Happy 2020 from the staff at Byron Animal Clinic!
As a veterinarian, pet owners often ask me what they should be doing in order to help keep their pets healthy. To help others with similar concerns what follows are my top six pet health tasks to promote the well being of your pet. We all want the best for our animals. Hopefully, these health tips will ensure your pets live a long and healthy life.
1. Maintain a healthy weight.
Exercise is good for both you and your pet. Make a pledge to extend your daily walks or increase their frequency. The majority of pets in Canada are overweight to obese. This increases their chances of developing arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. Monitor portion sizes and keep treats to no more than ten percent of the total calorie intake per day.
2. Budget for both preventative and especially emergency care.
We never like to think about bad things happening to our beloved fur family members, but the reality is that most pet owners seek emergency care at least once with their animals due to trauma, illness, or sudden injury. The costs for after-hours care can be steep. Consider pet insurance or put some money aside specifically for this purpose. It is never ideal to have cost be the biggest factor in determining the outcome of a medical case.
3. Pledge to upgrade nutrition.
Cheap foods may taste good, but in the long term, upgrading to a higher-quality diet has many benefits. Much of what you see and read about pet food online is about marketing and advertising gimmicks and results in misinformation. Veterinary technicians and veterinary doctors are trained to understand animal nutrition and to identify which foods will best fit your pet’s needs.
4. Consider a microchip.
Most veterinary clinics and shelters have the ability to quickly and inexpensively implant an identification chip between an animal’s shoulder blades. This is especially helpful if your pet gets lost and loses its collar and identification tags. It greatly increases their chance of finding their way back to you. It is not GPS technology but it is a reliable technology that has led to the recovery of millions of lost pets.
5. Continue pet wellness care.
We humans can usually tell if something is a little “off” in our bodies. Animals cannot speak to tell us when they feel this way. Regular check-ups can help detect a problem early and thus increase the chances of successful treatment should something abnormal be detected. Diagnostic tests like blood work, urinalysis, and x-rays are especially helpful to assist your veterinarian in diagnosing and treating your pet.
6. Dental care.
Pets have teeth too. Imagine not brushing or flossing and not seeing a dentist for 5, 10, 15, even 20 years! Ask us about tips on brushing your pet’s teeth, using oral sprays, or water additives. Ask about treats and foods that help to keep the teeth and gums clean. Try to budget for dental cleanings for your pets. These must be performed under general anesthetic and often include costly extractions. Planning ahead is the best way to ensure that the cost of this type of service is manageable.February and March are Dental Awareness months at Byron Animal Clinic and we offer a 15% discount on dental procedures at that time. If you have any questions or concerns about the above suggestions or about pet care in general, please feel free to contact us at 519-472-3770.