Pets are one more member of our family. They are often the ones who listen to us and help us overcome moments of loneliness and isolation. But what do we really do for them, do we take care of them properly?
In the following article we will show you some recommendations on how to take care of your pet at home.
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It is well known that pets increase the sense of well-being in a home. They improve our mood, bring a smile to our faces, awaken our forgotten ability to play, and thus cover a good part of our bonding interactions.
In addition, they are generous. They are attentive to us, they accompany us, they welcome us with joy when we return home; and the attention they give us definitely improves our self-esteem.
This is why many people with relationship difficulties, depression or existential crises, are recommended to have pets if they want to, because of the great emotional benefit they bring.
They are very good therapeutic companions, they help to control anxiety attacks, and in homes where there are children or teenagers, they contribute to form their sense of responsibility.
Having said this, we will also review the responsibilities that require their care, in addition to these undeniable benefits. (1)
We will refer mainly to the most frequent domestic animals: dogs and cats.
Our commitment to them
Several international institutions have dealt with the responsible care of our pets, and we could summarize a basic guide of the most important points as follows:
Take care of them and respect them: They are not objects, they feel and suffer. You will have to take care of your pet during its life, approximately 15 years. Are you sure you can afford that commitment?
Protection and food: Give them a safe place in your home, where they can shelter and protect themselves from extreme temperatures. Provide them with adequate food, fresh water, and keep their place clean. Daily exercise and play with your pet: It helps them get tired, stay in shape and prevents them from destroying objects in the home due to excess energy and need to play.
Health: Keep them free of parasites, bathe and brush them to remove loose hair that keeps their fur dull and affects their skin. Take him to the vet when he needs it, and to have his vaccination schedule updated. Taking care of their dental health is also an important item, but unfortunately, not very much taken into account.
Dental cleaning for your pets
Contrary to general belief, cleaning pets' mouths is vitally important to their overall health.
The vast majority of middle-aged dogs have dental problems that affect everything related to their diet. And this is even more prevalent in the mini breed.
An animal with inflamed gums usually refuses to eat, or does so less frequently, because of the pain it causes.
How do we know if our pet has dental problems?
The first thing to observe is if tartar has accumulated on their teeth, which is a consequence of bacterial plaque.
The dogs usually most affected are those that regularly eat soft textured food, or frequent treats. This food is more difficult to eliminate, adheres and causes tartar to appear earlier and in greater quantity.
Dogs that are already two or three years old, and especially small or minis (less than 5 kg) usually suffer a lot from this situation if they are not controlled by the veterinarian (2).
Periodontal disease also causes pain and bleeding, sometimes not observable, but detectable by blood in the stool.
If this inflammation and infection progresses, it can result in the loss of teeth, with the consequent problems that this entails.
Gingivitis on the other hand is very common in dogs that have not had frequent dental cleanings, and we detect it by bad breath, swollen gums and pain, detectable in the revision because they refuse to be touched in the mouth.
All these untreated conditions affect overall health and can lead to endocarditis. Infective endocarditis is caused by an infectious agent (often bacteria) that inflames the membrane lining the inside of the heart (endocardium). It occurs in dogs and cats, it is more frequent in large animals, but none of them is exempt.
Hence the importance of professional control of the health of our pets, and why something that seems simple as oral health, should not be left to chance, or postponed (3).
What is a dental check-up?
If you think that your pet presents some of the symptoms we have mentioned, and that his mouth has a lot of accumulated tartar, it is almost certain that he needs a cleaning to avoid complications.
It is a brief procedure, which does not last much more than an hour, and the objective is to eliminate any debris that may cause inflammation, pain and infection.
This practice must be performed in a specialized center, by a veterinary professional. The animal must be relaxed and still in order to be able to work with it.
If necessary, mild sedation is used, so as not to cause stress to the animal during the procedure.
Ultrasound equipment is used to remove tartar and plaque until there is no plaque left. Then a polishing is performed.
The professional will indicate according to the state of the animal, the frequency with which it should be treated; from a certain age they may need an annual or biannual cleaning.
These small cares will significantly increase the quality of the time shared with our pet, we will feel happier and more responsible for the shared affection.
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