If you were wondering how you could ensure your pets live a long and healthy life, this Reddit thread is exactly what you need.
When we adopt a pet, the best of us intend to give them the most fulfilling lives they could possibly have. However, despite our good intentions, we may not always know how to do that. Rather than going by their own assumptions, one Redditor took to the platform to ask veterinarians what, in their expert opinion, pet owners could do to make the lives of their pets better. In response, dozens of vets from across the world offered a plethora of ideas. From practical suggestions such as how to choose the best pet food, to the more sentimental things like loving them as deeply as you can, the vets of Reddit really came in clutch.
One vet stated, "Rather than just getting them a bunch of toys and hoping that keeps them entertained... Just sit on the floor and actually interact with them for a bit. Establishes a connection, and is cheaper than a bunch of fancy products that you toss to them and hope they are enthralled." Along similar lines, another vet added, "I'd like to see people focus not just on quantity but [the] quality of their pet's life. The best thing you can do for that is just incorporate them into your life as much as possible. Pay attention to them! Love them! Lots of walks! Lots of games! You'd be surprised what they can learn. Play hide and go seek. Play fetch. Sit beside them when you watch TV, pet them."
Meanwhile, other veterinarians had suggestions for those who adopt pets when they are younger. "I think the best thing you can do for your new pet, especially a puppy or kitten, is handle it A LOT when they’re young," one Reddit user and vet wrote. "Getting them used to having their feet handled, nails trimmed, mouth opened (even extra benefit if you get them used to teeth brushing daily, [the] gold standard for at-home dental care), ears touched (particularly breeds prone to ear infections, a huge benefit in the future if you have to administer topical ear medication)." They also shared that teaching pets restraint would only be beneficial in the long run. They advised, "I always tell my clients to practice restraint with their animals. That wriggly puppy that is cute when it nips when you hold it still grows up into a large dog that can’t be safely examined because it hasn’t learned to be okay with restraint."
Other vets offered suggestions leaning towards the more medical side of things. For instance, one user noted, "Removing a mass when it’s small is faster (less anesthetic risk), less invasive, less painful, less expensive and has a better chance of curing cancer should the mass turn out to be cancerous. This is even more pressing on delicate areas like eyelids and feet where there may not be a lot of extra tissue to work with should a large lump need to be removed." Another stated, "Get your pet a series of cartrophen (or zydax, adequacy, or pentosan polysulfate) injections when they turn eight. They help slow down the progression of arthritis and are safe and cost-effective."
Forrest is on a mission to say thank you for all the Birthday Fundraisers made for OFSDS! We are so grateful that you are thinking of our Old Friends on your special day. All of you help to make the life of our seniors the best they can be!❤️🐾#OFSDS #OFSDSForrest #SeniorDogs pic.twitter.com/nl07KF8ZSf— Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary (@oldfriendssds) May 29, 2021
Nonetheless, on the whole, vets encouraged pet owners to love their furry friends as they would the human members of their family. "Love your pet, tell them every day," a vet affirmed. "They can hear it in your voice and see it in your actions. They will repay you with everything they have. If you can’t love your pet, don’t get one."