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15/Dec/2018

Are you worried that your dog won’t be able to recover that well? Are you hesitant to get your dog into surgery because your dog might not be able to recover? You’re not alone. Many dog owners face the same dread. They fear the first day of the operation, and they dread the days that will follow for complete recovery. In this article, we will attempt to list down some of the tips and ways to help your dog recover after a long operation. Let’s start.

  1. Consider the basics

The first set of recovery tips you should learn would involve following the instructions the vet told you. Help the dog follow them. You should watch out for ways when they deviate from it. The list that your vet will tell you might be long. Make sure you remember all of them. You should watch out for your puppy’s attempt to play and ruin the surgery. If you see your dog chewing wallpaper and it’s not allowed, make sure you call the dog out.

  1. Put the puppy in a crate

Isolating your dog from constant movement from the other dogs would help. Building a crate for your dog could help them recover quickly.

  1. Do Obedience Commands

Try to make sure you master the basic commands. When you say “Sit” and “Look” to your dog, that means they’re less likely to tear the stitches in their surgery.

  1. Dog-safe areas

Build areas that are safe for dogs to run to. An excellent way to protect the dogs from ruining their stitches is by creating a dog pen. Building stair gates could also help.

  1. Poop on Leash

You should also learn how to teach your pup how to poop on a leash. That’s one right way to secure the surgery stitches. Remember that all the time. This is important mainly if your dog’s surgery was orthopedic.

  1. Schedule it right

When your dog’s surgery is before a party, you’re in trouble. Your dog won’t be able to enjoy it. You won’t be able to enjoy the party! What you need is a peaceful, quiet place when your dog is recuperating. Put the dog in a silent place during recovery, and having a party after surgery would just make it worse.

  1. Painkillers

    If you’re worried that your dog feels too much pain, ask the doctor for painkillers. It would be of great help for the dogs. Just remember that your pup would be feeling miserable after the painkiller’s effect fades. Expect for a sudden behavior change.

  2. You should also consider getting intradermal sutures.

    The good thing about this type of stitches is because it’s under the surface. If you do it like this, you’d have no sutures that could get your dog to unstitch. No more worries about sutures being chewed.

  3. Consider the Elizabethan Collar

    Your dog’s teeth could be filled with dirt and germs. Getting them away from the stitches would be a great way to recuperate. When you put the Elizabethan Collar on your dog, you protect it from further infection on your stitches.

  4. Neck Braces.

    You can also improve the recovery of your pup if you use neck braces. It will also be an excellent alternative to use an inflatable neck brace if you don’t like to see your dog walking around with a giant collar. It’s also best to use this inflatable braces to prevent the dog from licking their sutures.

 

Summary and Conclusion

In this article, you learned some of the common diseases that dogs have. We hope that you can use this guide when you get your dog to a complete health check-up.


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15/Dec/2018

It is unfortunate when you lose your beloved pet dog or cat because it somehow got loose and ran away from home. It is not easy to print ads and paste them all over hoping for strangers to contact you in case they have seen your pet. It is also not easy to spend an entire day going around looking for your pet only to come home empty-handed. No, it is not easy for any pet lover at all.

The microchip is not only implanted in dogs or cats. They are also implanted in cattle and farm animals like horses, goats, sheep and even birds.

A study in animal shelters have shown that a lot of pets do get separated from their owners. Although dogs have the instinct on returning home with or without the microchip, there are some that still does not. For cats, there is a lesser chance of them returning home when they do not have chips.

There is a good thing about this century and age of technology. Many veterinary institutions have recently created a kind of microchip that would be helpful for the pet and its owner and have introduced them to animal shelters, animal control officers and veterinarians as well. These microchips are mini electronic gadgets that are implanted inside your pet’s skin. This invention would be a great aid for owners to be reunited with their beloved feline or canine friends.

Countries like the United States, Australia, Northern Ireland, and Israel require the use of microchips especially in dogs since these countries widely keep dogs.

I’m pretty sure us pet lovers do not want to lose our furry companion. So, why not use microchips to easy locate them when they do get loose?

What are Pet Microchips?

To understand microchips better, they are actually implanted inside your pet. It is about the size of a grain of rice. These chips carry data that would send out radiofrequencies when scanned over. This would then display back a special identification number. This special identification number would then be cross-referenced to a database and would link it to the owner.

The chip is usually implanted in such a way that it would not hurt your pet. It is implanted during the administration of vaccine or other relevant shots at the vet or at the shelter. It is usually embedded inside the loose skin of your pet between the shoulder blades. This ensures that the chip does not fall off, removed, and will last during your pet’s lifetime since it is lodged inside your pet’s body.

What are the issues encountered in microchips?

Unfortunately, there are chances that these microchips may not be a 100% effective. While many pet owners have been able to locate their pets, others may not be so lucky. For the chips to be effective, it should be detected by the scanner. The identification number must be linked to the owner’s details.

The standard microchips that were first introduced in the United States only transmitted frequencies using 125-kilohertz (kHz) to 128-kilohertz. As a result, some microchip companies cannot read info from a different company. Other problems would include losing your pet when you bring them to a different country. International companies may or may not have created these gadgets yet. Even if they did, the frequencies transmitted in the microchips in the respective country may not be able to read the chip once it is scanned. International countries chip frequencies use 134.2 kHz so this may pose a problem for pet owners as well.

Often, the microchips may be difficult to detect because of factors like them lodged near the metal collar around your pet’s neck, or that the scanner may be used. Matted hair and excess body fat can also be a factor that the chip may fail.

Another factor that the chip would render ineffective is that when the owner fails to follow the registration requirements, or incorrect information that are submitted by the owner. When the owner also fails to update their details, the microchip still be useless. As it only displays a number during scanning, the number should then match the owner’s details inside the database.

Microchips Today

The invention of these microchips is actually still a work in progress because of the several lawsuits that were filed due to negligence in the part of the chip company and the pet owner. Many veterinary institutions are still putting these microchips undergo experimentations. Recently, the standard of frequencies that are now used is the 134.2 kHz to comply with the International Standard Organization. Right now, many companies are complying with that standard.

Unfortunately, while companies are adapting that radiofrequency, there are animal shelters that have not adapted to the standard. As a result, one case in a shelter had to euthanize a dog because the scanner couldn’t find and read the chip lodged inside.

Solutions to Microchip Problems

Getting these microchips to work is actually very simple even with its resounding issues. The owner needs to be proactive. The owner needs to reach out to the company and verify if all the details are accurate and mdern. It is also necessary to check in with your vet to ensure that the chip is still working and up to date. Another factor to consider for pet owners is to be wary of the frequencies used in the microchip in their pets. In the event that the owner should travel out of the country and your pet has a 125-kHz or 128-kHz chip, make sure that owners bring their own portable scanner to avoid not being able to detect your lost pet.

It’s all just a matter of also being responsible pet owners to avoid unforeseen circumstances when it comes to your pets. Again, we don’t want to feel the burden of losing our pets and not know where it has gone in the long run.

