NORFOLK, Neb. – Local vets share tips for new and old pet owners.

The pandemic has driven up pet adoption rates as many people were stuck at home with time to kill, but now these new pet owners are back at work, and that relationship is getting bigger. hard.

Northeastern Nebraska vets are encouraging people to make their pet’s health a priority because it’s National Pet Welfare Month.

“Today we had mites, fleas, congestive heart failure …” said Dr Brad Johnson, practice owner and veterinarian at the Norfolk Veterinary Clinic. “… all of this would have been preventable if it had been taken care of sooner.”

The average number of new pets per practice increased by more than 50 percent from March to July of last year.

“Most of our new pets that arrived during the pandemic were from established owners,” Dr Johnson said.

Meanwhile, other owners are taking their first steps.

“For new pet owners, I would really like to encourage them to spend some time educating their pet,” said Dr. Pedersen, owner and veterinarian of the Westside Family Pet Clinic.

Dr Pedersen said he has recently seen many owners looking to relocate their puppies.

“I attribute a lot of that to a little training or not being able to spend time with their pet.”

Dr Pedersen said that when you adopt a dog, you are more of a parent than a friend, which can be difficult to balance.

“Some people understand this and learn to devote that time or some people just say their dog has too much energy and that’s not a very good excuse,” Dr. Pedersen said.

Whether you are a new or a former pet owner, vets encourage you to know your options.

“Don’t think yourself limited,” Dr. Pedersen said.

“Establish yourself with a team of vets you love and trust and become a team with them and they will help keep your pet healthy,” Dr. Johnson said.