10 Most controversial pet questions,answered by a vet (Part 2)
- by DR Roxanne Jones
Here’s the second part in our two-part series focusing on some of the most contentious questions we get asked at our veterinary practice. Maybe you’ve even wondered some of these things yourself. Here are the questions you may have been too afraid to ask, and answers straight from a vet.
In case you missed part one, read it here: 10 most controversial pet questions, answered by a vet (part 1).
Can I feed my pet regular supermarket pet food?
Almost all diets, if administered correctly, are good for your pet, except for one: the supermarket food diet.
Think of grocery store pet food as fast-food for your animals: it’s poor quality, nutritionally unbalanced, and filled with non-nutritive fillers that offer no health benefits, and which can actually be harmful to your pets.
Feeding premium pelleted food (i.e. from your vet or a vet shop) is the simplest, easiest way to give your furbaby a balanced diet without complications. Raw diets are growing in popularity too, but they must be researched properly and followed correctly to ensure that your pet enjoys a balanced diet without risk of nutritional deficiencies or even illness. Table scraps are okay when given as a supplement to your pet’s diet, but they shouldn’t form the whole diet, and you must be careful to avoid human foods that are dangerous for pets.
- Can I give bones to my dog?
The short answer is no. Every week at our veterinary practice, we see serious cases of dogs being injured by eating bones. Often, the complications arising from these injuries are life-threatening for pets and come at a great cost to owners.
If you’ve been feeding bones to your dogs for their whole life without incident, you’re lucky. It’s likely to be a matter of time before something goes wrong.
- Can I treat my pet’s simple health complications at home?
It depends. Yes, if you know what you’re doing, are able to tell the difference between serious and non-serious ailments, and are confident you can handle the issue yourself. If you have even the slightest doubt, do not neglect your pet – instead, get to the vet ASAP. Ignoring serious conditions for too long, or trying unsuccessfully to treat them yourself, may have dire consequences for your animal. Rather be safe than sorry: leaving something too long could mean that it’s too late for your furkid.
- Is it okay to let my dog live outside?
Is it okay to let my dog live outside?
Many dogs are well adapted to the cooler weather and actually thrive in cold temperatures, as they have thick coats that keep them warm.
- Can I leave my cat alone at home when I go on holiday?
For short periods it should be okay, provided you’ve left sufficient amounts of food and water for her. However, it’s not recommended for more than a day or two, and if you do choose to leave your cat alone, you must take care to ensure that she isn’t able to be accidentally locked in a room or a space without access to her food and water. Cats can quickly succumb to the effects of dehydration and starvation. If you’re away for any more than a day or two, we recommend that you either enlist the services of a pet-sitter, or at the very least, ensure someone comes to check on your cat each day.
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