If you need a microchip for your pet in CT, contact us at United Veterinary Center – 203 957-3375!


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15/Dec/2018

There are many issues that might cause a problem when you’re dealing with rabbits. In fact, there are diseases that you could get from a bunny. You can prevent these conditions by knowing the signs of an unwell animal. With a good guide, you’d be able to tell that the rabbit you’re dealing with is problematic. Of course, it’s nice to deal with domesticated rabbits as pets but never forget the issues.

Is Your Bunny Healthy?

You should not forget that these domesticated pets are close relatives to those rodents you see in the wild. That means they can be prone to various diseases. In this article, we will list down some of the ways and tips that you can do to check if your pet is healthy to play with. Let’s start.

  1. The first thing to do to make sure that your pet bunny is healthy is to get it vaccinated. There are free vaccinations you can get today from your state’s pet centers. Volunteer groups are also everywhere that can help you in this. Just look around. Getting the bunny vaccinated could also help you avoid future problems. Diseases may complicate. When you vaccinate, you get the preventable ones out of the way.
  2. Some of the common issues that can be seen in rabbits include uterine infections, snuffles, abnormal teeth structure and hairballs. If you’re worried about overgrown teeth, you should know that they’re not a cause of worry as people would like you to believe. They’re just aesthetics. They’re not harmful to you, but could be painful to the rodents. The best way to prevent this is to improve their diet. Make sure you let your bunny eat a lot of fiber. Also, add a lot of leafy greens into their diet. Limiting the pellet food they eat and other hard treats may also improve the condition.
    If your pet is already suffering from overgrown teeth,  don’t fret. There is a general anesthesia that could fix it. In fact, it’s the only available treatment right now that can help remedy the rabbit’s issue.
  3. Snuffles or what is technically called Pasteurellosis is characterized by a bacteria that affects the eyes and nose, which gets the rabbit to emit a specific abnormal discharge. You should get this issue addressed immediately because it can transfer to other rabbits quickly. Uterine infections could also worsen with this issue at hand.You should also remember that even after treatment, there remains a strain of the disease in the rodent’s nasal tract. This usually happens when there are sudden changes in the diet of the bunny, or it is under severe stress. One good way to prevent your pet rom experiencing this is to make sure that they’re not overcrowded in a cage. Doing so adds a level of stress to them that worsens the condition. You may also like to consider putting the rabbit into quarantine. Letting them rest and recover in a quiet environment is a great booster. The pet recovers faster.
  4. Hairballs are another common rabbit disease that is usually occurring in the rabbit’s stomach. This usually happens after the bunnies self-groom. Because they cannot do a vomiting reflex to get rid of the hair, all the balls are accumulated in their stomach. What happens is that there will be an obstruction in the stomach and causes various complications. These hairballs are so ubiquitous among rabbits that every owner should concern themselves with it. When a pet is not eating well and is not moving about, the condition is even worse.To prevent hairballs, it’s good to address the issue of the gastrointestinal condition. That’s where it all starts. You can’t be simpler than that. When a rabbit is not getting enough fiber-rich food in their system, they won’t be able to get rid of the hairballs smoothly. If the hairballs are too much, the only way to get rid of it would only be through surgery. The hairballs could affect the natural mechanism of the rabbit’s stomach and create blocks in the gut. Another alternative is to use a medication to get the gut normally working again.

Take a look at our guide: how to take care of your pet rabbit throughout their life.

Though bunnies are pretty easy to care of, you will still need to visit a veterinarian from time to time. Consider consulting our exotic animals vet in United Veterinay Center. Call to schedule a visit – 203 957-3375.


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15/Dec/2018

Are you a pet parent that treats their furry loved one more like a child than an actual pet? Do you want nothing but the best possible healthcare for your dog, cat, horse or exotic animal? Have you been in the market for a new veterinary team—one that utilizes the most advanced equipment – offers compassionate and knowledgeable care – and provides all if the necessary services animals need to maintain good health, including lab services and emergency care—but aren’t sure where to find it?

The team at United Veterinary Center is the team you’ve been looking for!

If you have been hesitant about changing up vets or about giving our team a call, we’re currently offering a full exam for as little as $25 to all first-time visitors. Our goal is to help the animals of Connecticut live long, healthy and happy lives. If your goal is to provide that for your pet too, then we might just be a great fit for you.

 

All the Healthcare Services Your Pet Could Possibly Need in One Location

Our services are top of the line, and include everything from laboratory services to diagnostic testing, and from allergy testing to diagnostic imaging. We provide stem cell therapy, perform surgery and perform routine vaccinations. In addition to all that, we offer routine wellness checks to ensure our patients are experiencing optimal health all year long.

 

We Work With Dogs, Cats and Exotics Too

If you’re the proud owner of a rabbit, a chinchilla, a fennec fox, salamander or any other exotic species, you probably have a hard time finding your pet the care they need to live an optimal life. At the United Veterinary Center, we are specially trained in the preventative care, diagnosis and treatment of exotic creatures. While veterinary school does a great job in teaching students the basics of feline and canine care, those who wish to help an array of animals must go through additional schooling as well as study under the apprenticeship of an already established exotic pets vet.

Moreover, our staff has been trained in the handling of small animals and in how to use the special equipment necessary to provide treatment in a safe and comfortable manner. For all these reasons and more, if you own an exotic pet, you should entrust them to our care, as our entire team possesses the knowledge necessary to help your exotic pet live a long and healthy life.

 

What Our Customers Are Saying

While we can talk ourselves up all we want, the proof is in the reviews.

  • Truly great people who genuinely care about both the pet and the owner.” – Mike F.
  • Am lucky enough to have the pleasure of taking my little Houdini over to UVC. I trust them explicitly with his care. Dr. Pete is knowledgeable, kind, and gentle. He makes sure my pet leaves happy and healthy. Megan and Jodi are amazing and welcoming. I love UVC.” – Amanda F.
  • Amazing place fabulous workers and hospitality.” – Lessard S.
  • Amazing veterinarian hospital and of course one of the best places that I’ve ever seen and been to. Plus the staff is amazing!!” – Megan C.
  • Had such an amazing experience, they truly are compassionate and loving to my animal. It is clear that integrity and client education is important to them! The staff always seem like they are having a great time as well!” – Morgan S.
  • New animal hospital in the area, all brand new facility with an amazing staff.” – Mike R.

 

Check us out on Facebook or visit us online to learn more about our vet center. Or you can always stop in and see for yourself why all of our patients love us! Don’t forget: you get a full exam for your pet for $25 only if you do! Call 203 957-3375.

We’ll see you soon!


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15/Dec/2018

If you own a cat, you likely assume that you don’t need to help with their oral hygiene—after all, aren’t cats one of those animals that bathe themselves? While it’s true that cats self-cleanse, they aren’t entirely thorough about it, especially when it comes to those hard to reach areas. One of those areas is their ears.

