Thursday, March 17, 2016

Common pet care mistakes

Most pet owners adopt a pet for companionship. While it’s true that your furry pal is cute, cuddly and loyal, you might be overlooking at the more important things besides the love and comfort you are already providing. In some cases, first-time pet owners may accidentally commit common pet care mistakes. 

Sound body and good hygiene are the most important things that should be maintained for pets. It is understandable that all your efforts are good-natured intentions to bond well with your new-found friend, but imparting care and affection are done differently with Fido or Fluffy. All it takes is an expert advice to properly nurture your pet with right the food and exercise.

The voice of the U.S. pet food industry, Pet Food Institute (PFI), supports proper pet care with nutritionally-balanced and wholesome pet foods that guarantee a fit and happy pet. Through its initiatives in Well Fed, Well Nurtured campaign with the Veterinary Practitioners Association of the Philippines, PFI presents some of the most commonly practiced pet care mistakes.

Neglecting diet

The diversity in breed and size means that there are unique nutritional requirements among dogs and cats. Without consulting the vet and completely ignoring the value of a well-balanced diet for your pet can result to long-term harm to their health.
Chubby pets, for instance, are widely misconceived as a “cute..” In fact, obesity is prevalent among household dogs and cats due to inadequate feeding practices. While it’s a thoughtful gesture to make something for your loved ones, there is a big risk in giving home-made meals to your pet. Table scraps, home-made pet foods are nutritionally dense and possibly toxic. These foods can not only be negatively affect your pet’s health, but also encourage them to be choosy on their preference of food.

Visiting the vet only when the pet is sick
Vets play a crucial role in the welfare of the pet. Timely health examination will greatly benefit pets as it grows older. It is highly recommended to bring your pet to the clinic regularly because it prevents unwanted conditions from getting worse. If the symptoms just started to show, it is most likely your furry friend has been sick for quite some time. Unlike people, most pets have a tendency to mask their uneasiness. If not detected early, it will only prolong suffering and will gravely affect the pet’s longevity.

Apart from evaluating your pet head-to-toe, vets are also equipped with technology, such as X-rays, blood tests, and urinalysis, to thoroughly examine and aid your pet’s health. To fully ensure the safety of your furry companion, provide them with a recommended dose of preventative medication. Vaccination, deworming and pest control are some of the precautionary methods in boosting your pet’s immunity.

Skipping the training

Having a well-trained pet can do great advantage among pet owners. It’s a mistake to be complacent on your pet’s behavioral development. Even though canines and felines have their own innate characteristics to survive and adapt their environment, leaving them untrained may lead to emotional, social and mental complications. Training keeps them sharp and alert because it stimulates their senses and puts them on the move.  Especially for dogs, training is helpful in solidifying the pet-owner relationship – it can help fix unwanted behaviors and discourages them from aggravating other pets and people. House training, for example, will provide you convenience by the time your trained pet knows where to defecate in the proper areas.

For inexperienced pet owners who find it difficult to train their furry pals, you can consider signing up in formal pet training class. Classes are usually programmed based on age and skill level of the pet. It can be a good head start to teach them basic obedience commands and, possibly, some fun tricks your pets would be eager to learn.

Skipping the exercise
In addition to a wholesome diet, your pet needs appropriate exercise, which helps to optimize its physical and mental harmony. It strengthens bones and muscles, reduces digestive problems, and enhances brain function. Without activity, they can resort to destructive behaviors like digging and scratching or develop attention-seeking behaviors like excessive barking, for dogs.

Exercise doesn’t have to be a dull routine. Besides, pets are great exercise buddies. You can tag them along for morning walks or midday games of fetch or Frisbee. Athletic pet owners tend to be a bit more adventurous and give their pets swimming lessons. Remember to ask an expert about the best exercise for your pet. Vets will be able to give you suggestions on how much activity your pet can handle based on its health condition.

Not reading pet food labels
Daily lives have demanding schedules and there is an array of pet food options at the store. It may be overwhelming to choose the best food for your dog and cat when you are in a rush, but it is important to examine the label of pet food and select the best product for your pet. 

It can take some time to decipher the nutritional information, so ask a specialist if you need help. As a basic rule, look for certification labels for nutritional adequacy, such as the AAFCO (American Association of Feed Control Officials) statement, which will help you determine that the food is safe and has been tested to meet the recommended nutritional profiles. Select a pet food that suits your pet’s age and size that is formulated to achieve its nutritional requirements, and also follow the feeding instructions. This will help you determine the amount food that should be provided to your pets. 

It’s not too late to avoid the pitfalls in committing pet-parenting mistakes. Like a mother or father to a beloved child, pet owners must be committed to providing what’s best for their pet. Responsible pet ownership entails dedication in achieving their pet’s overall wellbeing. With all the joy and comfort a furry friend shares, surely there is nothing better to give in return than good health and happy life.

About the Pet Food Institute
PFI is the voice of the U.S. pet food industry and represents the companies that make 98% of U.S. pet food.  PFI is the industry's public education and media relations resource, representative before the U.S. Congress and state and federal agencies, organizer of seminars and educational programs, and liaison with other organizations. PFI represents the companies that make 98 percent of U.S. dog and cat food. PFI is dedicated to promoting the overall care and well-being of pets, and supporting initiatives to advance the quality nutrition for dogs and cats. For more information on PFI and proper pet nutrition, visit

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