#1: What is the Healthiest Food for My Pet?
Pet food advertising is very aggressive and it can be difficult to tell which food is genuinely good. In general, any major brand of pet food is fine. Dry versus wet food depends on the owner’s preference. Some dogs have underlying diseases that require special diets, but the vast majority are fine with mid to upper range pet food brands. Puppy and kitten food is appropriate for the first 8-12 months of life.
#2: How Much Should I Feed My Pet?
Each pet is an individual and each pet has a much different metabolism. So what is good for one individual may be too much or too little for another. Usually it is best to start with what is recommended on the bag or can of food, measure and feed consistently — this should really be emphasized : Measure and Feed Consistently. Once you are measuring and feeding consistently, it is easy to make adjustments depending on the pets body condition. Typically we recommend feeding adult pets twice per day, more frequently when they are under 4-5 months of age.
#3: Is My Pet Overweight?
Pets being overweight is a common problem. Many of them enjoy food greatly and we, as pet owners, love to make them happy – – – so it is only natural that we feed them more than they need. But it’s not good for them, especially as they age. We check their Body Condition with each Physical Exam to determine if they are at a good weight. At home a good rule of thumb is that you should be able to feel their ribs. If you can’t feel their ribs then they are likely overweight. Consistent measuring and feeding of their food is important, if they’re overweight, then you can measure 10-25% less food and achieve weight loss. Exercise and low calorie diets can also be important.
#4: Which Vaccines Should My Pet Get?
Vaccines should start between 6-8 weeks of age and be given every 3-4 weeks until 4 months of age. After that, some vaccines are given yearly or every 3 years depending on the pet’s needs. The vaccines can be incredibly important at preventing life threatening disease. In some cases however, vaccines can be unnecessary or even cause problems. As part of our Yearly Physical Exams, we evaluate what your pet’s needs are and advise you as to which vaccines are needed. We want you to be involved in the decision.
#5: How Soon Can My Puppy Go Outside?
It is a dilemma (sort of) because you need to exercise them and get their energy “out”, also you want to socialize them. BUT PARVO PARVO PARVO is around (among other viruses), there is no way to guarantee that a pet won’t get sick. The Parvo virus can live in the soil for over 5 years. Keep them in your yard or visit family/ friends that you know are “safe” until they are 4 months old and have finished the full vaccine series.
#6: Should I Brush My Pet’s Teeth?
Brushing teeth is great preventative care for your pet. Bacteria form a hard plaque after approximately 72 hours. The brushing action physically disrupts the bacteria and prevents plaque formation. We certainly acknowledge that it is difficult and impossible with some pets. Best to use flavored toothpaste and set your expectations accordingly. It will take time to get them used to the routine. Chews, treats, mouth washes can be helpful too – but are not nearly as effective as brushing. With our Yearly Physical Exams, we will check your pet’s teeth and give advice. Many pets benefit from a dental procedure (whole other topic).
#7: What Should I Do About Flea, Tick, and Heartworm Medication?
Fleas are prevalent here, Ticks are becoming more and more common, Heartworms are not common – but they are around at a low level. Every pet’s needs are different and there are a multitude of products for Flea, Tick, and Heartworm control. We recommend discussing which product fits your pet’s needs as part of your Yearly Physical Exam.
#8: How Often Should I Give My Pet A Bath?
It depends on whether your pet has a skin condition, whether they get dirty a lot, AND whether they sleep on your PILLOWS or not. It also depends on what kind of shampoo you use. Most pet’s don’t need a bath on a regular basis. Monthly is a reasonable time frame. Some dogs really benefit from twice weekly baths. If they are being bathed frequently, then a soap-free shampoo is a good idea so that their natural oils aren’t removed by the soap. If they have a specific skin condition, then we will recommend certain medicated shampoos.
#9: Why Does My Pet Eat Poop?
It is SO Gross! Fortunately that is the main issue = “Grossness”. They don’t do it due to an essential nutrient deficiency. There is simply a small amount of food material still there that tempts their appetite (hard to imagine). One genuine problem with this, is that it can introduce intestinal parasites – so clean and discourage the behavior as best possible.
#10: Can My Pet Give Me A Sickness, OR Can I Give My Pet A Sickness?
No (for the most part – there are always exceptions), rare skin infections can be transferred and intestinal parasites can be transferred. AND RABIES! Typical colds, flu, etc cannot be transferred.