Cats ears in particular are prone to injury and infection, both of which can occur to one of four parts of the ear: the pinnae (the ear atop of the head), the external ear canal, the middle ear and/or the inner ear. These infections are usually due to ear mites, otitis, ear polyps and malignant tumors, but could stem from other things to. If your cat seems like his ears are bothering him, take him to your cat veterinarian right away for an accurate diagnosis and treatment.

 

Signs of Ear Problems in Cats

If your cat’s ears hurt him you may be able to tell right away. Cats may not be very verbal, but they are expressive. Your cat may demonstrate the following signs if he is in pain:

  • He will shake his head frequently and paw at his ears;
  • You may notice hair loss or scabs on or around his ears, on his neck or on his face as a result of him scratching;
  • You may notice a pus or discharge at the ear;
  • You may notice an unpleasant odor coming from your cat; or
  • Your cat may tile his head to one side or the other as a result of the infection.

If you notice any of these signs, be kind and take your cat to the vet. An ear injury or infection can quickly become worse and lead to deafness if not taken care of right away.

 

Common Ear Problems in Cats

If your kitten is showing signs of pain in or near his ears, it may be due to one of the following common organ of hearing problems in felines:

 

Ear Mites

Ear mites are similar to fleas except worse, as they’re extremely tiny and about the size of a pin head. Ear mites are easily passed from one cat to another and are most commonly found in kittens. If your feline has mites, he’ll likely shake his head aggressively, scratch at his ears, neck and face and have what appear to be chunks of coffee grounds on him. To know for certain, take a coffee ground looking chunk and place on a dark background and under a magnifying glass. Ear mites are white, moving specks, so if that’s what you see, mites are the culprit. However, take your pet to the vet for an official diagnosis and to start your feline’s treatment.

 

Outer Ear Infection

Cats are prone to bacterial and yeast infections on their outer ear, both of which present themselves in a form that looks similar to ear mites. The symptoms are generally the same as well, so if your cat has an outer ear infection, look for scratching, shaking of the head and scabs. However, outer ear infections are generally worse than ear mites and will cause your pet’s ears to become intensely swollen and bright red. There will most likely be discharge with an unpleasant odor, which doesn’t happen with a mite infestation.

In order for your vet to accurately diagnose an outer ear infection, they will need to take a sample from your cat’s ear and examine it under a microscope. By doing this, they can determine if it’s a bacterial infection or a yeast infection that’s plaguing your pet. An accurate diagnosis is imperative for prescribing the right course of treatment.

 

Inner Ear Infection

Inner ear infections are usually the result of one’s failure to treat an outer ear infection. When an infection isn’t treated in time, or if it is not treated properly, the bacteria can move through the bloodstream to the Eustachian tube. Once an infection hits the inner ear, it can be very painful for your cat, causing him to demonstrate many of the same outward symptoms of a outer ear infection—head shaking, tilting of the head and scratching. However, unlike a surface issue, an inner ear infection means that your cat is actually ill. He may become lethargic and want to eat less. Additionally, your pet’s face may droop to one side, he may squint in order to see better, develop a raised third eyelid, have differing pupil sizes, perform strange eye movements and have difficulty walking. He likely won’t be able to hear very well either.

If your kitten gets to this point, your vet may need to perform an x-ray, CT scan or even MRI to diagnose the root of the issue. Treatment may consist or systematic antibiotics, topical treatment or even surgery.

 

Ear Polyps

Ear polyps in felines are a benign growth that look similar to a tumor and that infect the middle ear. They can cause middle ear infections, which you may notice by some of the symptoms mentioned above. However, in addition to the standard head tilt, shaking and scratching, you may also notice nasal discharge and heavy breathing. Diagnosing such polyp is fairly simple—your vet will simply take a handheld otoscope, a tool similar to what your own doctor uses to examine your ears, and examine the earholes and nasopharynx. The only hard part about this is that cats generally don’t like their ears to be probed, so the vet may request that your pet undergo anesthesia. In some instances an x-ray may be necessary.

Surgery is usually required to remove a polyp, but once it’s gone, it’s gone. However, it’s imperative that the entire stalk of the polyp is removed, as if any is left, there is a significant chance of the infection recurring.

 

Less Complicated Types of Issues

In many instances, a cat’s ear problems are relatively easy to deal with and prevent. Some of the more common issues that veterinarians see in felines are bites and scratches, mange and foreign bodies such as thistles. If your cat is allowed outdoors, they run the risk of running into other felines who may bite and scratch at your cat. They also risk getting thistles, grass and other foreign bodies lodged in their organs of hearing or on the outer parts of their ear if they’re allowed to roam around outdoors on their own.

Mange occurs when felines have mites. If your cat scratches hard enough, or if the mite problem persists for long enough, your pet may develop thick, scaly skin that is covered with crusts. If this happens, you need to get your pet into the vet right away, as many cats end up dying from mange. Fortunately, mange is fairly easy to treat as it merely involves getting rid of the parasite.

 

Allergies

In many cases—with humans, dogs, cats and other mammals—organ of hearing infections stem from allergies. If your cat is allergic to a certain food, it could cause them to feel itchy in their throat and ears. If your cat scratches at his ears but you cannot see any physical sign of infection, you may want to talk to your vet about testing for allergies. The United Veterinary Center has a lab in which pets can be tested for allergies and a diagnosis made fairly quickly.

If your pet is demonstrating signs of an ear infection—head tilting, excessive scratching, head shaking, discharge or worse—reach out the lab at the United Veterinary Center today. We can make a quick diagnosis and ensure that your cat is given the treatment he needs to get healthy.


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15/Dec/2018

Dogs die as a result of obesity, pet owners need to take better care of their pets.

Obesity is a nutritional disease which is by definition an excess of body fat. All animals are capable of suffering from this disease and sadly, obesity can lead to a number of other sicknesses and diseases, if not treated right. In the case of dogs, it begins when they are over nourished, do not or lack exercise, and gain weight that is retained rather than expelled. The worst part about poor dog health care is that it can reduce your pet’s lifespan and can cause serious adverse health effects. The digestive organs can even cause breathing difficulty due to the excess fat over the lungs.  Obesity can also affect your pooche regardless of your dog’s age, although it is more common in dogs who are between the ages of 5-10. Dogs with a higher risk of obesity tend to be the ones that only stay indoors and have been neutered because they no longer have the energy they once possessed when they were puppies.

The earliest signs of obesity would be waddling from side to side rather than walking straight, being lethargic or lazy, an obvious amount of excess body fat, lack of motivation to take walks, difficulty breathing, noisy breathing patterns, and of course, if given an obesity assessment that results in low test scores. But it is not always easy to determine if your dog has become obese. Canine owners see their pets everyday and a gradual increase of weight is not always something the human eye is able to measure. Some dog breeds have thick and long hair and that makes it even harder to determine if your dog has gained any weight or not.

