How to Feed a Starving Dog Or Cat
Many people in the animal rescue world come upon dogs and cats who were rescued from truly bad conditions leaving the animals emaciated and starving. These people often know or learn about how to bring a dog or cat back to health and that includes not providing too much food.
According to the article, “Feeding the Starving Dog,” at petMD.com, “When dogs that have essentially been starved suddenly have free access to large amounts of food, they can become very sick and even die.”
First try to get to a veterinarian so that the animal can be assessed and prescribed a feeding plan, the article said. If that’s not immediately possible, take the following into consideration if you are entrusted with a starving dog or cat.
It’s easy to want to overfeed the animal because he is starving, but don’t do it. “If an emaciated and starved dog is suddenly overfed serious consequences, such as refeeding syndrome, await,” according to the article, “Caring for an Emaciated Dog,” at petMD.com. “This is because a sudden load of carbohydrates in a large meal can create serious shifts in potassium and phosphorus concentrations in all body cells.”
The signs of refeeding syndrome include:
• Muscle weakness
• Muscle cramps
• Red blood cell rupture
• Heart muscle damage and rhythm irregularities
• Respiratory failure
Serve the dog small meals every six hours (four times a day) and the food “should have adequate mineral composition, especially phosphorous, potassium and magnesium,” the “Caring for an Emaciated Dog” article said. “By feeding a highly digestible, meat-based ‘Puppy’ or ‘Growth’ food, along with certain supplements, recovery and weight gain should be evident in a short period of time–that is, as long as the dog has a normal appetite.”
What to Do with The New Pet You Adopted Over the Holidays
After adopting and bringing home a new pet for the holidays, what do you do? First ensure that your pet has everything needed to fit in with your family.
“The key to adding a new pet to your life the right way, is by being prepared—not just on the day you bring your new animal home, but for every day after,” according to the article, “What to Consider Before Getting a Pet for the Holidays (or Ever)” at PreventiveVet.com. “A pet is truly the gift that keeps on giving.”
During the holidays, family members are either home from school or take time off. This makes it the perfect time to buy all the things your new pet needs while also spending time together.
According to the article, “10 Tips to Prepare for Adopting a Dog,” at Hillspet.com, the following things can help you prepare for your new dog (and it can go for cats, too!):
• Buy everything needed, including collar, leash, food, bowls, bed, gate, treats, toys and grooming supplies.
• Make your home safe. Keep dangerous items out of reach or hide them. Decide who will walk, train and feed your pet.
• Designate a safe, private place.
• Give your pet the tour of the home to show him where everything is, including either the litter box or the yard.
• Introduce the family to your new pet. “The Animal Rescue League of Boston recommends bringing family members and other dogs outside one at a time to meet the new canine,” the Hillspet article said.
• Slowly switch your pet’s food.
• Start any training.
• Make sure you set up an appointment with your veterinarian for a checkup right away.
When you prepare your home and your family for the new pet, it will be an easier transition for everyone.
The Importance of Vaccinating Your Pet
There are many things to do for your pet to keep her healthy. It begins with veterinary checkups, healthy food, exercise, and lots of bonding and playtime, too. There are also important vaccinations that keep your dog protected against various diseases that can cause extreme harm to your pet and even death.
According to the article, “Vaccinations” at American Veterinary Medication Association (AVMA), “Vaccinations protect your pet from highly contagious and deadly diseases and improve your pet’s overall quality of life.”
The AVMA article points to five reasons to vaccinate your pet:
1. They prevent various pet illnesses.
2. For preventable diseases, vaccinations help avoid expensive treatments.
3. Not only do vaccinations prevent diseases that are passed among animals, they also prevent those they are passed from animals to humans.
4. Unvaccinated pets can be infected by diseases such as rabies and distemper that are often seen in wildlife.
5. There are many local or state ordinances that require some vaccinations, such as rabies.
Vaccinations help your pet from contracting contagious diseases when in a public place. “Many contagious diseases are airborne and your pet could easily be exposed through an open window,” according to the article, “Vaccinating Your Pet” at AmericanHumane.org. Unfortunately, your pet could get out the door and encounter a contagious animal. Additionally, your pet could be exposed at boarding facilities, dog parks or at the groomer.
It’s important to speak with your veterinarian before taking your pet to any place he could be exposed. “It is also important to keep in mind that vaccinations take a few days to a few weeks to become effective,” the American Humane article said.
So, speak to your veterinarian to ensure your pet is on track with vaccinations.