Two topics that affect all of us who care for animals are nutrition and exercise. We thought we’d start off the year with some quick tips to help your pet stay well fed and well exercised in 2017.
Good nutrition for your pet is one of the key factors to keeping them healthy. Do your best to feed your pet the highest quality food possible that is within your budget. Fresh, whole food diets are always ideal: freeze dried, dehydrated, raw, or homemade foods. Good food can go a long way with pets, but don’t worry if the most expensive items are outside of your budget range. Your pet will appreciate whatever you can give them.
Secondly, make sure that your dog, cat, bird, or reptile is eating the right amount of food for their size and activity level. Excess weight can lead to an array of health problems in our pets, and maintaining a proper diet is one of the most essential components of lifelong wellness. Our contributing veterinarian, Dr. Gary Richter, has written his first book The Ultimate Pet Health Guide: Breakthrough Nutrition and Integrative Care for Dogs and Cats to help pet owners navigate the various integrative health options available for their pets.
For any food related questions, we always recommend talking to your veterinarian. The amount and kind of food that we should feed our pets is always relative to breed, age, and overall health. This means that any good plan is also going to be a highly individualized plan—not something you can read from a chart on a website.
We all know that exercise helps keep pets happy and healthy, but it is also the case that over-exercising can lead to injuries. Just like nutrition, exercise is a fine balance that requires deliberation and care. You want to give your pet the right amount of exercise—not too much or too little—so that they stay fit and injury free. As with food, the amount and kind of exercise you will want to give your pet is highly individual. If your veterinarian hasn’t talked to you about an exercise plan for your pet, don’t hesitate to ask them at your next appointment.
This coming year The Pet Concierge is also going to be diving into the world of alternative and complimentary veterinary medicine. While you may not have heard of some of these therapies, we think they’re some of the most exciting developments in the veterinary world right now. Here’re two we are particularly excited about.
Medical Cannabis: One of our contributing veterinarians, Dr. Gary Richter, is on the forefront of understanding and prescribing cannabis based products for use in veterinary medicine. According to Dr. Richter, “recently, veterinarians have re-discovered the benefits of cannabis to treat medical conditions in pets. We have seen successes in treating many of the same diseases which benefit from cannabis treatment in humans. Pets suffering from pain, inflammation, arthritis, cancer, seizures, and digestive issues have all found relief through the use of medical cannabis.” While this is an exciting new field of study, under no circumstance should cannabis be given to pets without a doctor’s supervision and prescription. Check back with us in February for a more in depth report on the benefits of products high in CBD in pets.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy: A technique that has proven extremely effective in the treatment of human maladies, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy can only be performed with a special hyperbaric chamber. This chamber functions by pressurizing with pure oxygen; the result is that oxygen forces its way into the patient’s tissues at up to 400% of its normal rate. This boost in oxygen subsequently allows cells to produce more ATP—the fuel by which cells rebuild, regenerate, and rejuvenate themselves. Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy has been used by doctors like our contributing Dr. Gary Richter, to treat a wide range of symptoms including: wounds/burns, head/spinal cord trauma, post-surgical swelling, crush injuries, pancreatitis, necrosis, heat stroke, snake/spider bites, bone infection, smoke inhalation, and many other health problems.