Proper pet care is the basic component of responsible pet ownership. When you adopt a pet, it is a lifetime commitment to take care of that family member that depends on you for his or her health and well-being. The unconditional love and joy that pets bring to our lives is much more than the added responsibility that comes with adding a companion to our family.
Animal welfare means how an animal is coping with the conditions in which it lives. An animal is in a good state of welfare if it is healthy, comfortable, well-nourished, safe, able to express innate behaviour, and if it is not suffering from unpleasant states such as pain, fear, and distress. Good animal welfare requires disease prevention and veterinary treatment, appropriate shelter, management, nutrition, humane handling. Protecting an animal's welfare means we are providing for its physical and mental needs.
1) PET HOUSING
Pets need protection from extreme temperatures and weather conditions. Some threats to pets include predators, animal fights, vehicle accidents, and disease transmission.
Cars, aggressive dogs, and predators are an ongoing threat to cats, which is why they should be kept indoor for their own safety. Many cats enjoy having a covered bed or living place. If you let your dog out off-leash in your yard, be sure he is wearing tags or microchipped with your up to date contact information. Always provide your pets shade and shelter, along with water supplies. Maintaining a hygiene at your pets housing is very important for you as well as your pets. Because your pets may carry infection from unhygienic conditions and it may also be a threat to your family, as some diseases can be transmitted from animals to humans.
Shelter from extreme weathers
Pet housing should be insulated to protect from cold weather. To keep your pet cozy, make a raised bed using a soft cushion or blanket. You can also make a bed of soft dry straw but change them often. Check and refresh water bowls.
Summer heat can be dangerous if the pets are ignored. Short-haired, close-shaven, and light-coloured pets are prone to sunburns. The tender skin of snouts, noses, ears, and tails is also exposed to the UV rays. Avoid your pet to go outdoor during heat hours. Provide clean and fresh water supplies to decrease the body temperature and keep it hydrated.
Ticks infestation is the major threat to your pets for both indoor and outdoor pets. But outdoor pets are more susceptible to ticks and tick-borne diseases.
Talk to your veterinarian about:
• The best tick prevention products for your pet
• Tick-borne diseases in your area
To further reduce the chances that a tick bite will make your pet sick:
• Reduce tick habitat in your yard.
• Check your pets for ticks daily, especially after they spend time outdoors.
• If you find a tick on your pet, remove it right away carefully. You should use fine-point tweezers, to avoid tearing the tick and spreading possible infections into the bite area. Grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible then gently pull straight upward in a slow and steady motion.
Note: Use the link for more details about parasitic problems in pet and its possible control
Figure: 1. Adopted from Centre of disease control and prevention (CDC), USA
2) WATER AN ESSENTIAL NUTRIENT
The obvious nutrients required by your pet for a full and balanced diet such as protein, carbohydrates, fats, minerals and vitamins are more commonly considered. However, there is another key nutrient that deserves as much attention for its overall health benefits – that nutrient is water. The purpose of water for pets is to carry important nutrients into and out of the cells of the body, aiding in digestion and the absorption of nutrients. It also regulates body temperature, lubricates joints, improves mental function, and cushions the brain and spinal cord. Every important body function requires water.
Water is always considered the most essential nutrient and estimates of daily water requirements have been reported for cats and dogs (JR Speakman et.al 2001). However, there is no consensus on how to define optimal hydration, or optimal water intake volume in pets. The primary determinant of maintenance water requirement appears to be metabolic, (Holliday and Segar, 1957) but the actual estimation of water requirement is highly variable and quite complex. Different methods should be used that encourage the pet animal with Kidney diseases to drink and maintain fluid balance. An increase in water turnover can be achieved by feeding diets that contain 70–85% moisture (can, pouch, tray), by increasing number of meals per day, or by adding water to the diet (Dumon et al. 1999; Kirschvink et al. 2005). The pet should have easy access to fresh water round the clock. Providing water at several locations in the house may facilitate water intake. The water bowl should be kept full at all times, and it must be clean so that the pet may not reject water due to odours from the bowl. Cats have very sensitive moustaches (Whiskers) and many seem to prefer a large bowl in which the moustaches do not touch the sides of the bowl. A variety of water types (home-filtered, distilled, bottled, boiled tap water, cold tap water) can be offered. Some pets prefer running water, and water fountains are now commercially to encourage water intake. It is important to keep the food and water bowls away from the litter box area.
