Five common things your vet wishes you knew about your pet dog

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Veterinary expert Dr Kirsten Ronngren from ManyPets shares five things vets wish dog owners knew about their pet, including the truth about old age, being overweight and regular vet visits

Dr Kirsten Ronngren speaks on behalf of multiple vets

We all want our dogs to live their happiest and healthiest lives – but sometimes, even the most well-meaning owners don’t always do what’s best.

Dr Kirsten Ronngren, resident expert veterinarian for pet insurance brand, ManyPets, recently spoke at DogFest offering her top tips.

Talking on behalf of multiple veterinarians, Dr Ronngren shared the five most common things vets wish owners knew about their dog’s health.

From myths about old age to warnings about being overweight, here are the key facts pet parents should get to know.

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Age is not a disease







Your senior dog isn’t deteriorating
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More and more pets are growing old these days – and to many people’s surprise, they have very good qualities of life.

Dr Ronngren told The Mirror: “Just because your pet is getting older doesn’t mean that things automatically become a problem.

“Pets are living longer, happier lives these days thanks to dedicated owners and ever evolving medicine.

“Slowing down in older pets isn’t necessarily normal, and can indicate things like poorly controlled pain that needs addressing.

“Similarly, many people think that being older means general anesthesia for things like dental cleanings or growth removals isn’t safe, which in many pets is actually not the case. Older pets can do very well under anesthesia.”

Dental cleaning is different from at home







Vets use the same equipment as dentists
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In the same way that a hygienist can polish your teeth better than you, vets have the tools to effectively clean your pet’s teeth better than you.

Dr Ronngren said: “When your vet recommends a dental cleaning at their office, it is because putting your pet under general anesthesia is the best and safest way your vet can get a fully comprehensive oral examination done.

“It’s also the best way to clean your pet’s teeth and address any disease because we use the same high quality equipment that human dentists do, like electric scalers/polishers and digital dental X-rays.”

Regular vet visits are so important







Vets may diagnose diseases before you spot symptoms
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Taking your pet for regular check-ups at the vet ensures you catch health conditions and problems early.

Dr Ronngren furthered: “Because animals can’t explicitly tell us when something’s up, regular visits to the vet help catch things sooner rather than later.

“It allows your vet to put their educated eyes, ears, and hands to use to help make sure we can keep your pet healthy as long as possible.”

Your pet being overweight is asking for trouble







Dogs with a healthy weight can live up to two years longer
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“Just like humans, pets over their ideal body weight are at higher risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, metabolic disease, and joint problems – among others,” Dr Ronngren said.

“Extra fat tissue releases many substances into the body that cause inflammation, meaning overweight pets are consistently carrying around chronic instigators of inflammation.

“Some studies have shown that keeping dogs at their ideal body weight or just under can potentially add one to two years to their lifespan.”

Socializing doesn’t mean letting them run wild







Positive reinforcement training is important
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“Behavioral problems are one of the most common reasons that dogs are surrendered to rescues and humane societies,” Dr Ronngren said.

“Addressing training and socializing your dog appropriately is one of the best ways to create a healthy bond with your dog, and is helpful toward helping them thrive in all sorts of situations.

“This includes introductions to new people, locations, and experiences in a way they feel safe and are rewarded for positive behaviors.

“Being consistent when it comes to training and socialization helps build calm, well adjusted dogs.”

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