It can get pretty lonely once the children grow up and many of us empty nesters rely heavily on our pets for company. But we don’t want to replace the children. The best pets for seniors are easy to care for and good company. And of all of the breeds of dog, the whippet is by far the least time consuming and easiest of the lot.
At Pet Medical clinics we are running a free dental check during the month of August. Why are we doing this? Over 80% of aging pets suffer some sort of dental disease and it becomes more severe with age. Animals with dental disease left untreated will lead to teeth that require extraction due to infection within the gums and jawbone. These teeth can be very painful despite animals hiding mouth pain very well. Bacteria in the mouth can cause damage to the heart, liver and kidneys.
Inter-dog aggression is fighting and aggressive behaviour directed from one dog to another dog. The most common cause of inter-dog aggression is food related, but it can be triggered by household changes, and can happen when dogs are fearful or over-excited. It is important to learn to understand dog body language to help predict fights. When these fights occur, always remember, SAFETY FIRST. Never come between two dogs that are fighting as they can injure people very badly without meaning to. Use loud noises, water (like the spray from a hose) or throw a blanket over them and use a broom to separate them. Once they have separated, take the dogs away from each other to prevent another fight breaking out.
Obviously, nipping and biting behaviour from your pet is less than ideal, and for a number of reasons it’s important to limit it. Realistically, they’re natural behaviours for dogs and cats. In fact, they’re natural behaviours for kids too! What's the first thing an infant does when it grasps something new? Chances are, it goes in the mouth, and if it's fun or feels good it happens again! It’s exactly the same for cats and dogs. That said, when it comes to your cats and dogs, you need to draw a line to make sure you have a happy, well-socialised pet who doesn’t terrorise the family or the neighbourhood.
Just as human vaccines have eradicated devastating diseases such as smallpox and polio, pet vaccinations are a vital weapon in the fight against the many diseases that threaten our beloved pets. Take parvo (parvovirus), for example. This horrific virus causes viral gastroenteritis in dogs that literally strips the lining of the intestine. It's hideously painful and often results in death. Parvo is also highly contagious. Just a single gram of faeces infected with parvo can spread the disease to another 1,000 animals. The virus will also stay in the environment for about 12 months, and can even survive on your shoes and clothes for up to six months.
Our pets’ diets are getting worse and it’s coming at a huge cost—pet dental problems. But there are simple steps you can take to make your pet’s life healthier and happier. How do you spot a pet dental problem? Breath odour is a sure sign. If your dog’s breath stinks, it usually means they’ve got an infection. Get them to the vet immediately! Don’t let it get to that stage.
Our companion pets aren’t just animals—they’re our beloved friends and family members. But while we research gourmet recipes and meal plan for the family, we don’t always think about what’s going into Fido’s mouth. Instead, we just grab the closest pack of pet food off the shelf at the supermarket, with its convenient promise of a complete food in a bag. The truth is, commercial pet food isn’t all created equal. Just like there’s a difference between take-out fries and a salad, there’s a huge scope in terms of nutrition when it comes to pet food. Does this mean you need to fork out for the ones with the fanciest packaging and boldest health claims? Not necessarily. With over two decades in clinical practice and working with animals throughout the world, I’ve learned what’s really important when it comes to feeding your pet.
If your cat or dog is not doing the things it usually does as routine then most likely there is something wrong with them. But how do you decipher the problems and fix them before they become an issue? Most pet owners get a good idea of what their cat or dog’s regular routines are. Some cats love jumping up on a particular chair or table. Some are particularly active—others, not so much. Sometimes we all wish our furry family members could talk so they could tell us what’s wrong, so while we wait for a feline translating device to be made (ahem! Google?), you should be reading your pet’s body language and taking them for regular vet check-ups. Dogs don’t whinge, complain or tell you they don’t feel well. Whingeing is a human thing. You whinge because your partner cares about what you have to say. Dogs don't whinge because no-one likes it. It doesn't get them anything, so they’ve learned not to do it. They suffer in silence, so we don't realise they're unwell. We don't realise they're unwell unless they stop eating, or they're vomiting, or drinking 10 litres of water. We often miss the subtle signs of ageing. So, what are those subtle signs?
Having senior pets can be fantastic. You know each other, you know each other's habits and you've got a routine happening. Gone are the days of hole-digging and shredded furniture. It’s a beautiful time. But just like us, as pets get older they start to have health problems—and they’re easy to miss in the early stages. Dogs don’t whinge, complain or tell you they don’t feel well. Whingeing is a human thing. You whinge because your partner cares about what you have to say. Dogs don't whinge because no-one likes it. It doesn't get them anything, so they’ve learned not to do it. They suffer in silence, so we don't realise they're unwell. We don't realise they're unwell unless they stop eating, or they're vomiting, or drinking 10 litres of water. We often miss the subtle signs of ageing. So, what are those subtle signs?
Dogs can be such gorgeous companions—lovely to come home to, fun to play with and a good reason to take a walk every day. As long as they are well-adjusted, relaxed and well-behaved, dogs are an absolute joy to have around. We might focus our attention on good dog behaviour, but it is the behaviour of their owners that is the real key. Training dogs is absolutely not just a matter of rewarding good behaviour with treats. That could just as easily result in dog behaviour that is quite obnoxious—like the one that leapt onto my desk and devastated my keyboard recently. This dog could do flips, but he could not behave himself in a way that made him good to have around. He hadn’t been trained, he had been taught to do tricks.