Central Texas veterinarian offers ideas for caring for new animals

By Jennifer Whitlock
Discipline Editor

You have a new pet, but do you know the good treatment needed for all those 4-legged mates?

Dr. Bob Judd, longtime Waco-place veterinarian, offers some standard strategies on the Texas Farm Bureau Radio Network for welcoming a new pet into the residence.

Selecting the suitable pet food items
Judd is generally questioned by purchasers what he thinks is the best pet meals for their doggy or cat.

The solution is not so straightforward as 1 brand or one particular type but that pet proprietors take into account the digestibility, good quality command steps and dietary material of the food.

“There are hundreds of pet foodstuff out there on the current market, and just because the meals is high-priced does not mean it is a high-top quality food stuff,” he mentioned.

Screening for bioavailability and digestibility ought to be executed by the producer, along with investigation for dietary material. The manufacturer ought to also be capable to offer facts on high-quality regulate processes these types of as certification by the International Meals Basic safety Initiative (GFSI) and testing for pathogens or contaminants.

Judd mentioned each foodstuff should have an Affiliation of American Feed Manage Officials (AAFCO) statement that the foods is entire and well balanced and show which lifestyle stage the food stuff is meant for use in, such as puppies or grownup canines.

“If you go through carefully, some meals point out they’re only accepted for supplemental or intermittent feeding and not well balanced for full nourishment,” Judd said. “Food trials are the most precise process of figuring out stability, and firms that conduct meals trials likely give better meals.”

Human food items and medications
There are numerous human foodstuff and medications that can be unsafe or even deadly to pets.

More than-the-counter prescription drugs to continue to keep far absent from pets include non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or naproxen, generally sold below brand name names like Advil or Aleve. These can result in bleeding stomach, intestinal ulcers and kidney failure in animals.

In the same way, acetaminophen or Tylenol can problems cat’s purple blood cells and restrict their ability to have oxygen. In puppies, acetaminophen can induce liver failure and red blood cell destruction.

A wide variety of prevalent prescription medications—including antidepressants, amphetamines for attention deficit condition, snooze aids, hormonal birth control, beta blockers and ACE inhibitors for blood pressure and cardiac disorders—can induce major disease or irreversible organ harm in animals.

Judd suggests storing medicines in higher cupboards, securely out of the arrive at of animals and small children.

There are also some human food items that pets ought to prevent.

“You usually feel about chocolate, and whilst chocolate is poisonous to dogs, there are tons of other components in food that are also toxic,” Judd said.

Onions, garlic and other associates of the Allium family are extremely widespread substances in family members meals that are toxic to canines and cats. Dried and powdered components, this kind of as dried minced onion or garlic powder, consist of increased concentrations and can hence be even a lot more higher-threat.

Usage of these food items can harm the crimson blood cells in pet dogs and cats, leading to anemia. Judd observed cats are about 2 times as sensitive to these ingredients as canine.

Common indicators of about-ingestion contain gastrointestinal upset like decreased hunger, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain or drooling.

The ingestion of more substantial quantities that lead to red blood mobile problems frequently prospects to weakness, elevated coronary heart price, amplified respiratory amount or quickly, shallow respiration or panting, pale gums and bloody urine.

Kidney problems in canines with crimson blood cell destruction contain elevated consuming, improved or considerably diminished urination, vomiting and lessened appetite.

If a pet is observed ingesting onion, garlic or any related component, Judd encouraged the pet owner to call the veterinarian quickly.

Inducing vomiting or administering activated charcoal may be necessary to avert really serious damage. He claimed some animals will even call for IV fluids or a blood transfusion to survive.

Although not as risky, Judd additional baked merchandise can also induce illness or health issues in animals.

“They’re ordinarily substantial in fats and can direct to pancreatitis if fed routinely enough,” he reported.

Symptoms of pancreatitis include things like gastrointestinal upset and belly pain. Left untreated, the health issues can development to a additional extreme stage that needs lengthy hospitalization or might even turn out to be uncurable.

It’s very best not to feed animals any human food stuff. Judd stated small pet treats formulated specially for occasional feeding are the best alternatives to feeding pets or treats from the human desk. Pet treats can satisfy the human’s need to have to reward animals whilst aiding to hold the pet at a nutritious excess weight.

Seek advice from your veterinarian for far more data on new pet care.