5 Common Myths

posted: by: Dawn, RVT with Hill's Pet Food Tags: "Clinic Specials" "News" 

1. 'He’s Not Fat, He’s Big Boned'

More than 60% of our pet dogs and cats are considered overweight or obese.  A ‘few extra pounds’ is NOT normal, nor is it healthy.  Extra pounds lead to joint disease, cardiac disease, and diabetes. Keep in mind, also, your pet being a few pounds overweight is equal to a human being 10 pounds overweight.  Ask your veterinarian to give your pet a body condition score and discuss a diet plan.  It may be as simple as decreasing treats or food, or a new food may be necessary.

 2. ‘I Only Go to the Vet When My Pet is Sick'

Animals instinctively try to hide it when they don’t feel well.  Domestic pets still retain certain instincts needed for survival in the wild, and one is hiding signs that they are sick or injured.  Regualr physical exams, either yearly or twice yearly, can help your veterinarian detect conditions such as weight changes, heart murmurs, thyroid disease, kidney disease and more.  The sooner these issues are detected, often before you pet is showing symptoms, the better the condition can be managed, and the longer your pet will be with you.

 3. 'The Store Employee Told Me to Change Pet Food'

Choosing a pet food can be confusing. There’s a huge pet food market out there, and every company says they are the best for your pet.  But are they?  Meanwhile, the person at the pet food store, convincing as they may be, doesn’t know your pet’s medical history the way your vet does. If your veterinarian recommends a specific diet for your pet, there’s usually an excellent reason. Diet plays a key role in your pet’s health, so make sure to include their number one health advocate in that decision.  Please ask your veterinarian if you are considering changing your pet’s diet.

 4. 'Don't Be Scared; Give Him a Cookie'

When a pet is exhibiting a fearful behavior, such as growling or snapping, it can be tempting to try and calm them down with attention. But rewarding a fearful pet with hugs and consolation can actually worsen the behavior by reinforcing it. If this behavior worsens over time, a pet might actually wind up in a shelter, and aggressive pets have lower chances of being adopted. If your pet shows any signs of fear or aggression, talk to your veterinarian.  They may be able to recommend a trainer, behaviorist, or medication.

 5. 'My Dog Doesn’t Need a Leash, He's Trained'

Any dog outside its own yard should be leashed.  Just because your dog is friendly or responds when called, doesn’t mean that it’s okay to go off lead.  It’s important to be a good dog ambassador by obeying local dog ordinances about leashes and cleaning up after your pup. If you live in an area where leashes are required by law, you should obey that law without fail. Many people — and even some dogs — are frightened of other dogs, and they can be very distressed by being approached by any canine- even one as sweet as yours. Many cities and towns have designated areas where dogs can run off leash, so if your dog is feeling the call of the wild, find a dog park and let loose.

 Brought to you by Hill's Pet Food.