Pet Custodianship – Need to know before getting a pet
Making the decision to own a pet can be compared with the life-choice of having children. It requires a commitment for the entire lifespan of the animal. It requires an owned responsibility for the well-being of that animal. This month is Pet cancer awareness month. What is the inherent responsibility that comes with owning a pet that might have, or possibly will develop, cancer in its lifetime?
On receiving a puppy or kitten as a gift, or purchasing your ‘bundle of love’ yourself: there are excitement, affection and a great deal of enthusiasm in owning your new treasure. Bear in mind, that in this very important formative stage of their lives; there are crucial steps required to ensure you have a pet that brings you more joy than sorrow, in the years to come. Firstly, medical requirements include fully vaccinating your new baby and regularly treating them for endo- and ectoparasites (see relevant blogs on our website: https://www.abvc.ae/category/blog/general-info-blog/). Secondly, are behavioral requirements. Such as teaching your young pet the importance of discipline, and to come when they are called. It is necessary to re-enforce desired behavioral patterns. Such as house-training, not showing aggressive or anxious behavior around young children, and obeying their owners.
As your pet matures, a set routine creates a sense of security for them. This includes regular feeding times, with a high-quality complete pet-food diet. This food should be for the correct age/life stage and the correct breed or size of your animal. Regular walks at certain times of the day (two or three short walks), for doggies, need to remain consistent when possible.
As your pet ages, regular (annual, for a healthy pet) checks with your veterinarian become necessary. When abnormalities are noted early on in the progression of a disease, much more can be done than when a syndrome is left undiagnosed. Thus we at Al Barsha Veterinary Clinic recommend annual vet checks and possibly blood tests, or further examination, of your aging pet.
Although cancers do occur in younger animals, the majority of these debilitating diseases occur in older pets. If one preventively responds to possible concerns, there is much more scope regarding treatment options.
So how do you care for a pet who might develop cancer during their lifetime? Good pet custodianship with a regular routine, a healthy discipline and reward system, an excellent diet and regular check-ups with your vet. Through the above lifestyle choices, you will be much more aware of any behavioral or medically related changes in your pet. This will enable you to rapidly identify any possible concerns to your vet.