There are several ways to estimate how much water an individual pet needs, and this tend to vary due to individual circumstances. In general, dogs require 50 – 60 ml/ kg body weight and cats require 50 ml/ kg body weight
Normal water consumption usually will not exceed approximately 90 ml/kg/day in dogs, or 50 ml/kg/day in cats. Water consumption of greater than 90 ml/kg/day by dogs or 50 ml/kg/day by cats is evidence of polydipsia. However, there are many factors that can affect how much your pet will drink, so you should not be restricting your pet’s water intake. Unless directed by your veterinarian, it’s not necessary to measure out the exact water amounts your pet drinks. Just make sure that your pet has plenty of fresh, clean water every day. If you are concerned that your pet is not getting enough water to maintain their health, or is drinking too much water, talk to your veterinarian for advice. Maintaining proper hydration is too important for your pet’s health.
Quality of water
Tap water that is safe for people is also safe for pets. However, if you live in a place with unsafe tap or well water, please discuss options with your veterinarian for providing bottled or filtered water for your pet.
What happens if a pet doesn’t get enough water?
Many important body functions require water, so without an adequate supply, your pet can become quickly become ill and dehydrated. Organs will eventually become damaged with sustained water deficiency, and if it lasts long enough, the kidneys, liver, and other organs will begin to shut down. Ultimately, death will be the outcome. In general, a healthy pets will drink enough water daily to stay well hydrated, but there are a few instances where dehydration can occur.
Here are a few situations where a pet may be at increased risk of dehydration:
• Kidney disease
• Metabolic disorders (such as diabetes)
• Pregnant/nursing animals are at risk of becoming dehydrated more readily, since they may have higher water intake.
How to check your pet for dehydration?
Follow these steps to see if your pet is dehydrated:
• Gently pinch the skin between the shoulder blades.
• Pull the skin up gently and release it.
• Watch for the skin to fall back into place.
The skin should quickly return to place within no time. If dehydration is present, the skin will slowly return or may even stay up for a time before falling back into place.
Here are some other signs of dehydration in pets:
• Gums appear dry, sticky, or pale
• Dry, sunken eyeballs
• Dry nose and mouth
Cleaning of water bowl
Water and food bowls should be scrubbed with soap and water daily. Since these bowls are in contact with food and your pet’s saliva, they tend to be good places for bacteria to grow. Bowls should be smooth and easy to clean, without corners and cracks or even scratches where bacteria can hide and survive.
3) PETS NEED BALANCED, SAFE, AND HEALTHY FOOD
Dog is a monogestric animal and categorised as omnivorous with carnivorous tendency (Hewson-Hughes et al. 2012). On the other hand cats are considered as strictly carnivorous in nature. Pets have specific nutritional requirements that depends on species, breed, age, size, activity level and special stage (like pregnancy, lactation, and ailment condition). A food can be considered as balanced, when it meets the protein, fats, minerals, and vitamins requirements of the animal at specific stage. Pet food safety is not only important for the pet but also for the human being because both share same living premises. Role of pet food as source of pathogen carrier is of great concern because of global disease outbreaks that are responsible for food recalls (U.S. FDA2013a). Avoidance of contaminants is not the only determinant of food safety, but assurance that food provides complete and balanced nutrition. Food with nutritional deficiencies and excessive level of toxins could be unsafe for the pet.
