We understand how much pets are a loving part of our families! Check out our basic pet care tips for taking care of cats and dogs.
Cats & Kittens
Cats may seem like low maintenance animals but they need need many of the same things we do: food, water, shelter, activity and health care.
Kittens: feed kitten food, and follow instructions on the bag for correct amount. Leave a bowl full out for the kitten to eat throughout the day.
Adults: feed adult food, and follow the instructions on the bag for correct amount. Leave a bowl full of food for cat to eat throughout the day.
Cats can get dehydrated easily, so ensure that cats have access to fresh water, everyday.
Keep the litter box clean by scooping out the poop and urine daily. Keep the litter box out of the reach of babies, young children, and other animals like dogs. Be sure to wash your hands after cleaning the litter box to avoid spreading germs.
Scratching posts are a key tool for cats' grooming as cats use them to remove old material from their claws. Consider purchasing a scratching post so that your cat does not resort to using furniture in its place. You can also try using a cardboard box, and replace it with a new one weekly.
Cats are safest inside and can be very happy living indoors all the time. If you are unable to keep your cats indoors, provide them with shelter from the rain and cold.
A small used dog house, a storage bin, or a cat carrier can provide shelter if you fill the bottom with straw so that the cat can burrow. Straw should be changed as needed. Pillowcases loosely stuffed with packing peanuts and shredded newspaper also work, but pillowcases need to be washed weekly to prevent insects and germs.
Spaying or neutering your cats will prevent them from having kittens, help prevent destructive behavior, and prevent certain diseases. If your cat is not currently spayed or neutered, make an appointment at one of our low-cost LifeLine Spay & Neuter Clinics.
Veterinarian: All cats need to see a veterinarian at least once a year for a routine check-up. This allows a vet to ensure that your pet is healthy and can keep an eye on anything that might develop into something more serious.
Monthly Prevention: Heartworms are prevalent in the Southern United States. Ask your vet for a heartworm preventative and monthly flea treatment. You’ll give these to your pet once a month. It is cheaper to prevent many problems than it is to treat them.
Holding Your Cat
If your cat likes to be held and snuggled, remember to hold her gently and support her whole body, especially her back legs. When you are done holding her, gently place all four paws back on the ground.
Dogs & Puppies
It’s easy to take care of your dog when you keep in mind that pets need many of the same things that we do: food, water, shelter, companionship, activity, and health care.
Puppies: feed puppy food four times a day. Check the side of the bag for the recommended mount.
Adults: feed twice a day; once in the morning and once in the evening.
Give your dog fresh water everyday. Place one bowl inside the house and one outside in the shade. Change the water in the summer when it gets warm and in the winter so it doesn’t freeze.
Your Home: Dogs need shelter from the heat, cold, rain, and snow. The best place is inside the house with you. If the dog is destructive, crate him while you are away but do not leave a puppy under 8 months unattended in a crate for 6-8 hours while you are at work. Make sure someone can let him/her out every few hours for bathroom purposes.
Garage: If you cannot keep your dog inside, your garage or toolshed with warm bedding, such as a dog bed or a homemade bed made with cushions, old clothes and thick blankets, is the next best thing. Wash the bedding weekly to prevent insects and germs. Put all antifreeze and other chemicals where your dog can’t reach them.
Remember that in Fulton County, it is illegal to chain your dog outside!
Spaying or neutering your dogs will prevent them from having puppies, help curb destructive behavior like wandering off and fighting, and will prevent certain cancers. If your dog is not currently spayed or neutered, make an appointment at one of our low-cost LifeLine Spay & Neuter Clinics.
Veterinary Care: Take your dog to a veterinarian at least once a year for a routine check-up. This allows a vet to ensure that your pet is healthy and can keep an eye on anything that might develop into something more serious.
Monthly Prevention: Heartworms are prevalent in Southern United States, so ask your vet for a heartworm preventative and monthly flea treatment. You’ll give these to your pet once a month. The cost is far less to prevent heartworm disease than it is to treat.
Grooming: Brush your dog's coat weekly to prevent matted fur. Trim nails monthly and bathe as needed.
Exercise: Exercise is good for you and your dog. Take a daily walk with your dog, and throw a ball or toy for her if she likes playing catch. This also helps with training your pet.