10 Quick Pet Care Tips
I was thinking about how well my best friend Finnegan was looking the other day – he’s an Australian Shepherd and we had a big scare a few months ago when we discovered he had blood clots throughout his bladder. Cancer was suspected, but it turned out to be a very bad infection. It took quite a few months to get him back to full health, but as I looked at him fresh from the groomer recently I reflected on how important it is to care for our pets. Poor Finnegan showed no outward signs of illness until one morning we discovered he’d had an ‘accident’ – several actually – overnight. This brought home to me the importance of ongoing good pet practice – prevention rather than cure is the way to go.
My friends at Accent Inns are big supporters of the BCSPCA, so I decided to check out their website. I was pleasantly surprised to find masses of pet care information, and not just on dogs; the site has extensive information on: dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, mice, rats, gerbils, hamsters, birds, and horses.
Here are my personal quick pet care tips:
- Buy pet insurance – I know it can be expensive, but take it from me, we felt blessed to have it when Finnegan’s treatment bills came piling in.
- Take your pet to the vet for regular exams. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so get all the recommended vaccinations.
- Don’t overfeed your pet. It’s so easy to equate feeding our animals more to loving them more. The reality is they don’t need as much as we think they do. Checking your pet food labels and not feeding table scraps are two things you can do to prevent your pet from becoming obese.
- Exercise and stimulation are both important for most pets. Walk your dog two to three times daily and vary the route. Play with your pets, don’t just cuddle them.
- Dental care – the majority of cats and dogs have dental disease by the time they are three years old. Give dental treats, brush your pet’s teeth and get them regular check-ups. Heck, it’ll make their breath smell better too!
- Keep your pet parasite free – fleas, tapeworm, they get all sorts of nasties which can make them ill. Did you know if your pet swallows a flea it can cause a tapeworm? And, check for those nasty deer ticks and learn how to remove them properly.
- Socializing your pet with people and other animals in its early years will save you a lot of hassle in the future. A dog that gets on well with other dogs, cats, and people including children, will be happier and easier to look after.
- Apparently only around 15 per cent of lost pets find their way home safely. Microchip your pet so that if they’re ever lost there’s a better chance they will be returned home.
- Groom your animal regularly. If you brush your pet daily their coat will be softer, cleaner and will shed less. Of course, you’ll pet will feel a lot happier too.
- If your animal travels with you in your car, keep them secure. They should never ride in the front seat; should there be an accident and the airbag deploys it will kill them. Oh, and never, ever, leave your animal in a hot car. According to the BCSPCA if the temperature outside is 26° C, in 20-minutes it will be 43° C in your car!
One bonus tip – of you’re travelling in B.C. remember Accent Inns is a pet friendly hotel chain (https://www.accentinns.com/about-us/pet-friendly/) and has been audited by Pets Can Stay. Whether you’re in Victoria, Burnaby, Richmond, Kamloops, or Kelowna ask for a non-smoking, pet-friendly room; they include towels, dog treats, and even poop bags. The hotel charges a $20.00 daily fee for additional cleaning to a maximum of $45 a week; with $1 from every pet fee collected by Accent Inns donated to the BCSPCA.
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