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Dr Chris’ Top 7 Must-Know Health Tips for Your Pet

We all love our pets. Unfortunately our furry friends don't stick around as long as we do. In order to ensure a long living animal pal, veterinarian Dr. Chris Brown provides his top tips on how to guarantee your pet lives well into retirement.

Top Tips

  • Take your cat or dog to the dentist to get their teeth cleaned regularly. Dental disease is very common in dogs with 80% of canines suffering from the ailment along with 70% of cats. By 2 years of age most pets will have some form of dental problem, which worsens by middle age and can lead to further health problems. Regular teeth cleaning can add 3-5 years to a pet's life.

  • No smoking should be permitted around pets inside the house. Passive smoking in pets can lead to asthma, pneumonia, lung and nasal cancer as well as lymphoma in cats.

  • Pets should be de-sexed. This will decrease the likelihood of developing ovarian, mammary, testicular or prostate cancer.

  • Make sure your yard is secure and your dog cannot escape. Thousands of pets are killed or injured each year due to encounters with other animals or car accidents.

  • If you are a gardening green thumb be careful about which pesticides you are using around your yard. They have been shown to cause bladder cancer in some dog breeds.

  • Make sure your pets are sunsmart and stay out of the harsh sun in the middle of the day. Carcinomas are common on ear tips, noses, eyelids and exposed stomachs. Use a specially manufactured pet sunscreen to keep your pets protected from UV rays and to ensure they won't be able to lick it off.

  • Many pets are overweight, which can reduce their lifespan by 1.8 years on average. Health risks that could develop include digestive and respiratory illnesses as well as early arthritis. It is up to pet owners to ensure their pets are fed according to pet food packaging guidelines and getting plenty of exercise.

  • Think about your pet's nutrition. Quality dry food that is high in protein and Omega 5 is recommended. Adding green leafy vegetables like spinach and broccoli three times a week can also reduce the risk of developing some cancers.

How do I toilet train my cat

I rescued an adult female, desexed cat six months ago. Apparently she’s always been an outside cat. I have another cat who is mostly indoors and I would only let outside during the day if I was home. Luna didn’t like being indoors and wasn’t using the litter tray properly. I had her confined in the bathroom for a few days to get use to it and she would go next to it, rarely in it. She will sometimes use a tray otherwise will urinate or poop on the floor. I am at wits end. I have two trays, I’ve changed the type of litter, put dirt in the tray, picked up the poop and put it in the tray to show her that where it goes. I’ve used spray in the tray to attract her to want to use the tray. I bought felliway diffuser which is meant to calm cats and have also used the rescue remedy drops in her food. I’ve recently moved house where there is a cat enclosure so she can go in and out when ever she pleases but still goes in the kitchen (as I now close the bathroom door when she started going to the toilet in there), but tonight I noticed she’s been going in the spare room if anything is left on the floor which is carpeted. So I’ve now cleared that whole room to prevent her from going to the toilet. She is still going in the kitchen. I’ve tried cleaning the area and eliminating her scent by using water and vinegar then once dry use bi carb soda and hydrogen peroxide and it has made no difference. She’s been tested for a bladder infection which came up negative. I love animals. I have another cat which she now gets along with and two dogs which she is still getting use to. I don’t know what else to do and I don’t want to give her up but feel like I will have no choice.