How Do You Show Your Love for Your Pet on Valentine’s Day?
February means Valentine’s Day and showering your beloved with flowers and gifts. But wait! Your pet also needs love and there’s many ways to show it.
Since our pets love us so unconditionally, make sure to do right by them. You can’t give them chocolate because it’s dangerous to their health. There are many other things you can do to show your pet the love, according to the article, “Ten things you can do to show your pets you love them,” at Best Friends. Here are some ideas:
• Ensure you feed your pet a healthy diet. Discuss with your vet and check out the American College of Veterinary Nutrition at acvn.org.
• Get out and exercise with your pet. Whether it’s walking, running, flyball, agility or playing games, you and your pet will be better for it. “For cats, try interactive play with wand toys (we like Da Bird) or balls,” the article said. “Some cats can be taught to enjoy walks outdoors wearing a harness and leash.”
• Try relationship-based training. “Reward-based training classes help you to build a relationship with your pet, provide her with mental (and sometimes physical) enrichment, and let you just have fun with her,” the article said.
According to the article, “Ways to Show Your Pet You Love Them” at ASPCA.org, there are other great ways to show your pet some love including:
• Spend an entire day with your pet either on a walk or hike. Try a new adventure or route.
• Your pet loves treats, so why not make some homemade ones? “But be sure that any recipes you choose are pet-friendly and veterinarian approved before making them for your pet,” the ASPCA article said.
Remember to show your pet all the love on Valentine’s Day but also continue to show it throughout the year.
February is Pet Dental Health Month: The importance of Dentals for Your Pets
We all know how important it is to care for our teeth. Your pet’s dental care is also just as important. Good dental hygiene is important for all-around health for humans and pets.
It’s pretty common for dogs to have dental disease, according to the article, “5 Reasons Why Dog Dental Care Is Important” at PetMD.com. “By age 3, over 80 percent of dogs have some form of dental disease, also known as periodontal disease,” the article said. Without proper dental care, it can be serious.
Dental disease in dogs “affects the teeth, gums and structures that support and surround a dog’s teeth,” the article said, adding that it starts with plaque buildup. When that hardens it turns to tartar.
The article advises to watch for the following signs of dental disease in dogs:
• Broken teeth
• Loose teeth
• Bad breath
• Painful, bleeding mouth
• Refuse or unable to eat and drink
Other issues to be mindful of include discolored teeth or teeth covered with tartar, and swelling around the mouth, according to the article, “Pet dental care” at American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).
If you notice any of the above issues, it’s time for a visit to your veterinarian. Be on top of your pet’s dental health as he may have periodontal disease, the most common dental issue in dogs and cats. Early detection is important. “Periodontal disease doesn’t just affect your pet’s mouth,” the AVMA article said. “Other health problems found in association with periodontal disease include kidney, liver, and heart muscle changes.”
Treatment is done by a dental cleaning by your veterinarian and under anesthesia.
Stay on top of your pet’s dental health by brushing their teeth to keep them healthy between cleanings, the AVMA article said. And, get your pet’s teeth checked yearly.
The Importance of Spay/Neuter for Pets
February is known for Valentine’s Day, and it’s also Spay/Neuter Awareness Month. Show your pets love by ensuring they are spayed or neutered. It helps to slow down overpopulation of pets and also has many health benefits.
With many reasons to spay/neuter, there’s no reason not to do it for your pets. “The average lifespan of spayed and neutered cats and dogs is demonstrably longer than the lifespan of those not,” according to the article, “Why you should spay/neuter your pet” at The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).
Unaltered pets are more likely to roam, which puts them at risk of fights with animals. Altered pets are less likely to roam. Additionally, altered pets are less likely to get certain cancers. Altered males are not at risk of testicular cancer. Females who are not spayed are at risk of pyometra and uterine, mammary gland, and other cancers, the HSUS article said.
“When you consider the potential long-term medical costs incurred for an unaltered pet, the savings afforded by spay/neuter are clear, especially given the plethora of low-cost spay/neuter clinics now available,” the HSUS article said.
Additionally, your altered pets are more likely to be better behaved. They will typically be less aggressive and “less likely to engage in territory-marking behavior such as spraying urine in your house,” according to the article, “Reasons to Spay or Neuter Your Pet” at Fetch by WebMD.
According to the Fetch article, other positives include:
• Spayed female cats and dogs will not go into heat.
• Pets will not gain weight. “A pet who gets enough exercise and eats a healthy diet in moderation will remain fit and healthy,” the Fetch article said.
• The fight against overpopulation of pets helps keep more animals out of shelters.
Celebrate Spay/Neuter Awareness Month by spreading the word.