You want to take good care of your pet. Here are some important tips that will improve the quality of your pet's life and increase the likelihood that you will grow old gracefully together!
1. Feed a high quality food that is appropriate for the life stage of your pet. Keep in mind that there is a tremendous variability in the quality of nutrients found in pet foods available today. The best diet which will make a difference depends on the unique health and risk factors of your pet. We stock HPM, which comes as a life-stage diet for dogs and cat of all ages as well as a prescription range for animals with specific nutritional needs. We have chosen HPM as it is a high protein, low carbohydrate diet, that better mimics what your pet will naturally eat in the wild. Ask us to recommend an optimum diet choice for your pet.
2. Follow a monthly year round parasite control plan for both dogs and cats whether they are kept indoors or outdoors, which protects your pet (and consequently you!) against internal and external parasites. Protect your pet and your family from unnecessary exposure.
3. Keep your pet up to date on all necessary vaccinations. Nothing is sadder than to watch a pet succumb to illness which could have been easily prevented by the timely administration of vaccines. That is not to say, however, that your pet needs every vaccine available on the market today. By working with current research and in concert with recognised experts, our vets have determined which vaccines are needed and at what intervals.
4. Ensure that your pet has proper identification in the form of pet tags and a microchip. From the 1st April 2016, it became illegal to own a dog that is not microchipped, so if your dog is not chipped, book them in today! It is just as important however to consider having all your pets chipped whatever their species; cat, dog, tortoise! Did you know that getting lost ranks as one of the most common causes of death in our pets? Pet tags combined with a microchip, substantially increases the chance that your family will be reunited with their pet. What would you do if your pet got lost? Contact us today to microchip your pet.
5. Have your pet examined at least annually (ages 1 - 8; twice a year ages 8 and above) by our vets to address early and sometimes undetected signs of illness. Usually a physical examination by a vet is enough, but a blood profile and urinalysis along with other necessary testing allows early detection of developing problems. Our pets cannot talk and tell us verbally about health problems. As an owner you can be their advocate!
6. Look after your pets teeth! Some animals are more prone than others to the relentless progression of periodontal disease. Time and again we see significant liver, kidney and urinary tract disease as well as considerable pain and discomfort from dental problems. Periodontal disease is the most common illness of man and animals and has a disastrous effect both on quality of life as well as longevity. You will be doing your pet the biggest favour by providing regular dental care and you should think of regular dental care in your pet as part of the necessary essentials along with food, water and shelter.
7. Keep your pet comfortable and increasing their quality of life by providing adequate pain control. Many health conditions such as arthritis, dental problems such as inflammed gums or broken abscessed teeth, urinary tract disease, ear infections and many more can cause significant discomfort to your pet. Often, pets mask their discomfort and since they don't communicate by telling us "it hurts", we must watch for sometimes even subtle changes in our pet's behaviour to recognise that they might be in pain. Today we have available to us medications and treatments which can significantly help your pet be more comfortable and it is a simple act of care and kindness to provide those options for our pets.
8. Provide regular grooming, ear, skin, nail and coat care. Grooming is a great way to bond with your pet and is particularly important for long-haired and senior pets.
9. Exercise your pets and continually work on behavioural and obedience training. To effectively train and consequently enjoy your pet more, pet owners need to be actively involved in training and exercising their pet regularly. Professional input from trainers can help and adopting the principal of positive dog (and cat) training can dramatically improve your pet’s quality of life. In a survey of pet owners, those owners that were actively engaged in training programs with their pet reported a much greater enjoyment with their pet than those which did not. Reduce your angst! Exercise and train your pet!
10. Consider Pet Insurance. While advances in veterinary medicine mean we can do more for your pet, treatment costs can soon mount up. It can be very upsetting both emotionally and financially when pets fall ill, but pet insurance can soften the blow. There are a large number of pet insurance providers on the market so take your time to choose an insurance policy that is right for you or ask a member of staff for help.