As the 5th in our series of Top Five Tips for Assuring your Pet’s Health and Wellbeing we have compiled this general information to remember in handling your pets.
To see our 4 other blogs on this subject go to powellvets.com and select the Blog tab.
Love & affection
- Just like people, pets thrive on attention! The more love you give, the more you’ll get back. Studies show that a lovingly handled pet is a healthier pet. The touch of the human hand improves the function of virtually all of the sustaining systems: respiratory, circulatory, digestive, and so on, in newborn puppies. A frequently petted pet is not only healthier and happier; but also better behaved. Dogs, like humans, find solace in touching another living being, which is why they get along so well together
- Give your pet plenty of hugs, kisses, gentle pats, and love. Okay, so maybe you can’t pet a fish, but you can still show you care by talking to it, watching it, and feeding it special treats.
- Dogs need plenty of exercise. Physical activity keeps them healthy, happy, and fit. Make sure you walk, run, hike, or play fetch with your dog every day. Not only is exercise good for your pup, but it’s good for you, too!
- Cats, especially if they live indoors, also love some quality playtime with you. This is a chance to have fun and get creative with cool cat toys.
- It’s a good idea to brush and comb your pets every day to get rid of loose or shedding hair.
- Poke around to check for fleas, ticks, leaves, and other things that might be tangled in your pet’s fur.
- If you can, bathe dogs once a month in the summer, every three months in the winter using a hypo-allergenic conditioner (oatmeal). Most cats rarely need bathing. Cats do not care for baths, so if you feel that your cat needs a bath use a lingerie sack for bathing. But don’t overdo it! Too many baths take away the natural oils from a pet’s skin and can cause itching or rashes. Brushing both dogs and cats can often be adequate in most cases
- Cats will have fewer hairballs and shed less if they’re combed on a regular basis.
Training, if you have a dog
- Yes, Bowzer is your buddy, but you need to be his boss! If you don’t set up rules for him to follow, he may act aggressively and out of control. You don’t want your dog dashing into oncoming traffic, jumping on little kids, or growling at your neighbors, right? So you need to set up rules for him to follow and help him follow them.
- You can do this sometimes in a very gentle manner without raising your voice or becoming mean. Work with your parents to determine the rules of the house. If there’s a “no dogs on the sofa” policy, don’t let Spot on the couch the minute your parents leave the room. It’s best when all of you work together to teach your new family member how to behave.
- An obedience class is a great way to learn how to speak a dog’s language and teach her the rules of your household. But don’t expect her to be perfect — there will be accidents! Just be patient and loving, and eventually the hard work will pay off.
- Don’t use insect sprays and weed killers around your pets or allow antifreeze to spill in any area where pets hang out. If animals get poisons on their fur or paws, then lick themselves, they can get very sick or even die.
- Don’t ever feed your pet chocolate, no matter how much they might beg. Dogs can die from eating too much dark chocolate.
- Don’t let your dog wander the neighborhood without you. She could get lost, hurt, or catch a disease from another animal. Always keep her on a leash when in public areas, like a park or busy street.
- Never give pets human medicine. Keep all medicines — human or pet — out of your pet’s reach.
- Never leave a pet alone in a car on a hot day-even with the windows cracked open. Temperatures can go up quickly and cause an animal to overheat, which is sometimes fatal.