Fitness For Dogs – Exercise Matters!
Exercise is just as important for dogs as it is for people – it’s essential to good health. So here are our 7 Key Points on fitness for your dog or your new puppy.
Key Point 1 – Why Is Exercise SO Important?
Of course, we all know that exercise is good to help us humans to maintain a healthy weight, keep our muscles and joints flexible and help us live longer and feel better.
Well, for exactly the same reasons, your dog needs plenty of exercise too.
There are other advantages too – for youngsters, it will use up some of their nervous energy and stop them getting bored – so they are less likely to damage your furniture.
Key Point 2 – Have Fun!
Dogs are great fun to exercise – and can get you more active too.
So why not combine your exercise and work out together!
Key Point 3 – Start Slowly
After your vet gives your puppy a clean bill of health, and his or her vaccinations are in place, start him or her on gentle exercise.
You need to start slowly and make sure you don’t overdo it, while your puppy is young and all his or her bones are still growing.
Just like people who aren’t used to exercise, if you get an adult dog who hasn’t done much recently, you should start off slowly too.
Moderately paced walking is a good way to start – just 10-15 minutes.
Key Point 4 – Build Up Gradually
Now you can let your dog build his or her heart and muscle strength gradually without putting too much stress on their joints.
You can build up to an hour a day, or even more eventually, if your dog seems up to it. Most people split their exercise sessions into twice a day.
If, after a few months, your dog can handle long, fast walks without fatigue, he could graduate to jogging with you.
Key Point 5 – Watch Out For Warning Signs
Watch out for any unusual signs of fatigue or trouble breathing. If your dog wants to stop, let them.
Dogs that overdo it can suffer strained tendons or ligaments or other problems.
Key Point 6 – Grass is best!
You dog may be a carnivore on the food front, but when it comes to exercise, green is better.
Try to take your dog out on dirt paths or grass as much as possible. Gravel, concrete, tarmac and road salt can all irritate your dog’s paws.
Key Point 7 – Water is the Source of Life
Just like you, the more active your dog is, the more water he or she needs. Always check your dog has enough fresh water before and after your exercise.
If you’re going for a long run, or on very hot days, take some water along for both of you.
Finally, do remember that some breeds and types of dog need more exercise than others. If you have a collie, for example, you’ll need to be out and about with your dog even more.
We will always put together a tailored healthcare plan for your dog or your new puppy and this will cover fitness and exercise.
Meanwhile, if you have any queries about the right fitness regime for your dog, please do Call Us on 01 287 4802 to book an appointment.
Animal Hospital Kilcoole – The Vets Pets Pick
Vaccinations – Essential For Your Cat
Treating sick and injured animals is obviously a very important part of any vet’s work, but we are great believers in proactive healthcare and preventative medicine.
Vaccination for kittens is the no 1 top priority starting point.
What do they protect against?
Routine vaccination will protect your kitten against several very nasty contagious diseases, which they can catch from the environment or from unprotected cats. Feline Enteritis, Cat Flu viruses, Feline Leukaemia Virus and Chlamydia are the killers here.
We still regularly find cats that haven’t been vaccinated dying totally unnecessarily from these serious diseases. Please, just don’t let that happen to your cute little kitten.
The initial course consists of 2 injections, about 4 weeks apart. Both are essential for full protection – if your cat misses the 2nd one, you need to start again.
If you get an older cat and you don’t know whether they have been vaccinated, then you need to start again, and have the full 2 part course, to be sure they are fully protected.
All reputable animal shelters and charities will make sure their cats are up to date with their vaccinations, before re-homing them – but please do ask and check.
Once your kitten has had his or her initial vaccination course, it is really important for them to have an annual booster vaccination, for the rest of their lives.
It’s obviously just as vital to make sure they keep up their immunity, as older cats can succumb to these killer diseases just the same as kittens and puppies.
In fact they are especially important for older animals. Elderly cats are more likely to have a poor immune system. Just like us humans!
Are they all really necessary?
Well the latest research suggests that the protection given against some of these diseases lasts longer than just one year. So of course we only vaccinate against the diseases which require annual vaccination. The others are given as necessary.
This means your cat always has the protection it needs, while avoiding the worry of unnecessary vaccinations.
It’s always best to have a full health assessment together with your pet’s annual vaccination booster. This is a great opportunity for your vet to examine your cat for any problems that you may not have even been aware of.
Early diagnosis always gives the best chance of a successful outcome! So the annual vaccination booster is even more worthwhile.
A vaccination card gives you a complete record of your cat’s vaccinations, so you always know you are up to date.
When you go on holiday, you’ll find that all catteries will want to see your vaccination card and check everything is up to date too. (If they don’t, then don’t leave your cat with them – choose another cattery).
Of course your cat is always welcome with us at our own Seaview Cattery.
So do make sure you keep your vaccination card somewhere safe.
Vaccination is a safe, reliable and cost effective way of giving your cat the very best chance of living a long and healthy life.
If your cat’s vaccinations are due, or you think he or she may not be fully protected, Please Do Call Us on 01 287 4802 to book an appointment.
Animal Hospital Kilcoole – The Vets Pets Pick
Good dental care for your rabbits is vital
Tooth related problems are probably the most common preventable problem we see in rabbits – it just keeps cropping up…
What exactly are the problems?
The real problem is that rabbits’ teeth just grow and grow – and then still keep on growing! All their lives in fact.
Like many herbivores, rabbits evolved to graze much of the day – and that kept their teeth in good shape. They were worn down regularly.
If rabbits’ teeth grow too long, it causes all sorts of problems…
Painful ulcers … tooth abscesses … the roots become distorted… their crowns can get so sharp they cut into the poor rabbit’s cheeks and tongue.
It can get so bad that their teeth can start poking into the gums – and even come right through their cheeks and mouth.
What else? Well it’s also common for rabbits’ teeth not to meet properly. This causes similar problems.
So what can we do?
Ideally of course, your rabbits will be eating plenty of grass and hay, and not too much concentrated feeds such as pellets, so they won’t have too many problems.
However, your rabbits’ teeth may well need clipping or filing to keep them down, regularly, if they are not grazing enough.
This is really painful for a rabbit – so don’t try it yourself at home! Your rabbit needs an anaesthetic, which of course means we must do this for you.
While if your rabbits’ teeth are badly aligned, they could need a simple operation to remove the incisor teeth. This is much the best long term solution.
Wooden sticks, as well as dog chews, are great ways to help your rabbit keep his or her teeth worn down. (Hazel and apple tree branches are best).
If your rabbit develops dental problems, he or she is likely to have trouble grooming as well as eating. Both are essential to good health.
Regular checks are the key
Checking your rabbit’s teeth is one of the first things we look at during our regular health reviews and examinations.
Luckily, you don’t need to take your pet rabbit to a rabbit only dentist! We can do all this for you.
If you think your rabbit’s teeth may need attention, please do book an appointment or a healthcare review – Call Us on 01 287 4802.
Meanwhile, just make sure your rabbit gets plenty of grass and hay – especially now the winter is coming and the grass isn’t growing much.