Pet Parents: Get ready to feel justified
After years and years of being given funny looks for calling our pets “kids,” we recently felt extremely justified. While reading an article about the negative effects smoking can have on your pet, the author equated the need to be concerned for pets to the same level that you would have for a child. In other words, and clearly taking this to its logical conclusion, YOUR PET IS A KID TOO! Finally, researchers around the world agree with what we have been saying all along. It is totally normal and a good thing to have concern for your pet’s health and well-being, to the same degree that you would a human.
We agree, we may take it a bit far when we dress them in matching outfits with their human siblings, but come on, the point is they are really important members of the family and should be treated as such.
In case you have not already joined the “my furry child is your human child’s equal” party yet, here are a few reasons why we think you should consider your pet to be as important as a human:
Potty training is the biggest nightmare and best blessing
If you have ever had a puppy or a child you know exactly what we are talking about. It only takes a few sleepless nights of poopy diapers or trips into the cold before you regret ever bringing either little monster home. For both pets and babies, potty training is the first hurdle in the gauntlet that is your relationship together. Our only word of wisdom to future family-starters: consistency. Whether you are dealing with a human baby or a pet baby, the more consistent you are with potty training, the faster they start to do it right on their own.
They share many health concerns
We wouldn’t be your veterinarians if we didn’t talk about health. Pets and humans share many similar health problems. As the article we mentioned early talks about, a big illness shared between furry and non-furry kids is cancer. Rarely talked about in the pet-owner community, cancer affects one in four dogs and very high percentages of cats. Along with more common health concerns such as, skin and food allergies and ear infections, many more serious health concerns can often be detected in pets through routine wellness examinations. Your pet may even go home with a cookie, just like if they were human.
Children are germ magnets, and similar can be said for pets. All you have to do is ask your veterinary technician how many pets that day they saw with a parasite. Pets are notorious for bringing home anything and everything they can. The same way you would constantly remind a child to wash their hands to not get germs, keeping your pet on constant flea, tick, and parasite prevention medication can help keep your pet, your human kids, and you free from bites, bugs, and parasites!
Cuddle buddies forever
For the first 7 years, every human and every pet loves you unconditionally. They want to make you happy as their caregiver and proud of their creations –be it a soggy, chewed up teddy bear or macramé masterpiece. Children and pets want to give us love and affection, and gosh how we do live for it! Although we can’t say the same for your human-child, your pet-child will continue that undying love and desire to cuddle forever
If your furry kid has not been to the vet lately for a check-up, now is the time! The American Animal Hospital Association (LINK) recommends that cats and dogs be seen twice a year for annual check ups. Be sure to give us a call (LINK) today to help keep your furry kid health and safe!
So we may be a day late in chatting about Valentine’s Day but St. Patrick and his clovers can wait a little longer! If you haven’t already shared in the festivities with your furry love, now is your chance. Go grab your pet and cuddle up for some great holiday reading. We normally spend holidays warning you of the dangers holidays bring and the awful things that can happen to your pet, but this holiday is all about love and so are we!
How to show your pet how much you love them:
For the dopy dog this will be easy, wake up and acknowledge they exist. Not surprisingly, their undying love for you will continue on. If your pet is a bit more discerning you may have to do a little work.
- Pet them in all the right places. Cats and dogs have special spots that they love to be petted. Although each pet will vary to some extent, you can generally assume the following applies:
- Watch movies with animal noises. Spend your Valentine’s weekend curled up watching a rom-com starring a special furry actor or actress (Marly and Me or the recent internet sensation The Notebark anyone?). The sounds of other pets will likely perk your own pet’s interest and you may even find that they watch the movie right along with you.
- Take a romantic stroll along the beach. San Diego is the perfect spot for seaside romance, and why not share some of that love with your pup. Although not recommend this for cats, your dog will surely love the chance to romp in the water while you enjoy the setting sun. You may even find human love while you stroll along…
Whatever you end up doing with your furry valentine, we hope it involves lots of love and we wish everyone a safe and happy Valentine’s Weekend!
If you are totally bummed that we did not go into lengthy details about how to keep your pet safe on Valentine’s Day, be sure to check out the ASPCA’s pet-friendly Valentine’s day guide.
In a recent chat with one of our resident cat experts/technicians, Diane, we were reminded of the importance of owning a cat carrier. Diane came to PAH years ago with a background as both a veterinary technician and disaster responder. During hurricane Ike and the big San Diego fires, Diane was one of the many brave volunteers who went into the danger zones to help rescue pets. One of the things she said she always stresses to clients, friends, and family is the importance of a cat carrier. We wanted to share some of her tips and suggestions for keeping your cat safe, and the important role their carrier plays!
- Emergency situations – As we begin to panic or show signs of distress in an emergency, our pets get nervous and begin to panic right along with us. Many pets, and especially cats, will immediately look for a place to hide. If you must quickly evacuate your home, having them already in love with their carrier will help make sure you all leave quickly and safely. If they already know their carrier as a “safe space” they will likely go there to hide, long before you even start to look for them.
- Comfort and Security – Cats, as well as dogs, enjoy having a place that is their own to relax in. For many cats, a carrier may also be the perfect place to hide from their annoying dog-siblings or avoid humans when they don’t feel like being social.
- The sake of your car –Let’s say you need to go to the vet, and your cat, who already hates to be bothered, is now being forced to ride in the car. I’m sure you can guess, if it hasn’t already happened to you, what happens for most cats who ride in cars. At best you may end up with a few scratches as they clung to your neck, arms, or legs in fear. Likely you will also have vomit on your leg from their motion sickness, and a cat hiding under the seat, clinging to the floor mat, refusing to come out.
How to get your cat comfortable with a carrier:
Hopefully somewhere between the fear of your pets fighting and a vomit-filled car ride, we convinced you of the need to have a carrier for your cat. Once you’ve bought your carrier, the next step is to get your cat comfortable going in. Our best recommendation is to just leave it out and open where they will likely find it. Placing a few treats in the carrier along with a nice blanket. Over time you will find your cat going in their carrier on their own without much, if any, encouragement.
Then when you know you will need your cat to be in their carrier, say for a trip to the vet, you can just put a few treats in the carrier a couple hours before the trip and wait for them to go in. In an emergency, they will likely find their way in to their carrier on their own, having already become accustomed to its safe and comforting environment.