The bond between a pet and its owner is very strong and provides huge rewards. Along with the rewards comes the responsibility of caring for a living creature that depends upon you for all its needs. Caring for your pets needs means providing a good diet and living environment. Register your pet with your local vet even if it is perfectly healthy, you will know where to go in an emergency and your vet will be able to give you advice on routine health care.
The key to recognising illness in your pet is to know what your pet is like when it is well. Often an owner will be able to detect subtle changes in their pet's behaviour or appetite that indicate illness well before anyone else can. Your partner in caring for your pet should be your veterinary surgeon. Regular visits to a vet for routine health checks and preventative health care such as vaccination or dental care allow you and your pet to build a relationship with your vet. Early detection of clinical diseases will allow your vet to give more effective treatments. Most pets live with us as part of the family - maintaining their health also means there is less risk of them passing on disease. The chance of you catching a disease from an animal is small but there are some diseases that people can get from animals (zoonoses). A healthy pet is unlikely to pass on disease.