Nothing Petty About Pet Health
When the furry member of your family gets sick, the others worry. After all, who will be welcoming you with a wagging tail or a playful mewl when you arrive home if Buster cannot walk due to joint pain, or Kitty is grouchy because no amount of scratching can alleviate the itch caused by ringworm? It is not just play time that may suffer, or the risk of being a target of the ASPCA in NYC for negligence in attending to the well-being of your pet. The human members of the family may also get infected with some infectious animal diseases. That is why, it is important to always be hawk-eyed when it comes to the health of your family, including that of your pets.
7 Essential Pet Health Care Tips
Once you welcome a bird, dog, cat, or other animal into your home, it is your responsibility to take proper care of your pet to ensure that it is in fine fettle. If you are a new pet owner, be guided with these useful tips.
1. Pet’s Diet. Just like in humans, the food consumption of pets is also very crucial to maintain good health. Feed your pet with the appropriate type of foods. For instance, feed carnivorous animals such as cats, with meat, fish, poultry and other animal-source foods. You may also consider giving it a food supplement.
2. Pet Supervision and Training. Remember that a pet is not human. You have to regularly and persistently train it to make it behave the way you want it to. Be patient with overseeing the activities of your new pet. Set aside time to focus on training and spending time with your furry pal. Keep it within a certain area of your home while still under training.
3. Pet Love. Show your pet some love. Just like caring for a child, your pet also needs your attention and affection so spend time with it daily to establish a special bond. Spending time with it also helps you to learn how your pet behaves under normal conditions, so that when it behaves abnormally, you can detect that something could be wrong.
4. Pet Punishment. Notice that this topic comes after Pet Love rather than Pet Supervision and Training. Yes, you have to train your pet to make it behave according to how you want it to, but if it misbehaves, do not ever punish it. Hurting an animal may trigger it to fear, bite, or become aggressive with you. As an alternative, provide positive alternatives and reward to correct the bad behavior.
5. Pet Health & Vaccination. To boost the immune system of your pet especially against fatal diseases, have it vaccinated. Have it checked by a vet regularly to secure its good condition.
6. Pet Safety. To avoid accidents, keep your pets away from hazardous items such as knives, pins, blades, needles and the like.
7. Pet Emergency. In case of emergency and you have to administer first aid to the animal, make sure that you safeguard yourself. Keep in mind that a wounded or sick pet is afraid and as its defense, it could assault you. Muzzle your sick dog and bundle up your ailing cat in a blanket.
Answers To 3 Pet Health Questions
1. When is the best time to have my pet vaccinated?
Dogs and Puppies. Ideally, puppies must be immunized with the essential vaccines every three to four weeks. This course of shots should start when they are six to eight weeks of age, but the initial rabies shot must be done when they are about 16 weeks old. Dogs that have been unvaccinated, incompletely vaccinated or with an unverified vaccine status, but are already older than four months must be vaccinated with the basic shots, and then given a booster shot in three to four weeks. Booster shots for rabies vaccine must initially be given in 12 months.
Adenovirus (for the liver), distemper ( for the respiratory and GI tracts), leptospirosis (for the kidneys), parainfluenza (for the respiratory tract), and parvovirus (for the intestinal tract) are some examples of the essential vaccines. When your dog has completed these shots, do not forget the booster shots to be administered in 12 months and then every two to three years. Administer booster shots for rabies vaccine 12 months after the first shot, and subsequently, at least every three years.
Cats and Kittens. The basic vaccines of kittens must commence when they are between six to eight weeks old, while the booster shots are to be given every three to four weeks until they are 15 to 16 weeks old. The initial rabies shot is recommended between the age of 12 and 16 weeks and boostered initially in 12 months. Unvaccinated, incompletely vaccinated or dubiously vaccinated cats that are older than three months must be given basic vaccines, with booster shots ensuing in three to four weeks. Booster shots for rabies recommended to be given in 12 months.
Felineviral rhinotracheitis (for the conjunctiva, oral cavity and respiratory tract), distemper/panleukopenia (for the GI tract), calicivirus (for the conjunctiva, oral cavity and respiratory tract) and chlamydia (for the conjunctiva and respiratory tract) are the essential vaccines for cats. Kittens at 6 months, must be examined for feline immunodeficiency, while cats that are 9 weeks or older must be examined for feline leukemia virus. The feline leukemia shots, initially given at 9 weeks of age, must be given to cats that like to explore the outside world or live in numerous cat households. Booster shots are administered three weeks following the first shot, and then every year. As of the moment, vaccine for feline immunodeficiency virus has not been developed. Booster shots must follow after in 12 months after the first chain of shots has been administered, and then every two to three years. Remember to administer booster shot for rabies vaccine after 12 months of the first shot and then yearly. For feline leukemia vaccines, booster shots are suggested to be given every 12 months.