Minimum nutrient requirements of dog (AAFCO, 2013)
Nutrients Units DM
Basis Growth &
Maintenance Minimumb Maximum
Crude Protein % 22.5 18.0
Arginine % 1.0 0.51
Histidine % 0.44 0.19
Isoleucine % 0.71 0.38
Leucine % 1.29 0.68
Lysine % 0.90 0.63
Methionine % 0.35 0.33
Methionine-cystine % 0.70 0.65
Phenylalanine % 0.83 0.45
Tyrosine % 1.30 0.74
Threonine % 1.04 0.48
Trytophan % 0.20 0.16
Valine % 0.68 0.49
Crude Fat c % 8.5 5.5
Linoleic acid % 1.3 1.1
alpha-Linolenic acid % 0.08 NDd
(Linoleic + Arachidonic):(alpha- Linolenic + Eicosapentaenoic +
Docosahexaenoic) acid Ratio
Calcium % 1.2 0.5 1.8
Phosphorus % 1.0 0.4 1.6
Ca:P ratio 1:1 1:1 2:1
Potassium % 0.6 0.6
Sodium % 0.3 0.08
Chloride % 0.45 0.12
Magnesium % 0.06 0.06
Iron e mg/kg 88 40
Copper f mg/kg 12.4 7.3
Manganese mg/kg 7.2 5.0
Zinc mg/kg 100 80
Iodine mg/kg 1.0 1.0 11
Selenium mg/kg 0.35 0.35 2
Vitamins & Other
Vitamin A IU/kg 5000 5000 250000
Vitamin D IU/kg 500 500 3000
Vitamin E g IU/kg 50 50
Thiamine h mg/kg 2.25 2.25
Riboflavin mg/kg 5.2 5.2
Pantothenic acid mg/kg 12 12
a Presumes a caloric density of 4000 kcal ME/kg, as determined in accordance with Model Regulation PF9. Formulations greater than 4000 kcal ME/kg must be corrected for energy density; formulations less than 4000 kcal ME/kg need not be corrected for energy. Formulations of low-energy density should not be considered adequate for reproductive needs based on comparison to the Profiles alone.
b Recommended concentrations for maintenance of body weight at an average caloric intake for dogs of a given optimum weight.
c Although a true requirement for crude fat per se has not been established, the minimum concentration was based on recognition of crude fat as a source of
essential fatty acids, as a carrier of fat-soluble vitamins, to enhance palatability, and to supply an adequate caloric density.
d ND – Not Determined. While a minimum requirement has not been determined, sufficient amounts of omega-3 fatty acids are necessary to meet the maximum omega-6:omega-3 fatty acid ratio.
e Average apparent digestibility for iron associated with recommended minimums is
20% of that consumed. Because of very poor apparent digestibility, iron from carbonate or oxide sources that are added to the diet should not be considered in determining the minimum nutrient concentration for iron.
f Because of very poor apparent digestibility, copper from oxide sources that are added to the diet should not be considered in determining the minimum nutrient concentration for copper.
g It is recommended that the ratio of IU of vitamin E to grams of polyunsaturated fatty
acids (PUFA) be > 0.6:1. A diet containing 50 IU of vitamin E will have a ratio of > 0.6:1 when the PUFA content is 83 grams or less. Diets containing more than 83 grams of PUFA should contain an additional 0.6 IU of vitamin E for every gram of PUFA.
h Because processing may destroy up to 90% of the thiamine in the diet, allowances in formulation should be made to ensure the minimum nutrient concentration for
thiamine is met after processing
Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) 2013
Puppy food and nutritional needs
Puppies grow fast and providing the proper nutrition is important for building strong bones and teeth, adding muscle, and supplying all the energy needed for playing and learning.
a) Feeding of solid food
Puppies should get solid food starting at about four weeks, when they are not able to get all the calories they need from their mother’s milk. Most puppies are weaned (stop feeding on mother’s milk) by six weeks.
b) Selecting a high-quality puppy food
Start by asking your Nutritionist/Veterinarian what they recommend, says C.A. Tony Buffington, DVM, PhD. (professor of veterinary clinical sciences at The Ohio State University Veterinary Hospital) “In the first six months of age, the nutrient needs are changing very quickly. It leave the least margin for error.” Puppies should be eating food labelled for growth or for all life stages. After a month or six weeks on the food, assess your puppy’s health. They should be playful and energetic with a shiny thick coat. Formed brown feces are a sign that your puppy is digesting most of the nutrients in the food.
c) Feeding strategy for puppies
Puppies should eat three times a day from weaning through four to six months. After six months, twice-a-day feedings are fine.
d) Food allowance for puppies
Puppies need to take a lot of calories to fuel their rapid growth. At the early stage, puppy needs twice Calories per K as compared to adult of same breed. Puppies’ growth is fastest in their first five months. Look for feeding charts on commercial puppy food labels. You can use them as a guide. They provide recommended amounts based on a puppy’s age and weight. Adjust as necessary to keep your puppy in the best condition, something you may need to do weekly.
