Whether you bring home a puppy, a kitten, or you adopt a fully-grown dog or cat, these fur babies don’t come with an owner’s manual. Relying on the staff at your local veterinary hospital in Jacksonville, FL, to answer questions is one option. What do you do if it’s after hours and you aren’t sure how to take care of something your pet needs? The staff at Forever Vets Animal Hospital shares their top tips for taking care of your new pet.

Female Playing with Dog veterinary hospital Jacksonville fl

Your Pet Budget

Before you choose a pet, consider your budget. Many people think food and a few toys are all they need to worry about, but there’s more to owning a pet. Check out the costs for a crate or carrier, leash, collar, and feeding dishes. Regular preventative care visits are a must, but it’s also important to budget for emergency care. Most vets suggest setting aside a few hundred dollars for emergency veterinary care.

Create a Comfortable Environment

Make sure your pet has a comfortable, safe environment to come home to. Prepare your home with the right pet furniture, toys, and accessories for your pet. It’s also important to have enough space for them. Cats, for example, can live comfortably in any indoor environment. Keep their litter box clean, and they’ll adapt to your home easily. Depending on the breed, a dog may not only need a large indoor space but ample outdoor space as well.

What’s for Dinner?

It might seem like all you need to do is keep the food and water dish full, but feeding is a little more involved than that. Start with a high-quality dog or cat food. If you’re not sure what to buy, ask your veterinary doctor for suggestions. Pets will beg for your food. No matter how cute they look, avoid feeding them people food. Your food may contain minerals and other things that don’t harm you but could make your pet ill.

Don’t Forget Playtime

If you have a new dog or puppy, get them used to a collar and leash early on. You’ll both enjoy the fun of taking walks together. Most cats are much too independent for leashes, but if you start early, you may get your cat to enjoy walks with you. Aside from walks, make sure your pet gets plenty of toys and ample time on the floor playing with you.

Couple Feeding Dog in Kitchen animal emergency hospital Jacksonville

Schedule Routine Vet Visits

As soon as you can, schedule your pet’s first vet visit. The first visit is a great opportunity for your vet to get to know your new family member and discuss things like vaccines, feeding schedules, and house training. Ask what symptoms to watch for if your pet gets sick. Your vet will also likely mention spaying or neutering. Make sure you keep contact information handy for your animal emergency hospital in Jacksonville. For preventative care, schedule a visit to Forever Vets Animal Hospital. Make sure to ask the staff about procedures for emergency care too.

Serving Jacksonville, Orlando, Nocatee, St. Johns, St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra and more.