It is also important to note that these signs can be triggered or caused by other conditions that are not related to obesity, so at this point it would be best to see your vet. By doing so, you also eliminate potential underlying problems and can rule out other possible diseases or sicknesses.

Most dog owners and veterinarians find that the best results are those done by feeling your hands through their bodies. The ribs should be easy to feel without having to apply too much pressure; their chests, abdomens, and hips should also form a waist like “hourglass” shape when viewed from a specific top angle.

Let’s also not forget that it does not take kilos and kilos of excess body fat to reduce a dog’s life span or endanger him from an early death. But it is true that obesity causes other infectious diseases such as cancer, arthritis, skin disorders, high blood pressure, respiratory issues, reproductive irregularities, diabetes, as well as neurological and musculoskeletal diseases. Maintaining a dog’s optimal body weight is the best thing you can do for your best friend.

 

What is the best diet for my dog?

There are a number of causes that determine how obesity is caused. The most common being the unequal balance of food intake and digestion. Or in other words, eating without exercising. Older dogs tend to be a more likely target of obesity because they will likely have a lesser desire to run around and play. Another common cause would be, like humans, a poor diet. Many dog owners give loads of treats or even human food like chocolate and these are not exactly healthy nutritional meals for your pet.

Any excess food eaten is stored as fat and if your dog is eating too many calories, or having snacks and multiple treats, then he is likely on his way to obesity. A dog’s age, breed, sex, heredity, hormonal imbalances and lifestyle will also play a role in your canine’s health.

 

Road to recovery!

Typically, the best way to diagnose if your dog is obese is to measure his or her body weight or by scoring their body condition after assessing their body composition. These results will then be compared to a healthy dog breeds standard. An excess of 10 to 15 percent of excess body weight states that your dog is indeed obese.

Luckily, treating a dog with obesity is doable and not the hardest or most challenging thing to do. You veterinarian can prepare a plan for your canine’s diet while you yourself contribute to treating your dog by reducing his or her calorie intake as well as spending more time exercising. If you are able to focus on losing weight and keeping your dog’s weight in check, this long term plan can surely be a great turn of events for your dog and a much healthier life can be lived.

If you are unable to seek the professional help of a veterinarian, you can start by feeding your dog meals that are rich in protein and fiber but low in fat. You can limit their caloric intake by reducing the amount of food given to them at each feeding time. Feeding frequent small meals also helps as your dog will feel more full throughout the day as opposed to having one large meal. By doing these, you will then be encouraging a quicker metabolism while offering the satisfaction of feeling full. Do that and your dog won’t be begging for treats every few minutes. And while we’re on the topic of treats, people should really stop feeding their pets people food, or table scraps, even if your loved Husky is looking at you with his puppy dog eyes begging for your left overs. People food are full of calories and fat. If you must feed your dog food from your plate, feed him raw carrots, rice cakes, and green beans instead, they are healthier alternatives.

 

Man’s best friend

Don’t forget physical activity. Play with your dog. Make him fetch, run, walk, chase, hunt. 15 minutes a day, two times a day, while playing every now and then inside the house is already plenty and you will see results.

Caring for a dog has a gratifying feeling that is difficult to replicate. Once at your dog is at an ideal weight, it is really best to establish and maintain a proper diet for him. Your canine should be monitored monthly, the exercise must continue, and with a commitment to making your pet as healthy as possible, you will be able to sleep at night knowing that your dog is receiving the best love and care that he deserves.


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15/Dec/2018

If you’re not a dog or a cat person, but if you truly love animals, an exotic pet may be right up your alley. No, we’re not talking lions and tigers and bears (oh, my!), but exotic animals that are legal. And while some exotic pets, such as monkeys or llamas, are high maintenance, there are a host of exotic animals that are easy to care for and that will be just as happy in your home with a ball to play with as any domesticated canine would be.

 

What is an Exotic Pet?

First, it’s important to establish what, exactly, is considered an exotic pet. An exotic animal is one that is not domesticated or that is uncommon. There are many animals that are technically exotic (as in not domesticated or changed very little from their wild ancestors) but are not viewed as such, like several birds and fish. On the other hand, there are just as many non-exotic pets, such as pygmy hedgehogs and chinchillas, that are considered exotic but that are very changed, both physically and mentally, from their wild counterparts.

With that said, this list is meant to provide you information about exciting and truly exotic animals that are easy-ish to care for. But what is easy, you may wonder? The exotic pets listed here are considered lesser maintenance than other animals (yes, even the domesticated ones) due to the following:

  • They come with reasonable housing needs;
  • They have a fairly simple diet that is easy to maintain;
  • They’re small in size;
  • They don’t require a great deal of attention; and
  • They pose a lower house destruction potential than most other animals.

 

In general, these animals are low maintenance and don’t require much to live a long, happy and healthy life.

 

1.    Rodents

Sure, rats and mice are cute, but if you want a small exotic pet, those rodents aren’t going to cut it. For a truly exotic animal that is likely to impress your houseguests, consider one of the following:

a flying squirrel eating something
A Flying Squirrel
  • Flying Squirrel: It’s a bird, it’s a plane, no, it’s a flying squirrel! Similar to sugar gliders but much easier to house and care for, these animals are cute and cuddly and the ideal pet for someone who wants the love of a dog but not the responsibility.

    a chipmunk looking at you
    A Chipmunk
  • Chipmunks: If you want an animal that can fit in the palm of your hand but just aren’t into adopting a pet mouse, the chipmunk might be for you. These creatures are extremely active and require a large cage in comparison with their size. Though these animals aren’t ideal for cuddling with, they are entertaining to watch.

    3 prairie dogs
    A Prairie Dog
  • Prairie Dogs: Just like domesticated canines, these little “dogs” are affectionate and can be trained to walk on a leash. They are very social creatures, so if you adopt one, you should expect to give it a significant amount of your time and attention. Despite their social needs, however, they are easy to care for and thrive in an adequately sized environment and off of a simple diet of hay, pellets, grasses, fruits and veggies.

    degus on a bedding
    A Degus
  • Degus: The degus is cute and small like a gerbil but is actually more closely related to the chinchilla and guinea pig. They’re highly social in nature, so it is recommended that if you’re going to adopt one, you should adopt two. Highly active creatures, the degus needs plenty of space to run around and exercise.

 

2.    Hedgehogs

hedge hog makes a perfect pet
A Hedge Hog

Hedgehogs are apart of the Erinaceinae family, and are neither rodent nor are they related to the very similar porcupine. By far the easiest exotic animal to care for, hedgehogs are ideal for someone who wants a pet but who doesn’t have a significant amount of time or resources to devote to their care and attention.

Hedgehogs require a simple terrestrial enclosure big enough for them to run around and play in. They thrive off a simple diet of fruits and insects, all of which can be found in your kitchen or backyard. Hedgehogs are not social creatures, unlike many other smaller animals, so it is not recommended to house more than one in an enclosure.

