Owning a pet is a huge responsibility. Only a pet owner understands that having a pet is very similar to having a child. You obviously want your furry pet to live as long as possible. It requires much dedication and commitment to keep your pet healthy make him live long. Here are some quick tips to keep your pet happy, safe and healthy –
1. Diet & Exercise
- It is advisable for you to choose a proper diet for your pet based on age/health status/nutritional needs. Obesity can greatly reduce the lifespan of your pooch by many years.
- It’s best for your pet to eat a measured amount of food, usually divided into two meals/day. Limiting the number and size of treats is important to avoid weight gain.
- Never depend on human food. In fact, regular consumption of human food can increase the chances of nutritional deprivation.
- Avoid bones & treats that may cause intestinal obstruction or broken teeth.
- Exercise is a great way to control your pet’s weight and often times will help with behavioral problems – a tired dog is a good dog. Always ensure your pet’s weight is well maintained throughout all his life
2. Testing and prevention of parasites & infectious diseases
- For cats and kittens, it is recommended to have a FELV/FIV test initially to ensure you are not exposing other cats to these contagious diseases. A vaccination for FeLV is recommended for outdoor cats & those exposed to other cats.
- Annual Heartworm/Lyme/Ehrlichia/Anaplasmosis testing for dogs starting with puppies at 8 months of age is necessary for early detection of disease. These are parasites that travel through the bloodstream and so the test requires a small amount of blood. Keeping your pet up to date with vaccinations is one of the best ways to help protect it from infectious disease
- Puppies 8 weeks of age & older and all dogs should receive monthly Heartworm preventative. These oral medications are given once per month, year-round. These medications help prevent heartworm disease and help control two common intestinal parasites- roundworms & hookworms. The medication is based on your dog’s weight so it is important to let the vet know of weight changes as your puppy is growing or if your adult dog gains or loses weight.
- Fleas and ticks are blood-sucking parasites that can transmit a disease to your pet. Monthly topical flea and tick control will keep these pests off of your pet and out of your home. You might want to check https://pet-action.com/ which has a number of high-quality flea and tick treatment products
3. Dental Care
- Dental disease is becoming more and more common these days. Bacteria can spread through the blood veins putting in risk the overall health of a pet.
- “Dental disease” consists of different conditions such as dental plaque, gum inflammation, loosening of teeth, etc. It is best recommended to use dental wipes, CET toothpaste & brushes designed specifically for pets.
- A dental prophylaxis is known commonly as a “dental cleaning” includes a full oral exam, ultrasonic scaling of the teeth both above and below the gumline, polishing the teeth and a fluoride treatment. This procedure is performed under general anesthesia.
4. Train your pet
- Training your dog isn’t just fun but can also make the life of both the owner and pet easy.
- When your pet does something you don’t want it to do – how do you react? If you eventually give-in, you are reinforcing this behavior (i.e. feeding table scraps if your pet begs or giving attention to a pet that jumps up) Instead you should ignore behaviors you don’t want any praise or reward welcome behaviors.
- It is important to be consistent with your pet – all members of your family should use the same commands (i.e. “Down” vs “Off”, “Drop it” vs “Release”)First start with the basic commands like sit, stand, shaking hands and then move on with the complex ones. Make sure to use these commands in day to day life.
5. Spaying and neutering
- We recommend spaying and neutering puppies and kittens at 6 mos of age. There are multiple benefits including eliminating the risk of unwanted puppies or kittens, and decreasing risk of mammary or ovarian cancer in females and testicular and prostate cancer in males.
- Intact male cats are more likely to spray or mark around your house whereas intact male dogs are more likely to develop aggressive behaviors.