Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spring Health Tips From Dr. Marty Becker

Although some sections of the country still are experiencing below-average frigid temperatures, I find it hard to believe that spring arrives in only four days.

To help pet parents gear up for springtime, Dr. Marty Becker, “America’s Veterinarian” shared some of his timely tips and tricks for the upcoming seasonal transition.

With spring shedding upon us,you might be already seeing an abundance of pet hair settling on furniture, carpets and floors. To deal with this spring shedding, brush your pet thoroughly to help get rid of the loose hair and finish by giving your pet a bath.

Since animals have a different skin pH than humans, only use a shampoo made specifically for pets. Dr. Marty highly recommends the Furminator as an excellent grooming tool for cats. This easy to use accessory not only reduces up to 90 percent of pet shedding, it also helps kitties from producing those nasty and potentially dangerous trichobezoars (aka hairballs). Be sure to check out the included directions so your kitty’s experience with the Furminator is purrfect. Our own cats love it!

During the winter months, pets tend to get less exercise and gain those extra pounds. Now that the weather is getting warmer, while pets don’t worry much about the upcoming “bikini season”, maintaining our pet’s optimum weight is essential to keep them healthy.

Did you know that 52.5 percent of dogs, and 58.3 percent of cats in the United States are overweight? Since obesity in pets is the cause of many serious medical conditions, it’s a no brainer that Dr Marty encourages getting that excess weight off.  Please consult with your veterinarian prior to putting your pet on exercise and weight reductions programs.  And since pets age at a much faster rate than humans, Dr. Marty stresses the importance of pets having semi-annual veterinary wellness exams in order to nip in the bud any underlying medical problems.

Providing your pet with excellent nutrition is the cornerstone of robust health. At the same time, to prevent weight gain and keeping it off, Dr. Marty recommends feeding pets smaller portions several times a day. Using food puzzles is an excellent way to give pets some exercise pets and to keep them from getting bored.  However, most food puzzles for cats are configured to dispense dry food only, so for guardians who feed moist food, Dr. Marty suggests putting small amounts of their food on plastic container lids, hidden in different locations throughout the house.

Maintaining healthy teeth and gums is crucial to keep pets in great condition. While many owners brush their pet’s teeth regularly, Dr. Marty also recommends the C.E.T. Oral Hygiene Chews for dogs and cats, which are available online.

Speaking of nipping medical conditions in the bud, Dr. Marty strongly recommends year-round pet parasite control--no matter in what part of the country you reside. Indoor pets are at just as high a risk of becoming infested as those who live outdoors.  Fleas, ticks and other “heinous hitchhikers” can enter homes on the pant legs or shoes of an unsuspecting human. They can gain access through an open screened in window, and hop right onto an unwary cat or dog. In fact, just one tiny mosquito carrying heartworm larvae can transmit this extremely dangerous parasite to your beloved furry companion.