Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. Is vaccination really important for my pet?
A vaccine is a biological substance which when administered to a person or a pet triggers an immune response which helps the body produce antibodies to help fight a particular disease. Vaccinations are a highly effective way of protecting your pet from potentially serious (even deadly) diseases such as Canine Parvovirus, Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV), etc. Getting your pet vaccinated will prevent them from contracting illnesses and infections, and will save you money otherwise spent on expensive treatment.
2. Which core vaccines should my pet receive?
Core vaccines are important vaccinations that all pets must get, with it being mandated by the law in some places. Dogs need to get vaccinated against diseases including (but not limited to) Rabies, Canine Distemper, Parvovirus, and Adenovirus. In contrast feline core vaccines include those for Distemper, Calicivirus, Feline Herpesvirus, and Rabies.
3. What is Heartworm disease?
Heartworm disease is a critical infection that can lead to cardiac failure, lung problems, and even death among pets. Getting your pet tested annually coupled with a prevention plan designed by your veterinarian comprising preventative medications can help protect your pet from this life-threatening disease. You can consult with your veterinarian to know more about heartworms.
4. How often should I take my pet to the vet?
Taking your pet to the vet for regular health checks forms a core part of maintaining their continued health and wellbeing. During the first year of your pet’s life, you must take them to the vet more often in order to run the necessary diagnostic tests and administer the required vaccines (depending on whether they are stray or not). Pets younger than 4 weeks old must see the vet every 3-4 weeks. Similarly, elderly pets also require regular wellness checks, usually twice a year, and as and when the need rises. In contrast, if your cat or dog is over a year old, they only have to drop by the vet’s office on an annual basis.
5. Should I spay or neuter my pet? And when?
Many veterinarians and pet experts around the world encourage owners to spay or neuter their pets as it is quite beneficial for both parties. Dogs are typically sterilized at around six months of age or before their first heat. Cats, on the other hand, can be spayed or neutered even as young as eight weeks. Sterilizing your pet comes with a lot of upsides including pet safety, mitigation of behaviour problems, controls pet population, reduces additional expenses of medical bills and unwanted pregnancies, and improves your pet’s overall quality of life.
6. How should I protect my pet from ticks and fleas?
Ticks and fleas can be a source of great discomfort for your pet. No matter how annoying they are, it is inevitable that your pet is bound to get infected at some point in their lifetime. However, these infections can have a negative impact on your pet’s health which makes it important to take preventative and treatment measures to protect your pet. Regular visits to the groomers, keeping your house and yard clean, switching to new and better preventative products, and taking your pet for their regular health checks, are some ways to protect your pet from ticks and fleas.
7. How much exercise does my pet need?
Regularly exercising your pet is a great way to ensure their continued health and wellbeing. However, too much or too little of anything can have adverse impacts on your pet’s health. In any pet, age, breed, and current health conditions, are deciding factors in determining the amount of exercise that they need. Puppies are more energetic than adult dogs, so they may require more frequent physical exercise. Although senior dogs may not be able to walk or run as fast as they used to in their youth. They still require an adequate amount of exercise that is appropriate to their age and health. In the case of cats, 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily is advisable. However, it is imperative to consider your pet’s medical condition(s) and age when you are exercising them. You can consult with your veterinarian to help you effectively plan your pet’s exercise schedules.
8. What foods are harmful to dogs?
Adequately feeding your dog is a vital part of being a pet parent. However, it is also important to make note of the foods that are harmful for your canine companion. Do not give your dog foods such as candy, gum, bakery confections, or any other food that has xylitol. Additionally, make sure your dog does not consume avocados, chocolate, dairy products, alcohol, raw eggs, caffeinated beverages, grapes, raisins, salt, raw meat and fish, and yeast dough.
9. What foods are harmful to cats?
Cats are naturally curious creatures, which makes it important to monitor their feeding habits. From onions, garlic, and chives to grapes and raisins, there is a list of foods that your cat should not consume. Do not give your cat chocolate, caffeinated drinks, alcohol, raw meat and fish, or dog food. You must also avoid feeding them tuna, milk, and other dairy products.
10. How often do I need to bathe my pet?
Keeping your pet clean and well-washed is an important way to ensure their continued health and wellbeing. As such, bathing your pet is an essential aspect of maintaining proper pet hygiene. In the case of dogs, breed, health conditions, and lifestyle determine how often you should bathe your pet. Dog breeds such as the Chinese Crested, Maltese, and Border Collies require baths as often as once every one to six weeks. On the other hand, canine breeds like the Puli require baths less frequently. If your dog has any specific health problems, you need to use the appropriate medicinal shampoos as per the advice of your groomer and veterinarian. Additionally, if your dog has an active outdoor lifestyle, they will need to be bathed more often than otherwise. For felines, outdoor cats require more baths than indoor cats. Cats are usually good at grooming themselves. However, if they are unable to do so, you will have to bathe them more frequently. Additionally, cats with longer coats, and skin conditions like ticks and fleas also need more frequent washing.
11. How can I take care of my pet’s teeth?
To keep your pet’s dental health in check, regular checkups should be planned with your pet dental service provider. We also recommend brushing your pet’s teeth at least thrice a week. Feed them the right food and give them chew toys and treats that are made to promote their oral health.
