EDITION: December - February 2011

A man’s best friend - CARING FOR YOUR PET

Text: Ruth Osborn
Pets can play a wonderful part in our lives, making great companions for the old and super playmates for the young, bringing us many hours of pleasure, fun and joy. Pets can also help to reduce stress and improve our emotional well being. Like any member of the family pets need special care and attention to ensure that they live happy, healthful lives. Ibicasa spoke with Nicole Wallner, vetinarian at “Ibican” vetinary clinic about how we can best look after our pets and some special considerations during winter time and for older pets.
Keeping a pet in good health involves a lot of responsibility and while knowing how to take care of a pet is different depending on the type of pet that you have there are some general considerations. We need to make sure that our faithful companions have a proper balanced diet, suited to their needs, that they are groomed, have a comfortable and warm place to sleep, and that – if applicable – they are given proper training and have social interaction. 
During the winter months, while the winter climate in Ibiza is mild compared to Northern Europe, the temperature still drops along with the number of daylight hours and our pets will feel the difference just as we do. Make sure that their bed in the house is warm and away from drafts and when you go out you may need to put an extra layer on them. If it’s a particularly chilly day keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t get too cold. Inside the home special care is needed with indoor heating – your pets will be drawn to the warmth so you need to make sure that no tails or paws come into contact with flames, heating coils or hot surfaces. As well as burning themselves be aware that pets could knock over heating sources – putting the whole house in danger.     
In winter time be particularly gentle with older, especially arthritic pets as the cold can leave their joints stiff and tender. Make their living environment easier for them to move around, stay behind them when they are climbing stairs and make sure they have a thick soft bed in a warm room. If your pet is aging, just like us, they still need regular exercise (they won’t be able to run or jump as fast as they used to) but exercise helps to keep their joints mobile as well as contributing to the maintenance overall health and weight control. They also need regular check-ups at the vets – twice a year is recommended – this will make sure if there are any illnesses they are picked up quickly and can be treated. Last but certainly not least, all pets regardless of age or season, need lots of love.