Large-breed dogs are more likely to develop chronic joint or skeletal problems when they get older if they are overfed, according to several studies. In one study that followed Labrador retrievers for 14 years, dogs fed a balanced diet with 25% less food than their littermates were less likely to develop hip joint arthritis. Dogs on the calorie-restricted diet also showed signs of arthritis at an average age of 12 years rather than six.
e) Some dangerous food for puppy
Some foods that people enjoy can be harmful to dogs. Keep your puppy away from avocados, chocolate, grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, and raw bread dough made with yeast. Also avoid onions, garlic, and chives; milk and large amounts of dairy products such as cheese; alcohol; coffee and caffeine; salty food, such as potato chips; and food sweetened with xylitol, such as gum, baked goods, and candy. Xylitol, also used in products such as toothpaste, can cause liver failure in dogs.
Feeding adult dog
a) When a dog is considered an adult?
When a dog reaches 90% of its expected adult weight, it’s considered an adult for feeding purposes, according to The Merck Veterinary Manual. An adult dog diet, or maintenance diet, contains nutrients suited for animals that have passed their growth stage. Most of a puppy’s growth occurs by 6 or 7 months of age, but large and giant breeds can continue to grow for 12 months or beyond.
b) Selecting Food for adult dog
The nutritional adequacy statement on food labels should say that the food is appropriate for adult maintenance or for all life stages. If your dog is overweight or inactive, stick with one labelled for adult maintenance. Food that’s appropriate for all life stages contains extra nutrients needed for growth.
Homemade diets can provide complete nutrition, but making sure your pet gets the right mix of protein, fats, minerals, and vitamins can be difficult. Lisa M. Freeman, DVM, PhD, is a professor of nutrition at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. Says that if you are going to prepare a homemade diet, you should consult a certified nutritionist.
c) Food allowance for adult dogs
That depends on the size of the dog, its age, and how much exercise it gets. Use feeding charts on pet food labels as a guide. Start by checking the amount recommended for your pet’s weight range. If your dog weighs on the lower end of the range, feed the minimum recommended amount. Dogs on the heavier end of the scale may need maximum end of food recommendation.
Assess your pet’s activity level. The dogs who get little exercise may need 10% less than recommended on the package label. An active dog that exercises outdoors may need 20% to 40% recommendations. Working dogs that regularly receive high intensity exercise, such as a sled dog or police dog may need a food designed for working or performance dogs. These foods have a higher fat content to provide extra calories. Additionally, you may need to make adjustments based on your pet’s body condition.
d) Feeding strategies for adult dogs
Most pet owners prefer feeding an adult dog twice a day, although a dog can eat just once daily. Giving two meals a day may make it easier for the dog to digest the food and helps control hunger.
Feeding of cats
As we know that cats are obligate carnivorous and their protein and fat requirements are quite higher than dogs and it’s very difficult to balance a homemade diets.
