Volume 8, Number 11 - October 20, 2006
Help Keep Your Pet Happy,Healthy While You're Away


   With summer over, pet owners are contending with challenges far beyond those delegated by their bosses -- how to keep Fido and Fluffy happy and healthy while their owner is at work.

   Many working professionals don't fully consider the implications of owning a pet that will be kept indoors all  day.

   If regularly left alone for long periods, pets can suffer from depression, anxiety and aggressiveness and can become destructive.

   With this in mind, Paul Mann, founder and president of FETCH! Pet Care, offers this advice on how pet owners can have a career and a happy, healthy pet:

   Daily exercise is top priority. Dogs should get a minimum of three brisk walks of 20 minutes or more each day to exercise joints, release energy and promote proper metabolism. For indoor cats, take 10 minutes each day to get them moving using cat toys or string.

   Socializing is not just for humans. Find ways to socialize and entertain your dog each day, such as a trip to off-leash parks or recreation areas where they can run and play with other dogs. When they're home and you're not, consider turning on the radio or television.

   Proper diets are a must. Your pet will be far happier and healthier if you feed them a brand pet food designed for their specific size and/or breed, with keeping meal portions in moderation. While you think feeding your pet scraps from the dinner table is OK, you could be doing more harm than good.

   Just as you need a good night's sleep to fully recharge your battery, so does your pet. Assuring Fido and Fluffy have a solid night's slumber, with intermittent naps in between, can do wonders for their disposition.

   Consider pet management options carefully. Think twice before enrolling your pet in a boarding or day care facility. 

   While some animals do fine, many experience adverse effects due to overcrowding in small areas with other pets, stress from alpha dogs and even health issues such as kennel cough or canine influenza.

   Consider maintaining an in-home care environment, instead, either with a professionally trained, screened, licensed, bonded and insured pet sitter coming to your home each day or your pet going to the sitter's home.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International.
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