Five mistakes you may make can cause serious injury to your pet

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Look up, pug

Rebecca Nelson / Getty

Your pet is part of your family and you’ll never think of hurting him. However, even well meaning pet parents may inadvertently put their pets at risk. From too much food to unsafe riding, you need to put these five less obvious dangers on your radar to help your furry BFF live the healthiest and happiest life.

1. Provide all day Buffet

Danger: neither cats nor dogs should feed all day, as this contradicts the internal rhythm that requires an organized and organized feeding time. When pets have access to food at the age of 24-7, they are likely to overeat – which can lead to obesity. An estimated 56% of dogs and 60% of cats are obese. “The obesity of most pets is mainly the result of overfeeding,” said Ernie ward, founder of the pet obesity prevention association and author of the clean pet food revolution. Obesity can lead to a variety of health problems for pets, including cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

Solution: schedule feeding twice a day, 8 to 10 hours apart, Ward said. Let the pet eat for 30 to 45 minutes, then pick up and remove any remaining food. Although this works well for dogs who usually eat everything at once, cats may take time to adapt. But don’t worry. “Cats will soon become popular,” Ward said. A warning? If your cat has diabetes or kidney disease, you may need to modify this schedule. If you have any questions, please discuss with your veterinarian how much and how often your pet should eat.

2. Use the wrong collar size

Danger: too tight or loose collar is not only a safety problem, but also a control problem. Too tight collars can restrict blood flow into and out of the brain, damaging the trachea and even causing the pet to lose consciousness. If you exercise with your dog and he starts pulling, the same thing happens to the loose collar. The extra space in the collar (what ward calls a force multiplier) increases the dog’s pull and can generate enough force in the neck to hurt the animal. The collar, even if it’s the right size, doesn’t allow you to control your dog, which can be a problem when he jumps up for the rabbit who just crossed the street – let alone twist him when you least expect it.

Solution: use the two finger rule. If you can place two adult sized fingers between the collar and the pet’s throat, the size is appropriate. Although the collar may be suitable for quick toilet use outdoors, consider upgrading to a seat belt when walking the dog. Ward said that the seat belt can distribute the pressure on the pet’s back or sternum, allowing you to better control and eliminate the danger. As for the cat collar, Ward said he was not a fan unless it was designed for an outdoor cat and included a bell to warn wildlife. If you do use a collar, whether it’s for your cat or dog, you can use a split collar so that your pet won’t get stuck on anything.

Related: 10 safe and comfortable cat straps are suitable for all your outdoor adventures

3. It is allowed to roam freely in the vehicle

Danger: thousands of dogs are injured in car accidents every year. Ward said that whether they are sitting in the back of the convertible or wandering in the car, if the vehicle has an accident, they may become projectiles and be injured. The same is true of cars. If your pet is small enough, it may crawl under the pedal while you are driving and cause an accident. Also, consider what might happen after an accident, even if your pet is good. If someone opens the door without knowing there are animals inside, your pet may escape and be killed or lost by traffic.

Solution: keep your pet in the car anytime, anywhere. Place the dog (if traveling long distances) and cat in a properly sized crate or basket to make sure it doesn’t slip. ‘if you travel with your dog for a short distance, a seat belt and seat belt for your dog will work well,’ Ward said.

4. Expose your pet to secondhand smoke

Danger: smoking is not only harmful to people; It’s also bad for pets. “A large number of studies have shown that second-hand smoke can harm pets,” said Tim Hackett, Professor of emergency and intensive care medicine at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. “Almost all smoking related diseases can happen to pets.”

Solution: if you are a smoker, you’d better quit smoking. Understanding how this habit affects your pet may provide an incentive to quit smoking, according to the journal tobacco control. At a minimum, smoking outdoors will limit the harmful particles that pets inhale. Do not smoke in vehicles where particles become super concentrated. And don’t think you’re doing your pet a favor by using e-cigarettes. Dogs get sick by inhaling steam and liquid nicotine after eating electronic cigarettes. If you are not a smoker, but you have friends and family, please make them aware of these dangers. Don’t let them smoke in your car. If they’re taking care of your pet,

5. Heartworm prevention

Danger: heartworm is caused by worms transmitted by mosquitoes that bite infected animals. Chris Adolph, a senior veterinary expert at zoetis, Inc. in Tulsa, Oklahoma, said that when infected mosquitoes bite dogs or cats, these animals get sick. Heartworm can damage the lungs, heart and arteries of dogs and lead to long-term respiratory diseases in cats. Without treatment, these conditions can be fatal.

Solution: no matter your zip code or your pet’s lifestyle, all pets need to be protected against heartworm all year round. Depending on the formula you choose, prophylactics need to be applied or ingested monthly, every six months or annually. Just don’t skip the application. Even a month without medication can make your pet vulnerable, Adolf said. Heartworm treatment is intensive and may include medication, many of which can cause pet pain and tenderness; Movement restriction; Supportive care; And may be hospitalized.

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