Pet Care

Here are some helpful pet care tips provided by Dr. Eddie Heath, D.V.M.

Spay or Neuter Your Pet!

  • Spaying is an ovariohysterectomy and if performed before an animal goes into season (or heat), it will help prevent not only countless unwanted animals but mammary tumors and diseases of the reproductive tract.
  • Neutering prevents prostatic disease in dogs (cats don’t have prostates) and prevents behavorial problems due to sexual frustration. Neutered animals make better pets because they are less aggressive and are less likely to roam… keeps them out of trouble with the neighbors and vehicles.
  • One female dog can give birth to over 150 unwanted puppies in her breeding life (usually the first 7 years). She does not have to experience motherhood to realize her place in the world or reason for existence.
  • Pets do not gain weight or get lazy after neutering unless they are overfed and not exercised. Pets are less picky at the food bowl after surgery due to hormone shifts, so be careful not to feed any more after neutering than before. Their personality will not change.

Have You Lost a Pet?

  • Call the Asheville Humane Society frequently at (828) 250-6430 or email them at Be proactive and find the time to go and look for your pet. All incoming animals are checked for microchips or other permanent ID.
  • Alert your vet and other local veterinarians. Lost animals are often the victims of a trauma and if taken to a vet may not be properly treated until payment can be confirmed.
  • Always keep some kind of ID on your pet. Permanent forms of ID (such as microchips) are much better than tags or collars because they can’t be easily removed or altered.

What About Poisons?

  • Use common sense. Remember, most dogs will try to eat anything at least once, so don’t leave any open containers around.
  • Many household plants will cause gastrointestinal upset but are toxic only in very large amounts. This is also true of chocolate.
  • Establish a relationship with a veterinarian early, so a quick phone call is all that is needed in an emergency.
  • If a pet consumes a human drug or medication, it is better to call if you’re not sure about toxicity rather than assume it’s okay or wait for symptoms to appear. A small amount of Tylenol is toxic to cats but can be well tolerated by dogs.
  • The number for National Animal Poison Control is (800) 548-2423. Please write this number down and keep it handy.

These are just a few helpful hints in caring for your pet. Visit our additional resources page to find more sites with additional information.