Animal Health Tips For First-Time Pet Owners

29 September 2015
 Categories: , Blog


Are you about to move into to your first solo apartment? Are you thinking about getting a dog or cat for companionship or a guard for your new home? If you've never had a pet or if your parents have always taken care of the pets, first-time pet ownership can seem confusing in the beginning. Knowing whether or not it's time to take your pet to the animal hospital can make a great deal of difference to the health of your four-legged friend. Here are some things to watch for:

Excessive urination: When dogs and cats are angry, they will sometimes urinate in places that they know are forbidden. Since they're unable to tell you why they're angry with you, they'll show you by acting out. However, this isn't always a sign of a stubborn pet. If your cat suddenly starts urinating just outside the clean litter box before moving elsewhere in the house, he or she may have a bladder infection. If your dog suddenly starts drinking large amounts of water and marking up your furniture inside, diabetes could be the cause. A vet at your local animal hospital will be able to test your beloved pet to confirm whether or not your pet is being naughty or if he or she is actually ill.

Hiding: It's natural for a pet to try to hide when you first bring him or her home. But once your dog or cat is acquainted with both you and its new home, this behavior should cease. If your pet suddenly becomes shy and starts to hide for no apparent reason after this, he or she may be sick. Animals instinctively try to hide, in order to evade predators and conceal signs of weakness. If the hiding is combined with other odd behaviors, it's important to take your cat or dog to the animal hospital as soon as possible in order to obtain a diagnosis.

Itchy skin: If your pet starts scratching and can't stop, there are a number of possible causes. Your first thought might be an infestation of fleas or ticks. Other possible causes include allergies or even a skin infection. If you're already treating your pet for fleas and ticks and see no signs of improvement, a vet will be needed in order to find out what's really wrong. Even if it's "just" an allergy, cats and dogs can still go into anaphylactic shock when exposed to a substance that they are unable to tolerate. The vet at an animal hospital like Stewartstown Vet Services can run tests to determine the allergen so that you can avoid exposing your pet to it in the future.