How to Keep Your Pet Dogs and Cats Happy and Healthy
by Veterinary Surgeon, Dr Odile Sicouri
1/ GOOD QUALITY DIET
‘You are what you eat’ is true for our pets too.
The current human trend applies: look for fewer grains, and choose foods that are made from real produce - not bi-products or derivatives (high quality dry, wet or raw food) and healthy fats. Obesity is a growing problem in our pets so keep an eye on their weight.
2/ MENTAL STIMULATION
Pets need to exercise their brains as well as their bodies.
Dogs require social interactions and cats need to establish clear territories. Don’t underestimate the complexity of felines: even indoor cats need to fulfil their hunting instincts.
They are not little people. Trust them and treat them like members of your family but understand they are not human. Respect your differences and learn their boundaries.
4/ CONSIDERED PREVENTATIVE HEALTH CARE
Find a vet who you trust and who thinks more holistically.
Just like people, all our pets are not the same: tailor vaccinations, parasite prevention and healthcare to their lifestyle, age and genetics. They are individuals too.
Call in the carers! Nurture a community of like-minded friends to support you and help provide a balanced social life for your pet. This might also give someone the opportunity to invest in a pet they can’t have themselves.
6/ EDUCATE YOURSELF
Know basic first aid and learn about plants and common toxins that can be deadly to your pets. Don’t wait to seek medical advice, knowledge is power. It might save you a 3am visit to the emergency clinic.
See animalpoisonline.co.uk ph 01202 509000
Header image @lecorgi photographed by Aurelie @photobyA4
Odile Sicouri is of French-Mediterranean parentage and grew up in Western Australia, in an environment where animals were an important and ever present part of the familial landscape.
She has made London her home for the past 15 years and has worked in a variety of small animal practices in London. In the past, she has worked with endangered marsupials in Australia, with Orang-utans in Borneo and has devoted time to charities in Morocco and India.
Her approach to pet health care is holistic. She wants people to look at their pets as a ‘whole’. To refrain from humanising them too much but to understand that they do have individual needs. It is not a ‘one size fits all’ approach when it comes to our pets’ health care, and ultimately, their welfare.
She is passionate about all animals and the role that vets should play in educating the public about some of the more contentious issues. With the rise in popularity of breeds that are often selected for physical traits that disadvantage them, it seems that role is more important than ever.
The impact of pet ownership on the environment is also something that she wants people to pro-actively think about.
She lives with her rescue cat, Leonard. He teaches her patience.