Minimum nutrient requirements of Cat (AAFCO, 2013)
Basis Growth & Reproduction
Minimum Adult Maintenance
Minimum b Maximum
Crude Protein % 30.0 26.0
Arginine % 1.24 1.04
Histidine % 0.33 0.31
Isoleucine % 0.56 0.52
Leucine % 1.28 1.24
Lysine % 1.20 0.83
Methionine % 0.62 0. 20 1.5
Methionine-cystine % 1.10 0.40
Phenylalanine % 0.52 0.42
Tyrosine % 1.92 1.53
Threonine % 0.73 0.73
Tryptophan % 0.25 0.16 1.7
Valine % 0.64 0.62
Crude Fat c % 9.0 9.0
Linoleic acid % 0.6 0.6
alpha-Linolenic acid % 0.02 NDd
Arachidonic acid % 0.02 0.02
Calcium % 1.0 0.6
Phosphorus % 0.8 0.5
Potassium % 0.6 0.6
Sodium % 0.2 0.2
Chloride % 0.3 0.3
Magnesium e % 0.08 0.04
Iron f mg/kg 80 80
Copper (extruded) g mg/kg 15 5
Copper (canned) g mg/kg 8.4 5
Manganese mg/kg 7.6 7.6
Zinc mg/kg 75 75
Iodine mg/kg 1.8 0.6 9.0
Selenium mg/kg 0.3 0.3
Vitamins & Others
Vitamin A IU/kg 6668 3332 333300
Vitamin D IU/kg 280 280 30080
Vitamin E h IU/kg 40 40
Vitamin K i mg/kg 0.1 0.1
Thiamine j mg/kg 5.6 5.6
Riboflavin mg/kg 4.0 4.0
Pantothenic acid mg/kg 5.75 5.75
Niacin mg/kg 60 60
Pyridoxine mg/kg 4.0 4.0
Folic acid mg/kg 0.8 0.8
Biotin k mg/kg 0.07 0.07
Vitamin B12 mg/kg 0.020 0.020
Choline mg/kg 2400 2400
Taurine (extruded) % 0.10 0.10
Taurine (canned) % 0.20 0.20
a Presumes an energy density of 4000 kcal ME/kg as determined in accordance with Regulation PF9. Formulations greater than 4000 kcal ME/kg must be corrected for energy density; formulations less than 4000 kcal ME/kg need not be corrected for energy. Formulations of low-energy density should not be considered adequate for growth or reproductive needs based on comparison to the Profiles alone.
b Recommended concentrations for maintenance of body weight at an average caloric intake for cats of a given optimal weight.
c Although a true requirement for crude fat per se has not been established, the minimum concentration was based on recognition of crude fat as a source of essential fatty acids, as a carrier of fat-soluble vitamins, to enhance palatability, and to supply an adequate caloric density.
d ND – Not Determined.
e If the mean urine pH of cats fed ad libitum is not below 6.4, the risk of struvite urolithiasis increases as the magnesium content of the diet increases.
f Because of very poor bioavailability, iron from carbonate or oxide sources that are
added to the diet should not be considered in determining the minimum nutrient concentration.
g Because of very poor bioavailability, copper from oxide sources that are added to the diet should not be considered in determining the minimum nutrient concentration.
h Add 10 IU Vitamin E above the minimum concentration for each gram of fish oil per kilogram of diet.
i Vitamin K does not need to be added unless the diet contains more than 25% fish on a dry matter basis.
j Because processing and specific ingredients may destroy up to 90% of the thiamine in the diet, allowances in formulation should be made to ensure the minimum nutrient concentration is met after processing.
k Biotin does not need to be added unless the diet contains antimicrobial or anti-
a) Kitten feeding and management
Kittens under 4 weeks of age cannot eat solid food, it does not matter whether the food is canned or dry. They rely completely on their mother for milk to survive and get the nutrients they need. Up to 4 weeks of age continue mother feeding or bottled feeding. If the mother is not attending, the kitten will rely on you.
If the kitten’s mother is absent, you can feed your newborn kitten a nutritional substitute called milk replacer. It’s important that you should avoid feeding a kitten the same milk that humans consume. Cow’s milk can make cats sick. If you are unsure of which kitten milk replacer to choose, a veterinarian can help you select the right one.
Weaning process can be started gradually after 4 weeks of age. At the age of 6-7 weeks of age kittens are fully prepared for dry pet foods. Prefer frequent (4-5 times a day) feeding for proper digestion and avoiding any digestive problems.
b) Feeding adult cat
When cats attain 90% of the adult weight it is considered adult. Most cats are considered as adult near 1 year of age. Select a food that fulfil at least minimum requirements of cats advised by AAFCO. Remember that percentages of nutrients are measured on a dry matter basis. For this reason, a dry cat food may appear to have more protein than a wet food but only because it contains less water.
