“Prevention is the best cure” Erasmus said, and let me tell you.. he was not wrong!
It is best to look after our health rather than neglecting it and having to deal with what life throws at us. What are the usual areas of concern you ask ?
- My fur Is my fur radiant and rich or do people look at me and think “what has happened to it” ? ( By the way how dare anyone call me “it”?? Anyways, we’re in the middle of a serious conversation so I’ll get back to that some other time). Do I have bald spots ? Could it be just a fungus or is it something more serious?
- My teeth and breath! My breath doesn’t have to be fresh as a daisy everyday, but keep in mind that poor oral health can lead to periodontal diseases. What does this mean? The overgrowth of bacterial microflora in the oral cavity can cause mainly tooth loss (toothless) and secondarily the migration of these bacteria to my organs such as heart, lungs and kidneys causing bacterial endocarditis as well as other high-risk diseases. Also read: “Breath fresh as a daisy”
- My pretty eyes… “Look deeply into my eyes and you can see my soul” as the saying goes. This is true (romance is great after all), but it is also true that the eyes are an important source of information since they are connected to both neurological and vascular system. Changes in eye color, redness, teary or blurred eyes require a visit to our good old friend.. aka the vet. It may be something less serious, of course, such as a scratch or an infection that will go away after medication, but it can also be a warning for something far more serious.
- My curves… Yeah I know.. men like curvy women and a bit of a tummy in men is appealing to women. In my case, however, being overweight is one of the worst things you can do to me! The extra weight opens the door to a series of threats to my health: joint pain, diabetes, cancer and more. So control yourself and limit my portions by having the recommended amount listed on the back of the package as a guide. * My joints As mentioned above the extra pounds mean more strain on my joints . Of course, apart from obesity, excessive exercise also plays a key role in joint health. The bottom line is everything in moderation!
- My mood Just so you know, if you suddenly see me curling up in a corner and sighing, it’s not due to disappointments in my personal life. Anything you notice that happens all of a sudden, it’s either because I’m still a puppy or I’m getting too old , either way you should investigate it.
- My poop! Yes, you read that right. Normal stools are a sign of good health… Stools can say a lot about the state of my health. Small, tight and fresh stools are ok. That indicates good health. Dry and hard stools can be a sign of a health or nutritional issue, or even dehydration. Diarrhea and blood in the stool, if they last more than two days, a visit to the vet is required.
- Eating habits that seem strange to you This one is similar to the mood mentioned above. For example, if you observe a sudden loss in my appetite although usually I’d empty my bowl every time, something is obviously bothering me. Many times, of course, the reason may be something innocent, such as excessive heat or even a change in the taste of the food, of the same company (!), However it’s best not to make assumptions but to communicate the matter immediately and directly with my vet . If for some reason you decided to change my food and I don’t like the new one, I may just start being a rebel. But you have to remember that usually the transition from the old to the new food, must be done gradually. You can’t change my food overnight as there is a high risk of me getting my stomach upset …
Briefly: Gradually add the new food to my diet following the following steps:
- Day 1 to 3 (25% new, 75% old)
- Day 4 to 6 (50% new, 50% old)
- Day 7 to 9 (75% new, 25% old)
- Day 10 and over (100% new)
- My diet/ eating habits is a huge subject which we should get back to at a later stage and in more depth. For now what you have to keep in mind is that just as humans are what they eat, same goes for pets and animal in general. Your best consultant is our vet. The food you provide me must be of good quality of course, but most importantly I have to like it! Although the costs of quality pet food might be concerning to you, mind that in the long run it can save us from many unpleasant adventures. Moving forward, there are only two things you must pay attention to. Quality and quantity.
- Vaccination. It is a must. We should not neglect it
- Sterilisation at the appropriate age One of the many benefits of sterilisation is that it can reduce the risk of developing breast cancer for female animals and testicular cancer for male animals, the two types of cancer with the higher chances of metastasis. Sterilisation is something that will discuss extensively in the future.
- Annual checkups at my vet, twice a year after a certain age. And as we have already mentioned above, prevention is the best cure…