 

3.    Non-Domesticated Canines

a fennec fox on a rock
A Fennec Fox

If you’re the typical “dog person” but you like to defy social norms, you can find compromise with a non-domesticated canine such as a fennec fox or a Russian domesticated silver fox. Bear in mind though that their non-domesticated traits may be a challenge if you’re expecting the tame behavior of a normal feline or canine.

Foxes are active predators, which means that they require the same amount of space to roam freely as you would grant to a domesticated canine. If you do plan to cage a fox, make sure that the cage is large and that you let it out frequently. Foxes can also be quite noisy and playful, much like a standard domesticated dog, so if you want a tame exotic animal, a fox may not be ideal for you.

The pit fall of owning a domesticated foxes is their price tag. If you want to adopt a fox, you can expect to pay $2,000-$7,000 to bring one home. Non-domesticated foxes such as the white artic fox or red fox have undergone little to no selective breeding, and thus are much more affordable, costing as little as $200-$400. Keep in mind that the more affordable foxes tend to have a strong smell and are much less tame than their domesticated counterparts.

 

4.    Skunks

a skunk close up
A Skunk

Skunks make great pets so long as you de-scent them first! Most pet owners are surprised to find that skunks are actually rather playful and enjoy their freedom; they are not animals to be cooped up in cages all day. They like plenty of toys to play with and a large environment in which they can exercise both their physical and mental strengths. Skunks are easy to care for and require a simple diet of fruits, vegetables and dog food. While many skunk owners love their bi-colored pets, not all state legislatures are on board with the animal, and it is banned from the pet list in several states due to the fact that many skunks are easily susceptible to rabies. However, that is not to say that skunks inherently carry the virus; rather, they can contract the virus easily from another rabid animal.

 

5.    Wild Cats

a Savannah cat sitting
A Savannah Cat

Not all felines are your typical house cat. There are many exotic cats that are just as cool as their ferocious ancestors. Two felines that make great house pets are the Savannah cat and the Bengal cat. The Savannah cat is a hybrid of the domesticated cat and the Serval, a wild cat from Africa. Some Savannah cats have more Serval in them than others, so breeders categorize them as a F1 to F6. A F1 cat has approximately 53% to 75% Serval in their genes, while a F3 has as little as 12.5% Serval. A F6 have very little Serval, but enough to rank as a Savannah cat. A F1 can be extremely challenging, especially if the percentage of its Serval genes errs towards 75, while a F6 will be almost as tame and complacent as your ordinary housecat. A F3 is a happy medium, as these animals typically have the fun loving and excitable personality of a regular canine but with all the exotic physical features of a Serval.

 

The one downside to owning a Savannah cat is that they are expensive, which is to be expected as they look very much like a cheetah and are likely the closest you will ever get to owning such a wild creature.

 

a Bengal cat staring at the camera
A Bengal Cat

The Bengal cat is basically a domesticated cat but with a more interesting personality. Bengals have a small amount of Asian leopard genes in them, which is essentially the only “wild” in them. They are the ideal pet for someone who wants a pet with an exotic look but all the tame tendencies of a domestic cat.

 

Exotic Pets That Are Not So Easy to Care For (And That Are Likely Not Legal to Own)

sloth hanging on a tree and looking up
A Sloth

While there are many exotic pets that are easy to care for, there are many more that are not. In fact, most pets—domesticated or not—are not considered “easy” to care for by most standards. That being said, a few animals that are very difficult to care for include:

  • Non-Domesticated Canines: Non-domesticated canines, especially the large ones, require large, outdoor enclosures, special accommodations and an almost wholly meat diet.
  • Non-Domesticated Felines: Cats in general have a tendency to spray indoors, but non-domesticated felines have the urge more often. Additionally, wild cats destroy furniture and require an escape-proof enclosure.
  • Primates: Monkeys and other primates may be cute, but they are extremely high maintenance and require a significant amount of attention, which most pet owners find that they’re unable to give.
  • Small Exotics: While some small exotics are fairly easy to care for, others are much more difficult, such as sloths, genets, kinkajous, coatimudnis, porcupines, wallabies and tamanduas. Each of these animals requires large cages and special living accommodations, which most people find difficult to provide.

 

Too often, people adopt monkeys, large cats, wild dogs and other exotics without giving much thought to what it would take to raise an undomesticated animal. Once those animals grow into adults and start to act on their wild instincts, their owners become unwilling (or unable) to put up with them. To prevent these animals being passed from home to home or shelter to shelter, let these types of animals live in the wild, and only adopt what is legal and easy to care for.

 

Work With a Knowledgeable Veterinarian

At the United Veterinary Center, we specialize in the treatment of exotic animals, both large and small. While it is your job as your pet’s owner to love and care for them in your own home, you can count on us to ensure that your exotic family member has the medical care they need to live a long, happy and healthy life. This includes advising you on the proper diet for you exotic pet, providing the necessary vaccinations, administering the proper medical treatment, and being there for your pet when they need medical attention the most.


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15/Dec/2018

“Pocket pets” are what people call small domestic animals such as gerbils, hamsters, ferrets and rabbits. Many people opt to adopt a pocket pet as opposed to a dog or cat because they are easier to take care of, and they don’t require as much attention as their canine and feline counterparts. Whether you live in a small space and cannot have a large animal, you’re gone all the time and cannot properly care for a more active animal or whether you just want a pet that is low maintenance and relaxed, pocket pets make great companions for the non-dog and non-cat people. With that in mind, this guide is meant to help you decide which pocket pet is ideal for your lifestyle and pet-ownership goals.

 

Preparing for Your Pocket Pet

Though some small animals are much more low maintenance than larger animals, you still need to take time to prepare your home for them. Oftentimes, this means investing in a terrarium, tank or cage, and accessories designed with your future pet’s needs in mind. Many people wrongly assume that small animals don’t need a lot of space. They might buy a hutch for their rabbit and line it with a thin layer of shavings, or they might invest in a small tank for their gecko and call it a day, but these types of environments are not acceptable. Many smaller animals still need plenty of space to run around in, foliage to hide beneath, shavings to burrow into and toys to play with. While owning and caring for small animals might be easy and inexpensive, setting up their living environment is often a costly endeavor.

 

a rodent standing and looking straight into camera
We don’t have a separate paragraph about rodents in this article, but they are cute 🙂

Some things to keep in mind before bringing your new pet home:

  • Reptiles need a climate-controlled environment.
  • Rodents like toys such as spinning wheels and tube mazes.
  • Most small animals are used to be prey, and so like to have objects to hide under and behind. This is especially true of rabbits.
  • Ferrets are very curious animals, and so need a “ferret proofed” home to live in.
  • Some small animals, such as chinchillas and rabbits, need a companion to remain emotionally happy (which can positively affect their lifespan).
  • Many small animals need an indoor environment in which they can sleep and rest, and an outdoor environment where they can play and run around.
  • Some birds, such as parrots, can live for up to 80 years. If you’re not willing to make that big of a commitment, reconsider your choice to buy a bird.
  • The same can be said for turtles.
  • Crustaceans such as hermit crabs can live for up to 40 years, but need a climate-controlled environment. Additionally, as they grow, their cage will need to grow with them.
  • Fish are fairly easy to care for, but only if you stick with the basics, like gold fish or beta fish.