Feeding strategies for cat
There are several types of feeding methods that owners can use, which may vary depending on the needs of their adult cats and their schedules:
a) Portion-control feeding
This involves measuring the required food and offering it as a meal after equal intervals. It can be used for weight control and for animals that tend to overeat if allowed to feed freely.
b) Free-choice feeding
In this feeding method, typically dry food which is less likely to spoil is made available around the clock. Nursing cats are commonly fed free choice. But you can see why this method can turn into a problem for a cat that does not know when to stop.
c) Timed feeding
This method involves making food available for a certain period of time, then picking it up after 30 minutes.
Avoiding pet obesity and metabolic problems
Obesity in pets is defined as the body condition in which animal exceeds its optimum body weight by more than 10-25%. Over the last few decades, obesity in dogs and especially in cats is considered as a common nutrition problem. Various animal factors that contribute to obesity reported in literature includes, genetics, reproduction regulation, dietary, and exercise management. The energy intake during growth phase predisposed the pet towards obesity. Several preventive measures have been proposed to avoid, one of them is reducing intake of energy that can be accomplished by the inclusion of high fiber ingredients in diets. It was also noted that the prevalence of obesity was more in pets that were fed once daily as compared to feeding more than once daily. It can be explained through the fact that availability of frequent food intake may reduce the ancestral canid behaviour of eating as much as is physical available food. Several health problems are associated with obesity, which include increased incidents of orthopaedic problems, cardiovascular disorders, respiratory anomalies, neoplasia, diabetes, hyper,tension and weather intolerance.
Note: You can contact our pet nutrition experts to develop weight loss/weight maintenance strategies for your valuable pets.
Protocol for changing pet food
A good tip is to change one pet food with other in a gradual manner, over the course of about 7 to 10 days. Mixing the two foods gradually will give your pet a taste of the new food without disturbing its digestive system.
Begin with a mix of 25% of new food and 75% previous diet. Feed this for about two to three days. Then next mix of 50% of new food and 50% previous diet and continue for two to three days. Now, you can move on to a mix of 75% of the new food and 25% of the previous diet. Keep that up for another 2 or 3 days before you switch over to 100% of the new food.
Digestive problems like constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, or gas could occur at any point during this transition. If that happens, just slow down on the time between mixes to give your pet more time to adjust to the new food instead of two to three days per mixes, stretch it out to four to six days. But if problems persist, it’s a good idea to contact your veterinarian.
4) MANAGEMENT OF PET BATHROOMS/ LITTER BOX
Cats should be provided at least one litter box for defecation and urination. Puppies generally need a bathroom every one to two hours during the day. A general rule of thumb is that a puppy can hold faeces for as many hours as he/she is months old plus one. For example, a three month old puppy should have at least one bathroom break every four hours. You will learn the needs of your own dog but no dog should be expected to “hold it” more than six hours. Senior dogs also need to relieve themselves more frequently. Dogs can be taught how to use bathrooms and potty pads to relieve themselves.
Young kittens can't go to the bathroom by themselves. Usually, a mother cat will clean her kittens to stimulate urination and a bowel movement. If the mother isn't present, the kitten will rely on you.
To help your kitten go to the bathroom use a clean, warm and wet cotton ball and gently rub your kitten's belly and genital and anal area. Your kitten should go to the bathroom in less than a minute. After your kitten is done, clean them carefully with a soft wet cloth.
Once your kitten is 3 to 4 weeks old, you can introduce them to their litter box. Add a cotton ball to the process in a similar way that you used one on them when they were younger. This will help them to understand what to do. Gently place your kitten in their litter box and let them get used to it. Keep practicing with them. Ensure that their bathroom is in a safe area away from other people and pets where they feel comfortable. No matter where your pet’s bathroom is, be sure to clean it regularly. Observing proper hygiene and sanitation will prevent dirt and bacteria from piling up and help protect your pet’s health.
