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Responsible Pet Ownership

September is Responsible Pet Ownership Month

Responsible Pet Ownership

Owning a pet is a privilege and should result in a mutually beneficial relationship. Responsible pet ownership means more than adoring your pet. The benefits of pet ownership come with obligations.  Pet ownership is a serious commitment that consists of vital duties. In addition to meeting your pets basic needs, here are some of the most important rules of conscientious pet ownership.

Commit for the long haul

When you choose to get a pet, you must choose to become a responsible pet owner. Unfortunately, not all pet owners act responsibly, abandoning their pets when they become inconvenient. The most irresponsible of pet owners will leave them to fend for themselves in a vacant home or chained in a yard. This is tragic and unacceptable.

Make Time For Your Pet

Bonding is not something you can do once and assume it’s finished. The bond with your pet is built during the first few weeks to months of ownership, but maintaining the bond is a lifelong process. Remember that while you are at work, out with friends, or running errands, your pet is usually just waiting for you to come home.

Provide Proper Identification

Your pet should wear a collar at all times with current identification. Consider microchipping your pet for an added layer of protection. Proper identification can help you become reunited with your pet if lost rather than letting your pet become one more homeless pet in an overcrowded shelter.

Nutritional Basics for Senior Cats – part 3

The nutritional needs of older cats are influenced nutritionalby any health problems they may have, many of which — such as kidney failure, diabetes mellitus and heart disease — are more common in older cats and often benefit from special dietary modifications. It’s essential to monitor your cat’s eating, since lack of appetite is one of the more common signs of disease. However, a good appetite does not rule out disease, because certain conditions (such as hyperthyroidism, diabetes mellitus, malnutrition from malabsorption or maldigestion, parasites, and exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, among others) may result in normal or increased appetite.

Your veterinarian is the best person to talk to about your older cat’s individual diet needs. But for most healthy older cats, a commercial senior diet, or sometimes even a diet formulated for adult cats, will be fine. Diets developed especially for senior cats often have increased digestibility to offset weight loss and decreased absorption of nutrients; increased antioxidants to help boost a weakening immune system; and increased palatability and softer kibble.

It’s sometimes a challenge to keep your older cat eating what you want him to, and you may have to make compromises. Talk to your veterinarian if your cat has changes in appetite or weight. Every cat, and every situation, is different.

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