Lindale Pet Hospital blog
It’s a new year, and you have vowed to get in shape and improve your health. Although you might have made this resolution before only to fall back into old habits before the end of January, you mean it this time. The good news is that having a pet gives you even more motivation to achieve better health. Not only does the love of your furry companion give you the incentive to take better care of yourself, but it encourages you to improve your pet’s health as well.
Commit to Pet Health and Wellness in 2018
While you can make decisions about what you eat and whether you’re going to exercise, your pet depends on you to decide such things for her. For example, she has no control over what you pour into her food dish. Ultimately, it’s up to you to set the pace and expectations for both yourself and your pet. Here are five pet wellness tips to keep in mind for 2018:
- Keep your pet at a healthy weight to avoid the risk of diabetes, heart disease, joint pain, and other common health problems. If your pet is already overweight or obese, speak to us at Lindale Pet Hospital before switching her diet. We are happy to recommend a low-calorie food that still offers all the nutrients your pet needs.
- Bring your adult pet in once a year and your dog or cat over age seven in twice a year for a preventive care exam. Pets age significantly faster than we do, which means your seven-year-old dog or cat is already middle-aged. A lot can happen with your pet’s health in a year that might otherwise go unnoticed without the exam. It’s also a chance to ask questions about behavior, diet, parasite protection, and any other concerns that you might have.
- Spay or neuter all pets over six months old. It reduces pet overpopulation, decreases the risk of ovarian or testicular cancer, curbs aggressive behavior, and offers several other health benefits.
- Don’t forget about the importance of good oral healthcare for pets. Gum disease can lead to loss of bone and teeth that makes it difficult for your dog or cat to eat because she can’t chew her food properly. We recommend daily brushing at home and proactive dental care. At your pet’s examination, we may suggest a professional veterinary dental procedure.
- Microchip your pet to increase the chances of a happy reunion if she gets lost.
Make Fitness Fun This Winter
Cats should stay indoors in the winter, but that doesn’t mean they should just sleep away the day. Be sure to rotate your cat’s toys regularly and engage in play with her to keep her mind sharp and body healthy. Food mazes or food puzzles are perfect to help enrich your cat’s environment, and keep obesity at bay.
Dogs who don’t get regular exercise in the winter can become hyperactive and destructive. Unless it’s dangerously cold outside, bundle up and go for at least a short walk every day. You may need to put a sweater on your dog for warmth or booties to protect her paws from chemicals and the discomfort of walking on cold pavement. While you might not appreciate having to leave your warm house, it’s great exercise for both of you and it helps to strengthen your bond as well.
Happy New Year from all of us at Lindale Pet Hospital!
Image credit: Neniya / iStock / Getty Images Plus
As much as you and your children might enjoy Halloween, this particular holiday can be a stressful one for pets. They don’t understand why you have decorations and carved pumpkins with candles in them around the house and naturally feel curious enough to investigate. Your dog or cat may end up swallowing something inedible or even starting a fire by knocking over a candle. These are just two of several Halloween safety concerns to keep in mind. Lindale Pet Hospital wants to provide the following safety tips to help keep your pets safe and happy during the month of October.
Don’t Share Your Candy
If anyone breaks out the treats before Halloween, instruct them not to share with the family pet regardless of how much he stares at them with sad eyes. Chocolate is especially problematic for pets because it can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and other symptoms associated with gastric distress. The artificial sweetener Xylitol may cause similar problems. If you really want to give your pet a treat, order something especially created for pets from our online store.
Pets Should Remain Indoors
The doorbell ringing and seeing groups of excited children at the door can be too much for your pet to handle. He may try to slip out the door or even become aggressive. To avoid these issues, plan to keep your dog or cat in an area of the house where you can close the door, and reduce noise and anxiety causing stimuli. Be sure to provide his food, bedding, and toys while he stays in the room and check in frequently to make sure he’s okay. You can even buy food puzzles (which lengthen time your pet engages with his food) or toys from our online store to help pass the time.
Another reason pets should stay inside is that October 31 tends to bring out people who like to play pranks or are deliberately cruel to animals. Due to unfounded superstitions about them, this is especially true of black cats. The problem is so widespread that many animal shelters will not allow people to adopt a black cat on or near Halloween.
How to Choose a Safe Costume
Some stores sell such adorable Halloween costumes for pets that it can be hard to resist buying one. If you choose to dress up your dog or cat, be sure you’re always nearby to supervise. Ensure he has no breathing obstructions and can see clearly. Very importantly, watch him carefully for signs of irritation, discomfort or fear which may indicate that he is probably not enjoying being dressed up for the event. Also remember that your pet might chew on the costume and end up swallowing a piece of it. A close eye on your pet’s environment is definitely a “must” for Halloween.
Should you experience an emergency with your pet, call us at (903) 882-4688. If it is after hours, you’ll be directed for the appropriate number to call. Happy Halloween from the staff of Lindale Pet Hospital!