Have your pets vaccinated by a qualified and licensed vet, or by a qualified and licensed veterinary technician under the guidance of a licensed vet. When your pet has completed its vaccination, do not forget to secure a vaccination certificate from your veterinarian. Some vets with online presence may have websites that feature printable vaccine certificates and a template which you can download for pet records. These are useful in tracking your pet record and in documenting reports in proving that your pet has completed the vaccination.
2. At what age must a dog be “fixed”?
The breed and gender of the dog will greatly sway the answer to this question. You do not have to sterilize your dog, but some owners prefer this since spaying and neutering has been linked to a reduction of a number of health hazards. Besides putting an end to unwanted cyclical estrus periods, it can also minimize behaviors related to hormonal effects, and can tame aggression in unaltered males, if necessary. If you do not plan your dog to breed, then “fix” it early. The breed of your dog dictates at what age the surgical procedure must be done, but typically, it is done when your dog is five to six months old, or sometimes earlier. Certain breeds, however, such as the Golden Retriever, are best allowed to mature before being fixed to minimize health risks linked to early spaying and neutering. The best strategy is to discuss the timing of the spay or neuter with your veterinarian.
3. What does an owner need to do to bring his/her cat/dog to Canada or Mexico?
Before you travel with your pet to Canada or Mexico, you need to have your pet’s health certificate stamped by the USDA. You can conveniently send, by ordinary mail or through UPS, FedEx, DHL, and other overnight couriers, the papers and a check or money order to the USDA address:
USDA APHIS, VS
ATTN: Export Department
160 Worcester-Providence Turnpike
Sutton Square Plaza, Suite 20
Sutton, MA 01590
Alternatively, you can also personally visit their office to have the certificate stamped but you need to call their office to set an appointment.
Guide To Certain Pet Health Problems
The diseases, injuries and physical ailments of pets vary from the most serious to the easily curable. There are many pet health issues that can be effectively addressed through medications, surgery, physical therapy and other medical approaches. Here are some common problems of common pets. However, it may sometimes be difficult to diagnose them since they can not verbally describe how they feel. Help your pet by spotting the symptoms so that you can relate it to the veterinarian and ask for advice and possible solutions to the particular health problem.
Hip Dysplasia in Dogs. A dog can suffer hip dysplasia at any age which can lead to osteoarthritis. Even 5-month old puppies can severely be afflicted with this hip problem. If your dog displays pain and discomfort, as shown by an altered gait or resisting movements that need full extension or flexion of the rear legs during and following exercise, then it may be suffering from this hip problem. It can exacerbate to the extent that even ordinary daily activities are painful to do. If left untreated, the dog may lose its ability to walk. In majority of the cases, symptoms will surface only at the middle or late years in the life of a dog. Hip dysplasia can be treated through various types of surgery. The body size, age and severity of the deterioration will tell what surgical procedure, such as Triple Pelvic Osteotomy, Juvenile Pubic Symphysiodesis, Total Hip Replacement, and Femoral Head and Neck Excision, must be done.
Ringworm in Cats. For your own sake, if not for the cat’s, you must have your cat treated if it suffers this contagious skin infection since it can be passed on by contact with infested bedding material, grooming tools, or the cat itself to you and the other family members. This fungal infection can lead to hair loss, typically in a circular pattern, making the skin dry, elevated and brittle. Initially, lesions appear on the face, ears, or paws. If left untreated, they can coat the whole body. If you see this symptom of ringworm lesions on Kitty, then go to a vet and ask for a prescription of the appropriate topical or systemic medication.
Megabacteriosis in Lovebirds. This bacterial infection had been a recent problem in the UK. Birds susceptible to this disease are lovebirds, budgerigars, canaries, cockatiels and finches. Some of these birds afflicted with this disease may not show any symptoms, but they can be carriers and could possibly infect other birds. A bird suffering this disease will show a ruffled appearance, will regurgitate, will become lethargic, will lose weight and die. The sad part is it may only be diagnosed after the bird has passed away, through fecal stains from the liver and spleen. Sometimes blood can be found in the feces. To avoid this sad scenario, always observe proper sanitary habits, quarantine and close the aviaries if need be. Birds that participate in exhibitions are the most susceptible to this disease since they get exposed to other possibly infected birds.
Mycoplasmosis in Rats. This very contagious respiratory disease is so common that virtually all pet rats are deemed to be infected with it, although some are asymptomatic. A common symptom for this disease is frequent wheezing. Treatment includes antibiotics, but a more serious case may need a nebulizer treatment or X-rays to examine the heart.
Health Insurance for Pets – Cheap Bet On Your Furry Pal’s Well-Being
Some pet owners think that the cost of insurance is not worth paying for since they only visit the vet once a year. However, you cannot predict when accidents happen, or certain diseases and medical needs could materialize. Lab tests, X-rays, medicines and surgeries can be costly, but pet health insurance plans allow you to instantly decide on how to care for your pets according to the vet’s recommendations without feeling a tug on your pocket. It is relatively cheap compared to paying for the actual treatment. It can help make pet ownership easier and more affordable.