 

Easiest Small Animals to Care for and Why They Might be Right for You

Hamsters

cute hamster sitting on a kitchen tableWhile hamsters are fun and active pets, they are nocturnal, which means that they can be a disappointing pet for small children. However, if you work long days and are home alone only at night, a hamster might be ideal for you, as a hamster is great company in the evening hours.

Hamsters are relatively low maintenance and can entertain themselves with a hamster wheel, tubes and toys. They need a wire cage with a solid bottom to live in that is nicely padded with shavings.

 

 

Guinea Pigs

a guinea pig on a stubGuinea pigs and hamsters are often lumped into the same category, but the truth is that they are very different animals. Guinea pigs are much more active than hamsters, and have a much more expressive personality. Once you get to know your piglet, you’ll be able to tell when he’s happy, sad, mad or excited. Unlike hamsters, which can spend a great deal of time in their own little space and be happy, guinea pigs prefer a large open space where they can run around, graze freely and be safe from predators. Guinea pigs also need to be with others of their species, as loneliness tends to set in with these animals, which contributes to depression.

 

Rabbits

Ginger rabbit sitting on a grassMany people think that rabbits make great pets for small children, but in actuality, rabbits are difficult to care for and temperamental. That is not to say that they don’t make great pets—they do!—they are just not the “easy animal” everyone assumes them to be. Rabbits are extremely complex creatures, and they need a very specific environment to be happy. For starters, rabbits cannot be placed in an enclosed hutch and left alone. They need an enclosed space for sleeping and resting, but that space needs to be attached to an outdoor area where they can run around and play safely. Rabbits are also naturally skittish creatures, so they need plenty of coverage to hide from predators, such as cats and foxes.

Finally, rabbits need a companion of their own kind in order to thrive both physically and emotionally.

 

 

 

Chinchillas

chinchilla leaning towards a food ballChinchillas are cute, cuddly little creatures that tend to make people think of a little puppy, kitten and hamster all at once. These animals are extremely intelligent creatures with a happy disposition. Once you get to know them and them you, you will find that you can even teach them basic tricks for the right treats.

Like hamsters, chinchillas are nocturnal animals and so might not be the best animal for small children who go to bed early. If you are buying a chinchilla for your children, consider their average lifespan of 15 years. That is a long time to own a small pet, so really consider if your child will continue to love and nurture this pet when they’re 12, 16 or 18 years old.

Chinchillas don’t require much maintenance, but they do need a fairly large cage with a dust bath in it. Chinchillas are very enthusiastic about their dust baths, so if you’re going to adopt one of these creatures, you need to be prepared to sweep up and clean up dust on a frequent basis.

Chinchillas, like guinea pigs and rabbits, need a companion to live with.

 

Mice and Rats

a mouse on a white background with toy umrella merged into appleMice are interesting animals to watch, as they’re very active and playful and able to climb robes, run around in tunnels and put on a show for children. However, they are very squeamish and not easy to hold. If you want to buy a small animal for your child to hold and cuddle, you may want to consider buying them a rat.

Rats are hugely fond of social interaction, and they are highly intelligent, making them great pets for children and adults alike. Without attention, rats can become very depressed, thereby shortening their lifespan.

Rats and mice both need ample space, though rats need more than mice. While a large aquarium might work for a mouse, rats need a cage with multiple levels, similar to a hutch you might buy for a gerbil or hamster.

 

 

 

Parrots

2 red parrots on a treeParrots are wonderful, human like pets, as they’re playful, lively and intelligent. However, like humans, parrots have the potential to live for up to 80 years. For this reason, it is not recommended that a parent buy their small child a parrot. If you’re going to invest in a parrot, you should be old enough and at a stage in your life to make that type of long-term commitment, especially considering that parrots become very attached to their humans over time.

Parrots cannot be placed in a small birdcage—they need an area the size of a small room (at the very least) to fly around in. Their cage should be cleaned every other day and lined with a thin layer of gravel.

 

Hermit Crabs

hermit crab in sand on a beachHermit crabs don’t get enough credit as pets, which is a shame, as they are highly active, interesting and social little creatures. While hermit crabs can be great fun for kids—after all, they get to pick out cool new shells as their little friend outgrows hers—they require more commitment than most children are ready for. Hermit crabs can live for up to 30 years when taken care of properly. Proper care includes providing them with an environment with a continuous temperature of 75 degrees. They love humidity, so daily misting is encouraged. They also need sand to dig in, rocks to climb and places to hide out in.

 

 

Ferrets

a ferret in the grassFerrets are a lot like cats: independent, curious and mischievous. However, they make great pets, as they’re highly energetic and intelligent. Children especially love ferrets, and if trained properly, they can be the loyal and low-maintenance companion you desire. Keep in mind though that because of their curiosity, your home should be ferret-proofed, with all things that could potentially harm or trap your pet put up and out of reach.

 

 

Reptiles

a lizard in a terrariumThough reptiles such as snakes, lizards and frogs are relatively low maintenance, setting up the proper environment for them can be a difficult and expensive task. Reptiles need a just right environment to thrive, which should be moderated with a heat lamp. They also need plenty of foliage (preferably foliage similar to their native habitat), hiding spots and ground covering.

Reptiles eat live prey, which can make some people squeamish. If you’re not into feeding live mice or bugs to a creature, a reptile may not be the best pet for you.

 

Fish

2 fishes: a gold and black as if in glassesAssuming that you’re buying a gold fish or some other non-tropical fish, a fish may be the ideal low-maintenance small pet you’re looking for. While you would still need to invest in a nice tank, filters, rocks or pebbles and foliage, beyond that, caring for a fish requires very little investment of your time. You just need to feed them daily, make sure that the pH balance of their water is good and clean their tank weekly.

However, if you invest in tropical or exotic fish, your time and money investment could skyrocket, as many fish require a precise environment to thrive.

 

Sea Monkeys

several sea monkeys swimmingIf each of the above animals requires more work than you’re willing to invest, you may do well to buy a pack of sea monkeys. Sea monkeys are ideal for small children who just want to look at things moving but not actual care for a live creature. They require hardly any maintenance, and only need to be fed growth food every five to seven days. If the water starts to get too cloudy though, you can negate the food for awhile longer. Sea monkeys live up to two years, the ideal lifespan for small children that want a pet but that don’t firmly grasp what owning a pet entails.

 

Talk to an Experienced Veterinarian About the Best Small Pet for Your Lifestyle

Small animals can make great, low maintenance pets. That being said, each living creature still needs a proper living environment, a healthy diet, care and nurturing from its owners and adequate medical attention. If this all sounds like something you can provide for your pet, talk to the veterinarians at the United Veterinary Center for advice on what small animal would make the best pet for you.

