Rex and the city: Keeping your city pet healthy
Big city living is certainly not for everyone, but there are some people who don’t mind tackling the crowds, noise, traffic, and other discomforts in order to be in the middle of the city, and all its attractions. After spending this Labor Day weekend in New York I realized that there is a kind of beauty and charm that may not be clearly seen with the physical senses but is more felt in the heart. There is a certain pull that tugs at the heart, whispering things like “It would be awesome to live in this building and be able to walk everywhere, be so close to so many people, and be able to experience and absorb so much art and culture in one place.”
There are a few things that surprised me about New York after spending the long weekend there as a tourist. The first thing was how friendly, approachable, and caring most people were, and the other was how many people live in their little city apartments with dogs and cats. During my short visit I must have counted no less than ten pet grooming facilities and I observed people walking their dogs on almost every street.
It may at first seem unwise to live with a dog in a little apartment; however, most “city dogs” do actually get as much if not more attention and exercise as their “country dog” counterparts. City dog owners do not have the ability to simply open the door to the backyard to leave the dog outside all day; instead, they have to take them for an actual walk. This walk with their pack leader (hopefully that’s you) is something that dogs seem to thrive on and love.
Even though it does seem that most dogs and cats adjust well to city living, there are some things that can improve the overall wellbeing of city pets, as well as the experience of their owners. For example, giving your pet a high quality pet food that contain less fillers will help reduce the amount of times the pet has to eliminate. While this may simply be a matter of litter maintenance and odor in cats, this can become a much larger problem with dogs. If the dog owners work and cannot walk the dog every few hours, those useless fillers in the food may make it difficult if not impossible for the dog to “hold it in.” This is not only a major inconvenience but can also affect the health and wellbeing of the pet. Optimal intestinal health may also be maintained by giving a probiotic such as FortiFlora. ForiFlora contains a special strain of probiotics to help maintain intestinal health and also contains active live cultures, vitamins, and helps promotes a healthy immune system in both dogs and cats.
Another often overlooked potential problem with city dogs are fleas and ticks. Many people feel that if their dog is kept inside most of the day, there is a reduced risk of flea and tick infestation. This could not be further from the truth because city dogs usually have to be walked in common areas where other dogs also frequent which makes it very easy for fleas and ticks to go from one dog to the next. This means that using or giving a good quality flea/tick preventative is just as important for apartment dogs as it for the ones with an open yard in which to run.
Similar to flea and tick transmission, dogs who are walked in common areas may transmit other communicable diseases between one another. While it may be impossible to completely prevent all diseases, keeping the dog’s immune system in top shape may be the best way to reduce the chances of bacterial or viral transmission. A general multivitamin used daily can ensure that the pet is not deficient in anything that the body requires for disease prevention and tissue repair and antioxidants such as Omega 3 help prevent free radicals from causing damage to the cells of organs in the body. A product such as the Super Pure Omega 3 comes in a softgel and is made with pharmaceutical grade omega 3 fish oil.
Another product that contains synergistic nutrients designed to prevent free radical damage and boost the immune system is called Cell Advance. Containing super oxide dismutase (SOD) to deactivate super oxides, glutathione peroxidase and catalase to protect against specific free radicals in combination with specific amino acids and minerals this product is designed to optimize the health of dogs who may constantly be exposed to germs and toxins.
The bottom line is this: if a pet is loved and well taken care of, he or she will most likely thrive and be happy. The real secret ingredient for keeping a pet happy is by giving it something that doesn’t cost a thing, and that is LOVE. If love is not present, even in the most suitable external environment you find dogs and cats who not only lack good health but also lack a zest for life itself.
As always, if you feel that something is not right with your pet, take him or her to the veterinarian for an exam. This can save you much heartache and aggravation later on by keeping everything in working in order and not missing something that can cause serious harm if left untreated. Last but not least, if you have any medication-related questions you can always contact your 1800Petmeds Pharmacist who will be happy to answer those for you.