Pet Health

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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It's very simple, this responsibility we have for our pets and our pet health. It is also serious. It is absolute. It is for life. It is ours and no one else's. Ensuring pet health means providing food, shelter, and love. Simple visits to the vet once a year, while imperative, are not enough. This is all well and good for a soap box pep speech, but let's translate this responsibility into something a bit more tangible.

Environment and Diet Affect Pet Health

A healthy environment for a pet means protection from physical harm, disease, dangerous conditions, and kidnapping. This usually translates, in cities and towns, to the pet living primarily indoors. In most municipalities, dogs are not allowed to run free, and when they are walked, leash laws often apply. Cats are not subject to the same restriction--some things are close to impossible, after all. Most cat owners know that getting a cat to agree to a leash is not worth the effort. The danger for cats is that they are likely to be hit by a car or involved in a cat fight.

Pet health includes shelter, which means includes healthy air and warm, dry places to sleep. It means preventing access to poisons and chemicals, potential allergens, and a host of other dangers. Plenty of fresh water goes a long way as well. Animals and people can make do without food, at least temporarily. An animal deprived of water can die within days.

As to the ideal diet, dogs and cats are carnivores. This means raw meat, raw bone, and a bit of vegetation to help with digestion. Nature's menu for birds is more varied. They eat insects, worms, grains, ripe fruits, and vegetables. Diet is important, the single most telling preventive medicine. Your veterinarian can learn a lot about pet health and whether your pet's diet is adequate by simply looking at your pet. The quality of diet shows immediately in your pet's coat and eyes and energy level.

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