The next article will be on the exotic pets that are easy to care for.


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15/Dec/2018

Owning a pet can be one of the most rewarding things you do in your life, but it can also be a lot of work. If you’ve never owned a pet before but want to change that, it may be best to “start small.” No, we don’t necessarily mean “small” as in fish or hamster, but rather, “small” as in easy to care for. A horse, for instance, requires a lot of work and know-how, whereas a dog is fairly uncomplicated in comparison. When choosing your first pet, it’s important that you do your research, and pick an animal that you have the means to take care of.

 

Some considerations to make before we delve into the list of the top 10 easiest animals to care for are:

  • What does your lifestyle look like? If you’re a couch potato, an active dog might not be for you. Rather, you might do well caring for an English Bulldog, a cat or even a gerbil. On the other hand, if you like to run, hike and be outdoors, consider bringing home a German Shepherd or Great Dane, as these are great companions to do outdoorsy activities with.
  • How often are you home? If you travel a lot, work long and odd hours or have an extremely active social life, a cat or other independent animal might be a better fit for you. Dogs need a lot of attention and need to be let out a minimum of three times a day to do their business (preferably more if possible). However, all animals need a consistent feeding schedule, so if you’re always away from home, you may need to reconsider your decision to bring home a pet.
  • How much attention are you willing to give you new pet? Again, dogs require a lot of attention. In fact, raising a dog has often been compared to raising a human child. If you’re not ready for that type of commitment, consider getting a reptile, rodent or feline, as these types of animals generally like to be left alone.
  • How much work are you willing to put into caring for and training your new pet? This article may be about the easiest animals to care for, but the truth is that there is not a single pet you can take home that will require no work. When you take on a pet, you are also taking on the responsibility of feeding, watering and caring for another living creature. You must also maintain a clean living environment for whatever pet you choose to adopt. That said, some pets require more work than others. A fish, for instance, just needs to be fed and his bowl changed regularly. A dog, on the other hand, needs to be house trained, leash trained, chew trained in addition to fed, watered, walked and loved.
  • Do you have children? If you’re buying a pet for the kids to “teach them responsibility,” invest in a pet that a) they will love and b) that they can reasonably care for. A snake, for instance, might be easy for you to care for, but it is not recommended that a child handle one. A dog or cat might be a little more work, but they make great companions for children and as your child grows, he or she can take on more of the responsibility of caring for it.

 

With these considerations in mind, let’s explore the top 10 easiest animals to care for

 

#10: Dogs

Of the easiest animals to care for, dogs are probably the least easy, and depending on the breed you choose, you may find your experience more trying than other dog owners’. That said, all dogs require food, water, exercise, a clean living environment, training, love and attention and routine veterinary care. They need their own food and water bowls, a leash, a collar, tags, a microchip (for additional security) and toys. They need to be housebroken, leash trained, crate trained and taught not to chew or bark incessantly. However, dogs make the list because they are easy to love. Once you fall in love with your pooch, you’ll find that caring for him is something you want to do rather than have to do.

 

#9: Cats

Cats are like the Robin to Marvel’s Batman—their companionship is underrated, and their ability to make a person happy is unrecognized. Cats can make great companions, and can even be trained to do fun tricks. Cats also have a strong and independent personality, but also love a good cuddle session. That being said, cats need food, water, a clean living environment and routine veterinary care. They need to be litter box trained, and you need to keep that box clean on a daily basis. However, like dogs, cats are easy to love, and once you and your cat form a bond, she’ll be your new best friend.

 

#8: Hamster

Hamsters, like cats, are very independent animals that require very little attention. Unlike cats, however, hamsters don’t like to be held and pet for long periods of time. For this reason, a hamster makes the perfect companion for you or a great “learning pet” for your children. With a good-sized cage and some toys, hamsters can entertain themselves for days. That being said, you still need to feed your hamster, give it water, and maintain a clean living environment for it. This means scooping out the poop and replacing its shavings with new shavings at least once a week. Hamsters, like all animals, need routine veterinary care.

 

#7: Rabbit

Rabbits are (mostly) docile creatures that thrive in large open spaces with several hiding spots. Contrary to popular belief, rabbits cannot be kept in cages. Rabbits need an enclosed space to rest and sleep in, and a large outdoor area to run around and play in. The two should be connected via a tunnel. They also need some type of bedding, like straw or shavings, that should be cleaned out and replaced once a week. Rabbits need food, water and routine veterinary care. They need human interaction, but not too much, as rabbits are naturally skittish creatures. Additionally, rabbits thrive in the company of other rabbits, so if you’re going to get one, you should get two.

 

#6: Ferrets

Ferrets are a lot like cats: independent, curious and mischievous. However, they make great pets, as they’re highly energetic and intelligent. Children especially love ferrets, and if trained properly, they can be the loyal and low-maintenance companion you desire. Keep in mind though that because of their curiosity, your home should be ferret-proofed, with all things that could potentially harm or trap your pet put up and out of reach. Ferrets also require routine veterinary care and some training.

 

#5: Birds

Hand-raised birds make lovely and loveable pets, as they tend to bond quickly with their owners. Birds are a great addition to an otherwise quiet environment, and require very little maintenance. They do need a large cage, however, with a few different spots for perching. You will need to change the papers out from the bottom of the cage on a daily basis, as birds defecate more than most other animals. You should do a thorough cleaning once a week. Birds with clipped wings can be taken out of their cages and held, but you must be very gentle with them. For this reason, birds are not recommended pets for children under the age of 8.

 

#4: Turtles

Turtles require very little human interaction, but they are fairly high maintenance. Turtles require a just right living environment, which can be difficult and expensive to set up, as they will need a large tank, heat lamps and filters to thrive. Additionally, turtles are messy creatures, and their tanks need to be cleaned out regularly. They also require a special diet, which your veterinarian can advise you on, as well as special medications to remain strong and healthy. If properly taken care of, turtles can live up to 40 years, making turtles a lifelong commitment. If that’s not something you’re ready for, a turtle is not right for you.

 

#3: Reptiles

Reptiles such as snakes, lizards and frogs are relatively low maintenance. That said, setting up the proper environment for them is a difficult and expensive task. Like turtles, snakes, lizards and frogs require just the right setup. If their environment is too hot, it can kill them. If it’s too cold, it can kill them. If they do not have the right foliage, hiding spots or ground covering, they could suffer from depression and high stress levels. Moreover, reptiles require live prey to eat, which can make some people squeamish. If you’re not into feeding live mice or bugs to an animal, a reptile may not be the best pet for you. That being said, reptiles don’t need a lot of exercise, and they don’t like to be handled a lot. They are the ideal pet for someone looking to take up residence with a low maintenance, quiet, non-attention seeking roommate.

