5 Things Every Pet Parent Should KnowFebruary 22, 2023
Animal advocates work to prevent fear, abuse, and exploitation of animals while taking active steps to ensure their long-term health.
Some may assume you need to be a pet owner to be a pet advocate, but that is not the case. Educating yourself, volunteering, donating, or creating fundraising events are other helpful ways to be involved in the animal community.
If you are a pet parent, of course you can be an advocate in the ways listed above, but you also have opportunities a bit closer to home. Taking care of an animal is a rewarding responsibility that has a plethora of benefits, outside of having a loving, furry family member.
One integral part of being an active pet parent is ensuring your animal is living a healthy life. Our top 5 things every pet parent should know are just a few of the ways to improve their overall well being.
Another essential aspect of being a pet advocate is taking your animal to the vet for regular annual or semi-annual exams. However, a trip to the vet can be a hassle and anxiety-inducing experience for many pet parents. In addition, the change of scenery for animals can be a lot to manage, let alone the variety of smells, other 4-legged friends, and the unknown of possibly being poked and prodded.
But, routine exams are extremely important because there are some issues that can only be detected by a trained eye and/or specific diagnostic testing. Dr. Josie Hamilton has seen this first hand.
“I was working an ER shift during my internship when a beautiful 2-year-old pitty was rushed back to the treatment room for significant respiratory distress, weakness, and urinating blood. Unfortunately, after getting a quick history from the owner and performing preliminary testing, it was determined that this pup had end-stage Heartworm Disease (sometimes referred to as Caval Syndrome). He passed away right there on the treatment table within minutes. “It was truly devastating for both the owner and the staff,” Dr. Hamilton shares. “Another terrible part of this story was when the owner asked me if there was anything he could have done to prevent his beloved pet’s untimely death. I had to tell him the truth- Yes, if this baby had been on heartworm prevention, all of this could have been prevented.”
The pup had seemed perfectly healthy up to this point to his owner, so he had not seen a veterinarian since his puppy vaccines. By skipping these routine annual appointments, the owner had missed out on crucial education from a veterinarian about the importance of parasite prevention/treatment, and the dog had missed out on routine testing for just such parasites. If there is one moral to this story, it is that with the aid of heartworm prevention, this sweet pet could have lived for many more years.
Often cats do not leave the house. This means a trip to the vet or any place outside of the home can be extremely anxiety-inducing. In many cases, this becomes a barrier for cat parents, and they choose to avoid the vet altogether. In fact, “researchers found that 52 percent of cats in the U.S. had not been taken to the veterinarian in the past year for necessary checkups. They also found that only half as many cats receive annual exams as dogs”.
By assuming their cat shows no visible signs of pain or disease, many internal issues – such as early kidney or heart disease – may be overlooked until it is too late.
One tactic to aid in the transition of bringing your cat to the vet is a cat carrier and some Feliway spray. Travel crates can help your cat feel more safe and comfortable while traveling outside of the home. At Burns Court Veterinary Care, we gently welcome animals to ensure they have a positive experience.
Vets are trained in preventative, maintenance, sick, and palliative care. But, there is a small subset of veterinarians who also focus on the patient’s experience and understand how scary vet visits can be for our furry friends.
That is where Fear Free® practice come in. Here at Burns Court Veterinary Care, our team has the education, tools, and training to create a less fearful experience for them. To us, this is what it means to be a Pet Advocate.
We employ a myriad of techniques to reduce the pain animals feel and calm them into a state that makes the appointment go smoothly — reducing fear and making it a better experience for the whole family. A more calm, happier pet at the vet clinic leads to more thorough exams, which result in earlier recognition and treatment of medical problems. And at the end of the day, a positive experience makes it easier to bring your animals back to the clinic for future appointments and encourages more consistent veterinary care over the life of the pet. Ultimately, this type of care allows your best fur friend to live a longer, healthier life.