5) IMPORTANCE OF EXERCISE FOR YOUR PET
Proper pet care also includes encouraging your pets in exercise habits. Exercise is an important part of your pet’s mental as well as physical health. Exercise also allows our pets to express their normal instinctive behavioural traits including exploration, the use of smell, sight and hearing, tracking, stalking, play-fighting, play-defensive behaviour, hiding, attacking, chasing, greeting members of the same species, dealing with strange objects and dealing with animals from different species. Exercise also encourages the development of a normal daily toilet routine. Cats and dogs deprived of regular exercise and confined to the home may develop anti-social behaviour patterns. These include destructive behaviour, aggressive territorial guarding, house soiling and vocalisation when left alone without human companionship. Pets also benefit from socialization, whether that’s regular interaction with you, other pets or different people. A low to moderate degree of exercise is needed for normal muscular and skeletal development in young, growing animals. The most common adverse effect of insufficient exercise is obesity and pets can develop this if they are fed too many calories without exercise habits. Pet animals like to play with toys and pet recreational objects to avoid boredom. Animals should be subjected to exercise in your resident premises because pets mostly defecate and urinate during or after exercise. Litter box and pet bathrooms should be available near exercise place
6) VET CONSULTATION
To ensure that your pets are healthy you should take them to a local, trusted veterinarian for physical wellness check-ups at least once a year. Keeping up on your pet’s deworming and vaccinations is essential. Some diseases are fatal to your pets and some diseases are communicable to humans. So, proper deworming and vaccination can avoid these diseases. Clean teeth and healthy gums also play an important role in your pet’s health. If your pet is showing signs or symptoms of sickness, take them to your veterinarian or animal hospital right away to get them feeling better.
Another way to keep your pets healthy and happy is to regularly groom them (if needed). Matted fur can be painful and unhealthy for pets. Dogs and cats may not like it but baths, brushings, nail trims, and flea/tick removal may be necessary for your pet’s well-being.
Signs of infestation in pets
Rough body coat
Failure to grow well
Weight loss (despite good appetite)
Mucus/blood/ smell in stools
Advantages of deworming in pets
Healthy pet/ strong immune system
No zoonotic transmission
Deworming schedule (dog)
Always deworm your pets under the supervision/ prescription of a veterinarian. Veterinarian will decide the deworming schedule for your pet
Most common deworming schedule followed by majority of Vets in Pakistan
Deworming 1st deworming Age below 6 months Age above 6 months
Recommendation 2-3 weeks of age Deworm every month Deworm every 2-3 months
Common infestations in dogs
Deworming schedule (Cat)
Deworming 1st deworming Age below 6 months Age above 6 months
Recommendation 7-8 weeks of age Deworm every month Deworm every 3 months
Common infestations in cat
Advantages of vaccination in pets
Vaccines protect the pets from lethal diseases and also keeps the human family members safe.
Some lethal dog diseases are canine distemper, canine parvovirus infection, rabies and canine hepatitis.
Most common diseases of cats include feline panleukopenia, feline calcivirus, feline rhinotrachietis and rabies.
Vaccination of dogs
a) Core vaccines
These vaccines are primarily required to be administer in all puppies and dogs with unknown vaccine history. These vaccines provide immunity against those diseases which are much prevalent and cause serious threats to dog’s life.
Infectious canine hepatitis
b) Non-core vaccines
These are optional vaccines against the less prevalent or low exposure risk to animal
Bordetella bronchoseptica (Kennel cough)
Vaccination schedule for dogs
Vaccination schedule can vary according to the Veterinarian’s recommendations. We are sharing the most commonly used vaccine schedule that is followed and considered as effective in Pakistan.
Animal should be dewormed at least 1 week before the vaccination
Vaccination schedule for puppies
1st injection 2nd injection 3rd injection 4th injection Boosters
Immunization against Parvovirus Parvovirus Complete Viral Complete Viral Complete Viral
Time of Injection 6-8 weeks of age 3 weeks apart 1st injection 3 weeks apart 2nd injection 3 weeks apart 3rd injection Every Year
Vaccination Schedule for adult dogs
1st injection 2nd injection Boosters
Immunization against Complete Viral Complete Viral Complete Viral
Time of Injection 0 day of presentation 3 weeks apart 1st injection Every Year
Vaccination of cats
a) Core vaccines
These vaccines are primarily required to be administer in all cats and kittens with unknown vaccine history. These vaccines provide immunity against those diseases which are much prevalent and cause serious threats to cat’s life.
