Do you have any food? Can I have some of your food?
A lot of our paw-parents here at My Vet Animal Hospital have been asking me what do I do to make sure that Chu stays healthy all the time? I mean, he is always at the vet hospital (yup, he is our organic doorbell!) and is exposed to all the sick furbabies coming in all the time. Then it struck me, there are a list of things that I always do to Chu to ensure that he is always in the best health. So, here is a simple checklist that you can do at home to ensure that your pet stays healthy and happy all the time.
1. Make sure that their vaccination is up to date!
I never miss any of Chu’s vaccination. In fact, I am always a little early when it comes to his vaccination. Vaccination is very important to ensure that your furbabies are protected against nasty and deadly diseases such as parvovirus and kennel cough. This is a simple preventative measure that everyone can take to ensure that their furbaby is not as risk of contracting any deadly disease(s).
No pictures of them getting their needles! Instead, we have a group photo here!
2. Be the “Flea, Worming and Heartworm” Terminator.
Yes, I sometimes do over-worm Chu. Why? Because it is better to be safe than sorry. It is not going to harm your furbaby if you worm your furbaby a bit earlier than scheduled (ie even up to 1 week). Of course, don’t go worming your furbaby every single day!
A lot of people get confused about heartworm and intestinal worms. They are completely different and you will need to do them both. Intestinal worms are mainly transmitted through ingesting infected faeces. Heartworm on the other hand is transmitted via mosquitoes!
3. Watch your furbaby’s poo and pee like a hawk – it’s a bit gross!
This is a bit gross but I know exactly how Chu’s poo is suppose to look and feel like (through the poo bag!). Any slight changes in the colour, texture and consistency will get me thinking! “That’s a bit softer than usual..what did he eat yesterday? Did I feed him something new? Too much treats? New treats? Ahh…new treats! Gave him way too much! Definitely not getting any treats for a few days until his stomach settles down then”.
If your furbaby has any diarrhoea, it is best to bring him/her to the vet immediately as they can lose a lot of water and get very sick quickly. Some diseases like Haemorrhagic Gastroenteritis are very aggressive in nature and some dogs may need blood transfusion in 24-48 hours or else it can be fatal.
NSFW!!! People must think that I am a bit crazy for taking a photo of my dog pooping!
4. Good diet = Good Health
It is very important to ensure that you feed a well-balanced and complete diet to your furbaby. At My Vet Animal Hospital, we recommend paw-parents to feed premium brands like Royal Canin or Science Diet as they abide by the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) standards. AAFCO is a non-profit organization that sets standards for both animal feeds and pet foods in the United States.
Many popular brand foods out in the current market formulate their kibbles according to the AAFCO feeding guidelines. However, a few select companies like Royal Canin and Hill’s Science Diet, actually conduct protocol-feeding trials set by AAFCO to ensure that your pet actually receives the nutrients as stated by the label. Hence, it is very important that you understand what is in your furbabies’ kibbles rather than be sold a nice packaging with trendy marketing hype words!
Definitely not getting any of these!
5. Checking your furbaby
It is always very important to check your furbaby all the time. I do a health check on Chu almost on a fortnightly basis (ie when I bath him). If you are unsure how to do a health check on your furbaby, come in to My Vet and speak to one of our pawesome staff and they will be able to show you. Things that you should be aware of include:
-teeth – any gingivitis, tartar/plaque build up
-eyes – any abnormalities including cloudiness
-ears – any discharge or foul smell
-skin – any redness/pimple like lesions
-any lumps or bumps
Things that Chu has to put up with!
6. Looking fabulous aka grooming
This is very important if you have a long haired dog that needs regular grooming like Chu. Chu goes to the groomer every 6-8 weeks. I will bath him myself every 2 weeks or so. This also gives me a chance to feel for any lumps or bumps that the groomer might miss/forgets to tell you. Matted hair are very painful for your furbabies and it will cause dermatitis and this may lead to bacterial skin infections. Regular brushing of their coat is also vital as it helps keep their coat shiny and healthy.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns at all, please consult your local veterinarian! Alternatively, give us a call and one of our pawesome staff members will be more than happy to speak to you!
Until then, keep smiling and stay pawesome!