12. Why do birds pluck their feathers?
Birds usually pluck their feathers as a way of grooming themselves. However, there are possible reasons as to why they may exhibit increased feather plucking behaviour. Skin diseases including feather cyst, parasites, allergies, cancer, liver disease, boredom, or even emotional distress, are possible reasons why your pet bird may be plucking their feathers more often than usual. Treatment includes behavioural therapy and treating underlying causes. You can ask your veterinarian for additional possible preventative and therapeutic ways to help your pet.
13. Should I allow my pet to sleep on my bed?
Cuddling with your pets can be a very comforting and wholesome prospect. Although co-sleeping with your pet can be socially, culturally, and psychologically benefitting, experts advise against sharing a bed with them. For instance, pets carry several bacteria and viruses that they may pass on to you which can adversely impact your health. Pets can also be erratic sleepers and may move around the bed to find a more comfortable sleeping position, but can end up disturbing your sleep in the process. You must avoid sleeping with your pet especially when you are sick due to your body’s weaker immune response which may make you more vulnerable to additional health risks. However, it is alright to have your pet sleep with you as long as you take necessary precautions as per your doctor’s advice.
14. What happens during my pet’s dental cleaning?
A dental cleaning visit is a pretty straightforward procedure. It involves a thorough dental examination followed by teeth cleaning and polishing. During the process, tartar and periodontal disease-causing plaque are removed. General anesthesia is used for your pet during the procedure.
15. I noticed a change in my pet’s behavior. Should I see a veterinarian?
There several changes in your pet’s behavior that require veterinarian attention; these can include:
● Changes in eating behavior.
● Difficulty in breathing/rapid breathing.
● Difficulty with movement.
● Lethargy or lack of energy.
● Irritability and aggressive behavior.
It is best to talk to your veterinarian for a proper and thorough assessment in your pet’s behavior.
16. Do pets develop dementia, Alzheimer’s, or go senile?
Just like humans, pets can develop a decline in cognitive function. While this occurrence is unlikely to happen for wild animals, domesticated ones are susceptible.
The most dramatic signs owners might notice are their pets acting disoriented, walking in circles, or even staring into corners and walls. Other behavioral changes can be temperamental such as aggression or extreme lethargy. When you notice these changes for your senior pet, it’s best to consult a specialist to manage your pet’s condition better.
17. Do pets get Covid-19?
While there is currently no evidence to suggest that animals can pass the novel coronavirus to human beings, they can contract COVID-19 from infected people. They are normally infected by people they come in close contact with including pet owners, caretakers, etc. Pets and animals living in zoos, sanctuaries, and farms are at a higher risk than other animals. People who have contracted COVID-19 are advised to stay away from pets and other animals such as cats, dogs, ferrets, etc.
18. How do I protect my pet against rabies?
You can implement a few successful measures to protect your pet against rabies. Regularly taking your pet to the veterinarian, ensuring timely rabies vaccinations, spaying or neutering your pet at the right time, supervising their movement and keeping them inside the house to avoid contact with other infected animals, are some effective ways of reducing and preventing the spread of rabies among pets.
19. I think my pet has a skin problem. How can I tell?
Common tell-tale signs that your pet might be experiencing a skin condition include:
● Incessant scratching.
● Biting/licking their skin.
● Irritation and redness.
● Hair loss.
● Flaky and textured skin.
● Formation of scabs and lumps.
● Unusual or unpleasant smell.
If your pet is experiencing such signs, immediately seek the attention of a veterinarian.
20. My pet has a persistent, dry cough. What should I do?
For healthy pets, the occasional mild coughs often do not pose a severe health problem. However, just like humans, when a pet’s cough becomes persistent, it could be a symptom of a severe illness. Incessant coughing can be associated with many different illnesses in dogs and cats. Make sure to consult with your pet health care specialist for your pet to receive the appropriate treatment.
21. How does a pet microchip work?
Pet microchips are often confused as tracking devices. Unfortunately, it is a common misconception for a lot of people. Pet microchips are (RFID) radio-frequency identification implants that provide your pet with a permanent ID when scanned. In addition, microchips do not require a power source, unlike a GPS.
22. Can my pet eat raw meat?
Although pets like cats and dogs can have raw meat, experts and veterinarians usually advise against including it in their diet in order to avoid possible cases of Salmonella, Listeria, E.coli, and other bacterial infections. Additionally, a diet that primarily consists of raw meat will not give your pet the proper amount of nutrients which in turn can give rise to related health problems.
23. How much food should I feed my puppy/kitten?
The amount and the type of food your pet puppy/kitten should intake would depend on their age and weight. It is essential to feed them the right kind of food so they can grow into healthy adults. The key is to provide them the adequate amount of nutrients their bodies need for healthy development. In addition, it is crucial you don’t overfeed your puppy/kitten to prevent excessive weight gain.
Consult with your veterinarian to receive proper advice on your pet’s nutrition.
24. My pet has an ear infection. What should I do?
If you suspect that your pet has an ear infection, check with your veterinarian immediately. Your pet health care provider will thoroughly examine your pet’s ear and use a medicated ear cleanser accordingly.
An ear cleanser and topical medication can also be prescribed for your pet. For severe infections, antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medicine is given.
25. My pet has blood on its stool, what should I do?
Traces of blood in your pet’s feces accompanied by vomiting and eating behavior changes can be signs of a severe condition. Therefore, it is essential that you seek the help of a veterinarian to avoid any potential complications.
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