but be mindful of the materials and where they are made. Certain toys made in overseas can contain certain contaminants that could harm your pet. Made in the USA is your best bet, not only for toys but for treats and food as well. The USDA regulate ingredients, whereas other countries do not.
- Buy a properly fitting collar or harness for your dog. Many dogs can slip right out of their collars – but don’t make it too tight. Use the two-finger rule: if you can put two fingers between your dogs neck and the collar, then that should be a good fit.
- Never leave your dog alone if you go out of town, or for any extended amount of time. Ask a family member or friend to check in on your pet, or even better – hire a pet sitter or find a kennel your pet can visit during your absence.
- Declawing a cat is not only severely painful to the animal but can inhibit the animal’s long-term health. If your cat is a scratcher, buy a scratching post and cut his/her nails regularly. If you can’t trim your cat’s nails, ask your vet to help – many will trim both dog and cat’s nails during an annual checkup.
- If at any time you are unable to care for your pet, contact your local SPCA for next steps to surrender.
- If your pet goes lost or missing, contact us ASAP to see if your animal has been brought in by one of our partnering city animal control officers, or by a local citizen. You will need to identify the animal with clear photo’s, and/or vet records. The SPCA reserves the right to return an animal to an owner if we feel the animal has been harmed or neglected in any way. We report any animal abuse and/or neglect to local police authorities.
- Animal bites may result in the removal of your pet, in which they will be put in quarantine or worse, euthanized by order of the court. Many cases result in the owner having to surrender the animal. Be responsible, be mindful.
- Your pet needs love, and lots of it! Dogs and cats thrive when they are in a loving home…now that is just common sense!
It starts with you – be the best pet parent you can be, and enjoy your animals healthy, long life!!