Beth Timperley is a trainee vet from West Sussex. She sat down with us and talked about pet health and what we can do to help our furry friends’ day to day well-being.
1. What tips can you provide to our pet owners about pet health?
Stay aware and make sure that they are healthy on a daily basis. So, that means regular exercise and regular healthy snacks and meals. Other areas to keep an eye on, and your vet can help, include, arthritis, dental care, diabetes, ear care, obesity and vaccinations.
2. Are there things that can be done that maybe some people don’t realise?
The obvious things like keeping your pet’s mouth clean, visiting the vet, watching their weight, and feeding them healthy foods really shouldn’t be underestimated. If you do this regularly your pet has a better chance of staying healthy. One tip worth remembering is when the winter weather arrives with it comes the challenging conditions. Our animals like to roam as well and if they are doing so alone it increases the chance that they could have an accident.
3. How often should owners take their pet to the vet?
More and more vets are introducing pet health plans to encourage customer loyalty. However, there are two main areas a vet can help so it’s important to keep an eye out for signs. The first is that we can treat your pet if/when they are ill. And secondly we can help prevent disease (through things like vaccinations as I mentioned above). Aside from these examples it will vary. For example, a kitten or puppy will attend a vet regularly in the first few months for vaccinations. As a general rule we normally say every 6-12 months so that your pet can have a head to tail check.
4. How do you think pet health awareness can improve?
This is a great question because we can all learn and try to improve our knowledge. What I do think people do well is things like Walk Your Pet Month and other such awareness days. Our animal friends are companions and friends so it’s important that we do as much as possible to help them stay healthy.
5. Dental health is one area we have focused on. What can owners be doing on a daily basis to ensure their dog has healthy teeth?
If your pet is young try and get them used to having their teeth cleaned and mouth examined. You can do things as well, like making sure their teeth are clean and that they don’t have bad breath. As they get older and if the dental disease gets worse they may start to drool, put a paw in their mouth or have difficulty eating. Your pet will use their teeth for different purposes so certain teeth may accumulate tartar in different ways.