 

#2: Rodents

Rats and mice can make fun pets for small children, as they’re active and playful, but easy to care for. Rats, despite their bad name, are highly intelligent and friendly creatures that can be trained to do cool tricks. Mice, on the other hand, are squeamish and are better for looking at than holding. Whichever you choose, rodents do require a sizable cage where they can run around and be happy. They need a lush bed of shavings to sleep and hide in, as well as some toys to entertain them throughout the day. You should clean the shavings of droppings daily, and replace it with new shavings weekly. If you opt for a rat, you should let it out a few times each day so that it can run around and get human interaction.

 

#1: Fish

We’re hesitant to include fish as the #1 easiest animal to care for, as some fish require extensive and frequent maintenance. That said, let’s assume that you’re buying a gold fish or some other non-tropical specimen. In that case, you would still need to invest in a nice tank, filters, rocks or pebbles and foliage, but beyond that, fish require very little investment of your time. You just need to feed them daily, make sure that the pH balance of their water is good and clean their tank weekly. However, if you invest in tropical or exotic fish, your time and money investment could skyrocket, as many fish require a precise environment to thrive. If you’re a first time pet owner, it is not recommended that you make tropical fish your first pet.

 

Consult With an Experienced Veterinarian Before Making the Leap

If you want to adopt a pet for the first time, the veterinary professionals at the United Veterinary Center are here to help you make pet ownership the fulfilling experience you always imagined it to be. That said, every animal is going to require some level of work and care, and how much time and money you’re willing to invest into that care will dictate which animal is right for you. If you don’t want to invest any time and money, owning a pet is not for you. To determine which animal will best fit your lifestyle, talk to the caring professionals at the United Veterinary Center about your expectations for a pet, and let us guide you toward the best animal for you.


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15/Dec/2018

Animals are susceptible to illness and injury just like the rest of us, which means that they are also capable of racking up a pretty hefty vet bill. Sometimes the cost may be small and result in a one-time fee, while other times, the price to heal your pet may be costly and result in ongoing treatment and medication. Whatever the case, it can be difficult to foot the vet bill yourself, which is precisely what pet insurance is for.
Pet insurance is available to animal owners to ensure that their furry friend gets the medical care and attention that they need when hurt or ill. Unfortunately, too many animal owners see an injured creature as a liability, and so instead of opting to get treatment for them, they opt to euthanize them instead. This is unacceptable. When you take on an animal as your own, you take it on as a family member, and it is your responsibility to ensure that it is well cared for for the remainder of his or her life, no exceptions. For this reason, we at the United Veterinary Center feel that every pet owner should consider investing in animal insurance. From diagnostics to hospitalizations, and surgery to ongoing medications and treatments, pet insurance covers it all to ensure that your furry friend lives a long, healthy and happy life with you (and that you’re not stuck with huge medical bills because of it).

 

When to Get Pet Insurance

Just like with your own insurance, the best time to invest in coverage for your animal is when they are still young and healthy. Animal insurers are not likely to consider covering your pet if they are elderly or have a preexisting condition. For this reason, if you are considering adopting a new animal, you should look into pet insurance immediately after they receive their first physical and healthcare screening. So long as the doctor rules out any hereditary conditions, your new friend should be able to gain coverage without a problem.

 

Again, like with people insurance, you cannot enroll for coverage upon learning that your loved one has a serious and costly illness or injury. This defeats the purpose of insurance and will get you nowhere.

 

If you are interested in obtaining coverage for your pet, look into Trupanion, Nationwide’s Whole Pet and Wellness plan and Embrace, all of which reimburse 90 percent of veterinary costs.

 

Pet Insurance Statistics

Pet insurance is not something that new pet owners typically think about investing in, but it should be! Pet insurance costs very little but can go a long ways towards ensuring that your new family member receives the medical care that he or she needs to stay healthy. Don’t believe us? Let’s see what the stats say:

  • 75 percent of policyholders file a claim within the first three years of enrollment.
  • Over 50 percent of policyholders file a claim each year.
  • 35 percent of all pet insurance claims are for chronic conditions.
  • The most common claim is for torn knew ligaments in man’s best friend (the dog).
  • The second most common claim is for ingested foreign objects.
  • The most expensive health condition domestic animals are seen for is heart disease, which can cost their owners more than $20,000.
  • The second most expensive health condition is cancer, which can also exceed $20,000.
  • The third most expensive condition that animals are seen for is orthopedic related and can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000.
  • One in three domesticated animals will need emergency veterinary care every year.
  • An animal receives emergency care every 2.5 seconds.
  • Every six seconds an animal owner is faced with a veterinary bill that exceeds $5,000.

 

The numbers are staggering, and they make a very solid case for why pet insurance is so important to purchase.

 

Reasons to Purchase Pet Insurance

 “I want to make decisions about [my] pet’s health care without worrying about whether or not they can afford treatment.” – #1 reason for purchasing pet insurance.

 

There are several obvious reasons that pet owners should invest in insurance for their furry friend, but healthcare reasons aside, some great reasons to purchase healthcare coverage for your new family member include:

  1. No Discriminatory Policies: If your cat, dog, rabbit or exotic animal is diagnosed with or predisposed to contract a certain condition, your veterinarian will have to treat them, no questions asked. Thanks to your foresight, they will be privy to the best care available.
  2. Pick Your Vet: Like with most human health insurance plans, pet coverage policies allow you to pick your own veterinarian. If you like a vet and want to continue working with their office, pet insurance will allow you to do so.
  3. Prevent Unnecessary Spending: “I have been faced with expensive vet bills in the past and want to avoid them in the future.” – #2 reason animal owners invest in insurance for their loved ones.
    Animals are active and curious creatures, and as such, as susceptible to dangers we wouldn’t think twice about. That log in your backyard could be the cause of your dog’s broken leg. Your stairs at home could be the reason your rabbit suffers from broken ribs. An avocado pit lying on your kitchen table could be the reason your cat almost dies from asphyxiation. Everyday objects and obstacles to us could be a great threat to your pet, which is why you should err on the side of caution and ensure they’re protected no matter what life throws their way. In doing so, you will ensure that your bank account is protected from unnecessary spending when you have to go to the vet emergency room yet again.
  1. Peace of Mind: Peace of mind is the top third reason that pet owners invest in healthcare coverage for their furry friends. With insurance on your side, you no longer have to worry about how you will care for your cat, dog, rabbit or other animal should they become hurt or ill.

 

Your furry friend deserves the best possible treatment, period. For this reason, insurance for them should not be an option—it should be a no brainer.

 

Before You Buy

Before you purchase a policy, it is important to review the terms and conditions very carefully, just as you would when purchasing a policy for yourself. Some things to look out for are what is covered (make sure that the types of injuries and illness covered are relevant to your animal), how much copays and deductibles are, what your coverage amount caps out at, and what exclusions the policy has. You want to ensure that your policy covers any injuries or ailments that your particular animal is susceptible to, otherwise pet insurance will not do you any good.

 

At the United Veterinary Center, we want to make sure that your loved one receives the quality medical care they need when they need it. Your four-legged family member deserves to live a long and happy life, and pet insurance can help make that possible.


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