*This post is sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim, a research-driven pharmaceutical company that stands for innovative healthcare products for people and animals for more than 130 years, but all opinions are my own. Please see below for additional disclosure.
Truthfully, there might not be a more authentic post on this blog than the one I’m about to share today. Why? Because, as I write this pet-centered story, our sweet kitty, Tonks, has just come home from the vet after a particularly harrowing (for all of us) dental procedure.
This teeny tiny cat came from the local pet adoption center with all sorts of odd conditions, including naturally-crossed eyes, constant wheezes and sneezes, not to mention a jaw full of problem teeth. This isn’t the first time Tonks has had teeth pulled during a scheduled cleaning, but it might just be the worst one yet since she’s now without “fangs” (i.e. those upper canine teeth). She seems pretty darn confused by the gaps in her smile. In fact, she’s curled up in bed next to me right now as I type this, her new underbite propping her lips up in all sorts of awkward angles.
Happily, time passes and with it comes healing, but being the proactive pet owner that I am, I’ll always keep a close eye on all four of our furry friends. So, when the makers of PUREVAX® Feline Rabies vaccines got in touch with an invitation to have Tonks and our other cats inspire a new wave of vaccination awareness, I responded with an enthusiastic, “Let’s do it!” Taking care of our pets isn’t rocket science, but there are so many little strategic things that we can do to help keep them healthy for the long run. Read on for the top five creative tricks we practice here in our own pet-friendly (read: pet-ruled) household.
1. Play Doctor
Now, of course, I don’t mean give them injections or invasive abdominal examinations, but it’s always a good idea to give your pet a periodic once over. Gently peer in at their teeth to look for signs of tartar or irritation, check their ears for cleanliness, and keep an eye on their eating, drinking, and litter box habits. Keeping yourself educated about your pets’ general wellness will be helpful when it comes time to take them to the vet for a real examination—you’ll be able to answer the doctor’s questions with ease and confidence.
2. Pre-schedule Check-Ups
While we’re on the topic of the vet, go ahead and pre-schedule those check-ups. August 22 is actually Take Your Cat to the Vet Day, so it’s the perfect time. For whatever reason, I tend to get really annoyed by reminders from anyone—the doctor, the vet, the hairdresser, you name it. Maybe it’s because I’m just so independent, but I hate feeling nagged, so I always pre-schedule appointments ahead of time. When I’m at the vet paying for that year’s visit, I go ahead and schedule the next one right then and there for the following year. It crosses the to-do off my list before it even gets added to it, plus I can rest easy knowing that our pets are well taken care of since the vet is able to look in on them at least once a year.
Did you know that in the U.S., more cats are infected with rabies than any other domestic animals?* The word “rabies” alone is quick to elicit fear in the hearts of any pet owner (thanks, Old Yeller…), and it’s not something you ever want to experience first-hand. The good news is that this serious, often fatal, viral infection can be prevented with proper vaccinations.
That’s why this cat lady (yours truly) was so giddy to team up with the PUREVAX team to share their Pure Protection program, which aims to educate cat owners about the importance of vaccines. Visit PurevaxPureProtection.com for more information on this particular infection’s threat, and how to help protect your sweet kitty cat.
4. Play, Play, Play
Now this is really where the creative side of things comes into ‘play.’ Activity is such a simple way to encourage healthy lives, so we do all sorts of things to make it part of our four pets’ daily routines. I’m always trying to think of new ways to get our pets moving. Of course, they don’t make it easy on us since no one pet likes the same type of play as the other.
For example, Tonks loves to play fetch, Ginny is partial to chasing a laser pointer, Luna is obsessed with anything feathered, and Rocky (our lone pup) loves to play tug of war, but only with soft plush toys. Experiment with your own pet until you find what he or she likes to do best when it comes to play, and then intentionally encourage the activity as often as you can to promote weight loss and social skills.
5. Give Healthy Rewards
When we found out that Tonks was going to be prone to oral health issues way back in the day, we started looking for different ways to manage it at home. It wasn’t until this year talking to our new vet in our new town, though, that we realized clever treats could actually be the ticket.
She suggested that we try giving the cats oral-focused cat treats to help promote dental health. These large nibbles sort of force our kitties to actually chew them, as opposed to inhaling them, which helps rub off some of the harder-to-reach plaque and tartar. Look for other similar healthy treats at your local pet supply store or vet’s office.
Big thanks to the PUREVAX team for inspiring a new focus on rabies and for their help in finding ways to kick it to the curb. Learn more about how you can help prevent this devastating infection here, and be sure to follow along with me on Instagram for daily peeks into our pet-filled household. Oh, and if you’re looking for pet-focused DIY projects to try (this is still a crafting blog, after all!) click these links for full tutorials: DIY “Meow” sticker cat food container, pet-friendly living room carpet, DIY cat door, how to keep the dog out of the cat food.
*Birhane MG, Cleaton JM, Monroe BP, et al. Rabies surveillance in the United States during 2015. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2017;250(10):1117-1130.
®PUREVAX is a registered trademark of Merial.
©2017 Merial, Inc. Duluth, GA. All rights reserved. Merial is now part of Boehringer Ingelheim. [PV17_Social3-1] (6/17)
*As part of this collaboration I received compensation for my time. This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Boehringer Ingelheim. The opinions are all mine.
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