You can buy health insurance for pets at affordable prices, depending on different factors, like length of the insurance plan, coverage benefits, amount of the required deductibles and the insurance company provider. You may also choose an insurance plan that include benefits that you prefer. Not all insurance companies may offer the same package. For example, Veterinary Pet Insurance or VPI covers cancer and sterilization, but excludes pre-existing conditions. Plus, it is also among the few insurance providers that offer plans for exotic pets. You may consider this company if your pet is a Budgerigar, a parakeet that originates from Australia, or an albino corn snake. Metlife Inc. offers a Pet Insurance program labeled as TenantCare, a renter’s policy created for pet owners who rent. Some pet insurance providers, such as Petplan of 24 Pet Watch Insurance in Florida, provide insurance options that you can customize to fit your requirements. The company provides coverage for emergency treatment, standard veterinary care, and holistic and alternative treatments, like acupuncture, provided that a licensed vet does the procedure. Purina, the producer of the famous pet food brand also offers pet insurance plans, through Purinacare. There are a number of options, so research and gather enough info and make a comparison of the various providers of health insurance for pets to help you weigh your options. Read up on consumer reviews and other free information you can easily get online to help you make a decision.
Let’s Pay Pets Health Centers A Visit
Since pet owners and the entire family often get emotionally attached to their pets, owning a pet is pretty much like rearing a child. You have to give it ample time, care and support to maintain its well-being and the proper functioning of its body. Some even go to the extent of giving their pets the VIP (in this case, “very important pet”) treatment, completely provided with spa and regular grooming, dental services, professional trainers, luxurious sleeping areas and other treats that really make them feel pampered. That is why, health pet centers do not just act as animal hospitals for ailing pets, they also provide many other veterinary services to keep them in tip-top shape. Let us take a look at some of these pet health centers.
NOVA Pets Health Center. This AAHA-accredited animal hospital features modern full diagnostic, surgical, veterinary health care services, grooming, boarding (kennel), dog day camp, and dog-daycare.
Wachal Pet Health Center. Their services include full veterinary services, pet boarding, and pet grooming. They also offer a complete selection of Science and Diet Prescription foods and pet supplies.
Valley View Pet Health Center. This full service small animal hospital provides health care and other services for cats, dogs, birds, rabbits, primates, reptiles, pocket pets and other exotic pets. They are also available for house calls.
Where To Source Pet Health Products and Supplies
Besides being well-versed on the various pet health centers and pet health insurance plans, a pet owner must also be familiar with where to get pet health products and supplies. Picking a reputable pet store or pharmacy where you can buy supplements, supplies and medicines is essential in caring for your pet. For example, if your pet dog suffers a liver, gallbladder, and pancreatic problem, you must know a product that can help to boost digestive and metabolic functioning, such as LiverAid. However, before you administer anything to your pet, make sure that they are safe and effective. Ask your vet or for simpler cases, you can also read up on reviews and ratings of a certain pet product and supply.
Check out the pet health products of Solid Gold, one of the pioneers of using all-natural components in pet food. They offer pet food, supplements, and skin care products. They are based in California, but they also have stores scattered all across the country. You may also check out Pet Health Pharmacy if your address is AZ. For convenience, you can also shop online via the National Pet Pharmacy and other pet stores for dog collars, beds, foods and other dog stuff.
Zeroing In On Pet Dog Health
Touted as man’s best friend, the dog is, by far, the most favorite pet in the world. It is intelligent and is loyal to its master. Man has enjoyed the company and trainability of dogs so much that many groups and clubs are formed by dog owners. One such club is the American Kennel Club or AKC. It endeavors to further the study, breeding, exhibiting, running, and the maintenance of purebred dogs, protects the rights of dog owners, and encourages responsible dog ownership.
Owning a dog requires some knowledge on how to take care of them, from the food you feed them, to the proper grooming, to the medications and medical procedures to address certain illnesses and health problems. Of course, this is with the help of dog experts and vets. Most dog owners will not master all of the necessary information, but take time to read up on certain pet topics if issues arise. For instance, if your dog suffers from a pancreatic problem, you would not really be able to diagnose that unless you are a vet or have seen another dog diagnosed with such condition. In those cases, you need to bring it to a vet. For quick reference especially if you have quite a number of pets, besides dogs, you may want to secure a copy of the Merck/Merial Manual for Pet Health, a comprehensive resource for the care of pets written by hundreds of veterinary experts.
Pets have become a permanent feature in many households in the world. For this reason, pet health is now a concern of many households giving rise to pet health products and services, such as pet food, medicines, pet grooming, pet health, pet centers, clinics and hospitals, and pet health insurance.