Friday, November 29, 2013

Vets Speak: The Time is now for Preventive Pet Health

Companion animals are loyal friends that bring joy to every pet owner. It is the companionship and devotion of a pet that forges a deep bond with people. By providing shelter, food, veterinary care and safety, pet owners are able to return that special affection and fulfill their responsibilities as a pet owner. There are easy, preventative steps pet owners can take to help promote overall wellness and a long healthy life for their cats and dogs.

Proper pet nutrition and care promote a long and happy pet life.

Vets for Pets

A veterinarian is a crucial partner in the care of a pet. The quality of care that a pet receives in its earliest years can affect its health as it grows older. While some pet owners only seek veterinary advice upon noticing significant changes in their pet’s body, it is advised to bring a pet to a veterinarian regularly to minimize the chances of serious health condition.

Apart from recurring check-ups that cover the eyes to skin and fur, technology used by veterinarians can evaluate the complex aspects of health to aid the pet’s longevity. A visit to the local veterinarian can involve blood tests, oral exams, radiographs (X-rays), and urinalysis that can reveal what may be lacking or is being adequately provided to the pet.

Some diseases do not manifest physical symptoms immediately. If left untreated, pets may experience more pain once the illness has developed. For instance, many pet owners do not notice that their senior dog has osteoarthritis until it has become severe. Pets do not express their discomfort in the way that people do and some even mask their pain, which prevents early detection at home. Parasites, fleas, and ticks also pose dangers not only to pets but people as well. Contact with specific factors in the environment can bring about a risk to the overall fitness of the pet. However, regular veterinary care can shorten the treatment of potential problems, and even save on cost.


One of the cornerstones of responsible pet ownership is providing the pet with as much protection to aid its immune system as possible. Regular vaccination is an easy way to prevent serious illness in pets. Only veterinarians and trained practitioners can safely administer a vaccination after making a comprehensive assessment of age and health condition. There are several core vaccines that kittens and puppies need to receive as early as 6 weeks of age. For canines, veterinarians recommend vaccination for distemper, parvo, adenovirus, and rabies. On the other hand, felines are suggested to obtain panleukopenia or feline distemper, calici or respiratory infection, herpes, and rabies. Pet owners should seek professional veterinary opinion on the essential non-core vaccines to apply thereafter.

Among the many diseases that owners must keep their pets from contracting, rabies remains a principal concern. Although the country no longer belongs to the watch list of rabies incidents in the ASEAN region, there is still a need for pet owners to incorporate inoculation for rabies in their pet’s health maintenance schedule to ensure a happy and healthy life. Kittens and puppies are recommended to get one dose of rabies vaccine annually.

The Well-Fed Well-Nurtured campaign continues to guide the Philippine pet community to responsible pet ownership through education on proper pet nutrition and care.

Healthy Feeding

There is no specific feeding practice that perfectly suits all types of pets. A veterinarian can help determine the most suitable food to adequately sustain each pet’s weight, energy level for daily activities, and appearance.

Measuring the amount of food given of a particular diet is key to matching the unique metabolism and activity level of each pet. The feeding directions on the pet food label provide guidance on the quantity of pet food for each meal. A veterinarian can help a pet owner assess their pet’s weight and body condition. If the pet begins to gain or lose weight, the volume of food at each feeding should be adjusted. Treats should be provided in moderation to avoid packing extra weight. People foods must also be avoided as ingredients are not only potentially harmful to general pet health but also increases the opportunity for pets to exceed the allowed caloric intake and pack on the pounds. Pet owners should be vigilant of any rapid changes in the pet’s weight and energy level as it may indicate serious health condition such as malnutrition, diabetes, and even some cancers.

A wide range of commercial pet foods from the United States promote a well-balanced diet that is fully formulated for all stages of pet growth. Commercial U.S. pet food brands continue to bring the most regulated set of products in the animal food industry. Apart from research and safety procedures that ensure safe and nutritious pet food for cats and dogs, pet food makers aid consumers in understanding the product and its intended benefits.

No matter what risks are at play, by paying attention to and putting the nutritional needs of pets at the center of the daily routine, pet owners can help their furry companions experience a full and happy life. In an effort to educate Filipino pet owners about responsible pet ownership, the voice of the United States’ pet food industry, Pet Food Institute (PFI) and the Veterinary Practitioners Association of the Philippines (VPAP) share their vision for a healthier Philippine pet community through the Well-Fed, Well-Nurtured campaign. The public awareness campaign recently led lectures in Makati City and ParaƱaque City, and continues to work with VPAP, pet groups, and PFI member companies to amplify proper pet care in the country.

About the Pet Food Institute

PFI is the voice of the U.S. pet food industry and represents the companies that make 98% of U.S. pet food. PFI is the industry's public education and media relations resource, representative before the U.S. Congress and state and federal agencies, organizer of seminars and educational programs, and liaison with other organizations. PFI represents the companies that make 98 percent of U.S. dog and cat food. PFI is dedicated to promoting the overall care and well-being of pets, and supporting initiatives to advance the quality nutrition for dogs and cats. For more information on PFI and proper pet nutrition, visit

About the Veterinary Practitioners Association of the Philippines

The Veterinary Practitioners Association of the Philippines (VPAP) is the oldest and biggest multi-disciplinary Veterinary association in the country. Founded in 1972 by a small group of practitioners involved in the fields of small animal, equine, swine and industrial medicine practices, the VPAP has grown leaps and bounds ever since it's conception. The VPAP now cover a wider variety of disciplines namely swine, large animals, small ruminants, wildlife, research, laboratory animals and even the academe. As envisioned by its founding Fathers, the VPAP seeks to promote and enhance the practice of Veterinary Medicine in the Philippines; foster a stronger and more active fellowship and comradeship among government institutions in the eradication of animal diseases, and with the end in view of contributing to their health and general welfare of the people; standardize professional fees; and hold, own or lease properties of whatever nature and kind not prohibited by law as are necessary or incidental to the exercise of the purpose of the association. During the last decades, the VPAP has been active in pushing for laws that has benefited both man and animals such as the animal welfare act, and the revised Veterinary act. Also, numerous continuing professional education programs [CPE] have been organized to enable the practitioner to continuously update his professional skills.

No comments:

Post a Comment