Pets are known to be beneficial for both your mind and body. They adore you, follow you around, give you endless kisses and cuddles, welcome you with excitement and even encourage physical activity. And while you turn to them for these benefits, they depend on you completely for sustenance. Having a pet is a privilege, but it also comes with a fair share of responsibilities that go beyond just cuddles, playtime and feeding. Pet ownership is a lifelong commitment that requires time and dedication. And who better to address the subject of responsible pet parenting than a veterinarian with 25+ years of expertise in the field?
Every year, the last Saturday of April is observed as World Veterinary Day. To mark the event this year, we asked Dr. Umesh Kallahalli, highly esteemed and well-known veterinarian and Director of Scientific Affairs at Mars to shed light on the important principles of pet ownership that he believes every pet parent should abide by. Here’s what he had to say…
#1 Consider your lifestyle and environment
Make sure your pet’s requirements match your lifestyle and environment especially when it comes to space, exercise and personality. For example, a smaller dog like a pug would do better in an apartment instead of a St. Bernard.
#2 Do not treat dogs like human beings
Dogs are very different from human beings, especially when it comes to nutrition and physiology. Do not feed them your food, snacks or table scraps. They require food that is formulated for them.
#3 Invest in early socialisation
A well socialised dog makes a good citizen. Ensure your pooch is socialised with other dogs as well as other humans. This makes them confident and encourages training of acceptable social behaviour.
#4 Never punish your dog
Punishing your dog is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. The trick for training is to reward good behaviour (treats and praise) and simply ignore unwanted behaviour.
#5 Schedule regular visits to the veterinarian
Training, exercise, grooming and regular visits to the veterinarian are essential to keep your dog healthy and happy. Ask your veterinarian any questions that you might have about your pooch, no question is too silly!
#6 Preventive health care is a must
Investing in preventive health care like vaccination, deworming, parasite control, microchipping and insurance may help your dog live longer.
#7 Senior dogs require more attention
Senior dogs need regular health check ups and special care which may improve their quality of life and help them live longer.
#8 Seek information from credible sources
Always turn to your veterinarian to answer your queries. Do not rely on the internet or fellow pet parents for medical advice because every dog is different, even if they are the same breed.
Understanding the needs of your pet is essential when it comes to providing optimal care. Remember, when you give your pooch your best, the rewards are only better!