We owe our pets a high level of care and love. They can increase opportunities to exercise, get outside, and socialize. Regular walking or playing with pets can decrease blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and triglyceride levels. Pets can help manage loneliness and depression by giving us companionship.
During national pet month, we have been joining the campaign to promote responsible pet ownership and celebrate the benefits of owning a pet.
These bonds have never been as important as in recent times during the pandemic. Research teams from York and Lincoln universities recently found owning any pet, not just a cat or dog, helped maintain owners’ mental health during the lockdown. We would certainly agree, owning quite the menagerie ourselves!
The results showed that 91% of dog owners, 89% of cat owners, and 86% who owned other animal species felt their pet helped them cope emotionally. More details can be found in this veterinary times article.
Sophie’s story with a happy ending
One story highlighting the importance of responsible ownership and the unique bond between us and our pets is that of Sophie.
Sophie the Bengal did not have the best start in life, thought to have been an ex-breeding queen; she had already passed through two homes when previous owners moved away before joining her forever home with Tina. Five-year-old Sophie was hitting the scales at a huge 6.25 kg when Tina brought her home. As we know obesity can have so many negative health implications. An appointment was made at the local vet surgery for a health check and vaccinations. A weight management plan including a prescription diet was also formed. Sophie took to the change in diet but was still eating too quickly, often vomiting after food.
Tina found our slow feed puzzle bowl after searching the internet for a solution to help Sophie. After the usual transition period, Sophie greatly enjoyed using her puzzle bowl, fishing out biscuits with her paw and eating from the bowl itself. Success! No more vomiting and Sophie was on the way to a healthy weight supported by her fantastic owner Tina. You can click this link for a short video of our bowl in use.
‘Sophie is an absolutely adorable cat. I’ve had cats all my life but she is definitely different, she’s got an attitude and can be naughty! If she wants a cuddle she lets you know by lying on her back with all four paws in the air. Her fur is like it’s dipped in gold, so beautiful and we love her to bits!’
Sophie has been part of Tina’s family for 8 years now, enjoying the best retirement and obviously greatly loved and cared for. We love a happy ending!
You can read more pawsitive stories on the national pet month website
If you have a pet story to tell we would love to hear from you, we have social media streams on Facebook, Instagram and soon to be joined by Pinterest. Why not give us a follow or share with your pet-loving friends and family?
What can I do to ensure I am a responsible pet owner?
We all want the very best for our pet, our vision is to support, educate and enlighten owners on preventative healthcare. With over 36 years of experience working in veterinary practice, Sarah and I have seen many cases where earlier action, intervention or homecare routine could have saved years of discomfort or suffering along with the heartbreak of losing a much-loved pet.
Here are our top ten tips for responsible ownership.
Before bringing any new pet home do your research.
Keep vaccinations up to date including boosters
Daily toothbrushing (check out our dental health blog)
Worm and flea control
Life long insurance
Monthly weight check – read why in our weight management blog
Training and exercise
Register with your vet and attend checks
If you are a new puppy owner you may also find our recent blog on caring for a new puppy helpful.
If you can do ONE thing for your pet. Please REMEMBER our homecare routine W.E.T.S.
Weigh – monthly weight check to note any unexpected changes.
Examine – nose to tail check of eyes/nose/ears, any sore skin, swollen or painful areas
Teeth – having a gentle check for any sore looking gums, teeth or oral lumps.