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Pet Problem Awareness

Some common pet problems can often be avoided by awareness and relatively simple treatments or preventative measures. While some may seem obvious, they are frequent problems for many pet owners. Insect problems are right at the top of the list. Fleas and ticks can be either a relatively minor irritation or the cause of a serious disease. Good flea and tick protection is an essential part of good pet care. Also protecting pets from mosquitoes, parasites, and biting insects is often necessary. While infestation causes serious health problems, it is insect born diseases that most pet owners need to be the most aware of.

Weight problems are another common concern for pets. Excess weight can lead to medical problem and often results in muscle and joint problems particularly in dogs. As the owner of a chubby cat it can be surprisingly tricky to keep a pet’s weight under control. In multiple pet homes the offending pet may eat more than their share of the food. I’ve had trouble in the past keeping my cat from breaking into the cupboard and chewing a hole through the bag of cat food. Recently I found my cat on top of the refrigerator trying to access his food in an adjacent cupboard. Also, common for dogs in particular, is to make a snack out of the trash. For the motivated pet leaving any sort of food out can lead to ‘pet snacking’. My biggest mistake is leaving any form of chicken or chicken bone on the kitchen counter, as when I’m out of site my cat hops on the counter and helps himself. I frequently hear the thump of an overweight cat jumping off the counter before I can catch him on the act. One of the best tricks of a chubby pet is begging. Particularly in family situations many dogs have learned they can find the softy who will let them have a bite of their snack. Even when difficult, it is important to keep pets at a healthy weight. Increasing exercise can help as well as controlling their diet. In the long run a pet will be more comfortable, healthier, and happier if they aren’t carrying extra weight.

More problems can be avoided with awareness of toxic substances that pets come in contact with. The two biggies are chocolate and anti-freeze. Chocolate is bad for dogs, and antifreeze is extremely toxic for all pets. They are both problematic because their taste often attracts pets. If your pet has consumed either of these contact your vet immediate. Particularly with antifreeze immediate vet care is vital to successful treatment. Another frequent problem comes from owners giving pets human medications. This should not be done without specific instructions from a vet. Pain relievers can be particularly dangerous. Never give a cat aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol), or ibuprofen (Advil) as it is toxic to them. Dogs can sometimes be given aspirin but it is best to give them aspirin specifically made for dogs, and it should be done with vet’s instructions as there are potential side effects. Any other human pain reliever should not be given to a dog. Any question about appropriate medicines and dosages should be posed to a vet as the consequences can be dire. Plants are potentially problematic for pets too. This depends on the plant, but fortunately toxic plants most commonly result in digestive upset instead of serious poisoning. However, it is important to check out the plants you have as toxicity levels vary and some do have the potential to cause serious problems.

Finally, many pets will experience some health problems associated with age. For large dogs probably one of the most common ailments is arthritis or other joint problems. This often comes through stress on the joints over the years. Eye problems are also common for older pets. Most pet’s energy level will decrease in time and some extra attention to grooming and basic care such as checking eyes and teeth for problems can be very helpful. This can keep a pet healthier in time and minor problems can be treated early so that they don’t become major problems. Good general care and awareness of potential problems can be very beneficial to a pet.

 

 


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