Feline calcivirus infection
b) Non-core vaccines
These are optional vaccines against the less prevalent or low exposure risk to animal
Feline leukemia virus
Feline immunodeficiency virus
Vaccination schedule for kittens
First of all kitten is dewormed at the age of 40 days and after 10 days of deworming or 7-8 week of age use vaccinations
1st injection 2nd injection 3rd injection 4rd injection Boosters
Immunization against Complete Viral Complete Viral Rabies Rabies Complete Viral
Time of Injection 7-8 weeks of age 3 weeks apart 1st injection 3 weeks apart 2nd injection 3 weeks apart 3rd injection Every Year
Vaccination schedule for adult cat
1st injection 2nd injection 3rd injection 4th injection Boosters
Immunization against Complete Viral Complete Viral Rabies Rabies Complete Viral
Time of Injection 0 day of presentation 3 weeks apart 1st injection With or a day apart 1st short With or a day apart 2st short Every Year
Nail clipping/trimming in pets
Nail clipping is an important aspect that avoids nails damage and scratching character pets. Dogs need nail clipping on regular basis every 3-4 weeks. Cats needs nail clipping more frequently that dogs. Clip cat’s nail after 1-2 weeks on regular basis.
a) Clipping dog’s nail
1. Place your left arm around the dog's middle body and hold it against your chest. Talk softly and kindly to ease the dog's anxiety about the clipping procedure.
2. In your left hand hold the dog's foot with your thumb on top of the toe and two or more fingers below along the pad of the foot.
3. Insert the nail into the clipper and clip below the blood supply (quick) at a 45 degree angle.
4. If you cut the quick you must stop the bleeding. In most cases, a coagulant product (nail styptic powder) is sufficient. Apply the powder to the tip of the quick where it was cut and hold with moderate pressure. The bleeding often stops very quickly. Wipe away excess powder and re-check the "seal".
5. If a dew claw has grown into a circular loop you can cut into the mid-section of the nail with scissor-type cutters below the blood supply. Afterwards, use the regular nail clippers to finish cutting.
b) Clipping cat’s nail
When trimming cat claws squeeze the paw lightly to expose the claw and carefully clip off the short possible piece of nail. This is different than a dog's claw its trimming point is where the nail starts to curve down. Trimming short piece is much better than trimming too much.
All pets benefit from regular grooming to remove loose hairs, dead skin cells, to keep the coat free of dirt, debris, external parasites, and to distribute natural skin oils along the hair shafts. Pets with long, silky or curly coats require daily brushing to keep their hair from becoming tangled or matted, especially around the ears, in the armpits, or along the back of the legs. Dogs with short hair coats may require less frequent brushing. If you regularly check your dog's coat and skin, you will also have a better chance of detecting any unusual lumps and bumps, parasites such as fleas and ticks, or areas of sensitivity on your dog's body.
a) Dog bathing
Most dogs require bathing on an occasional basis usually when their coat becomes dirty or when they develop an odour. Some dogs usually need to be bathed about every six to eight weeks, at the time of their regular grooming. Dogs that have a heavy undercoat will benefit from bathing in the spring or fall, when they are undergoing their seasonal hair shedding. Dogs should only be bathed with a shampoo that is formulated for use on dogs. Their skin has a different thickness and pH (acidity) than human skin. Human shampoo, including baby shampoo, is far too harsh for their skin. For regular bathing, a hypoallergenic shampoo without any added perfumes is the best choice. For optimum results, a conditioning product should be applied afterwards to restore any lost moisture to the skin and minimize the development of dandruff after the bath.
If you find that your dog requires frequent bathing, discuss this with your veterinarian, who may recommend the use of a special shampoo, and conditioning rinse to prevent skin problems associated with the repeated baths.
b) Cat bathing
Mostly cats are good in self-grooming. When cats get dirty and smelling they need bath. As compared to dogs cats do not like bathing, so cat bathing should be with minimum stress. Always start bath with a playing practice and introducing a toy. For your own protection nails should be trimmed before bath. Brushing to remove any loose hair and mats. Place a cotton roll in cat’s ear to avoid water. Start bath with spraying water then slowly rinse waster on the body. Gently put some shampoo and rub on hairs then rinse with water. Use a washcloth to dry cat’s body. Reward the cat with his/her favourite treat.
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Manual of Basic Pet Care for Pet Owners
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