‘Health is Wealth’ we have often read this quote since childhood, where we talk about the importance of good health as this is the ONLY and prime wealth we have in our lives. That’s true to many extents as wealth is of many types – monetary wealth, luxury wealth, etc but the important one is always the wealth of health.
Every Year on April 7th, The WHO – World Health Organization observes “WORLD HEALTH DAY” and over the past 50 years, this event has brought to light important health issues such as mental health, maternal/ child care, climate change, etc. The date of 7 April marks the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1948. World Health Day is a global health awareness day to spread awareness, knowledge and to focus on topics that are often directly or indirectly ignored- for instance, mental health.
Tanvi Shendye, Bombay Veterinary College
Health includes but is not limited to physical health (a state of being free from diseases). In fact, Health is defined as a state of physical, mental, and social well-being in which disease and infirmity are absent. Each year on World Health Day, the WHO announces a theme for the day. The 2021 theme for World Health Day is “Building a fairer, healthier world”.
What is a fairer healthier world?
A world is considered to be healthy when there are peace and justice prevailing with happiness and perfect health as its the anchor. A world is considered to be fair when no species is considered to be greater or smaller, where each and every being regardless of their species, race, religion, ethnicity is treated with love and kindness. Good Health is a fundamental right of every single being walking the face of the earth. Yes, this includes all wildlife, all stray animals, all pets, all trees, all birds, all humans!
This World Health Day 2021, let’s talk about the Physical, Mental, and Social well-being of our beloved furry friends, our pets who are our family members and are at the core of our lives. This world health day. Here’s how you can ensure good health in pets!
This topic is often touched upon almost daily in our blogs, so please make sure to read them! This world health day, we can ensure our pets good physical health by following the 4 steps to physical wellness
- General check-ups
- Routine Deworming
Let’s discuss them in detail-
- General Check-ups
General Check-ups refers to routine health checkups of your pets. Once every 8-12 months it’s a good practice to take your furry friend to the veterinarian. Why? Ensure your furry baby is scanned thoroughly for any ailments!
There are some diseases that are cryptic (for example cancer) while some diseases are very mild which often goes unnoticed, as the signs/symptoms your pet might be showing are too bleak to be noticed. Your Vet will often carry out the routine procedures of running a blood panel to ensure there’s no infection of any sort. They will also make sure that your pet’s gums, teeth, ear, nails, skin are in perfect shape. That’s the veterinarian’s part. Here’s what you, as a pet parent can do on the daily basis –
- Check your dog/cat’s fur coat for any ticks/fleas
Ticks and fleas are notorious for spreading diseases such as tapeworm infection, tick fever (Ehrlichia spp, Babesia spp). A routine daily checkup of these ectoparasites is a great way to start focusing on the physical health of your pets.
The use of shampoos that have good action against ticks and fleas can be used for this purpose along with the use of other tools such as spot-on, anti-flea collars, etc.
Pro Tip– brushing your pet’s fur with a comb almost daily has immense beneficial effects.
- It gives a sense of calm, relief to your baby (as combing/brushing is scratching their backs)
- It helps you to locate ticks and fleas quickly!
- No fur knots formed!
- Routine Deworming
It is a good practice to follow the deworming schedule as prescribed by your Vet. Generally, adults are dewormed once every 3 to 4 months as it prevents scope for any endoparasitic infections such as tapeworms, roundworms, etc. Tapeworms are particularly very intimidating creatures as they tend to take up all the nutrients from your pet’s body to thrive and cause your pets to lose weight, become weaker. And it’s a fact if you’re physically weak/not strong enough, you tend to be mentally weak too. If you’re physically being bothered, it’s pretty obvious you’re mentally going to get bothered too! Hence, deworm your pets!!
Routine vaccination schedule and record-keeping is an extremely important aspect of the general fitness of your furry friend.
Adults require annual vaccination against rabies and other viral diseases such as Parvovirus, Distemper virus, Leptospira bacteria. We are blessed with good vaccines and must follow this yearly vaccination schedule to prevent many of the notorious diseases such as gastrointestinal infections, etc. Thanks to Covid-19 we all know the importance of immunity and how vaccines play an important role in building it. Vaccinations in pets play the same role! Vaccines build up immunity for your pets so that they are not harmed when exposed to dangerous viruses and bacterias.
Taking your pet for a refreshing walk, or jogging daily with your furry paw ensures your pet has good physical activity. Exercising daily has immense health benefits which act as a base to build upon good health, a happy mind, and a sound body. Exercise acts as a stimulant and releases happy hormones. Exercise helps to increase flexibility and endurance. Also, it boosts strength, provides mental satisfaction and happiness. Exercises keep many health problems caused by obesity at bay! When your dog is lacking exercise, it ends up becoming bored or frustrated. And this can manifest itself as destructive behavior or aggression.
Here’s what you can do –
- Daily walks 2-4 times per day to refresh them and give them relief from holding their bladder.
- Playing with ball/toys
- Running in the backyard
- Going on hikes or short jog
- Toys and play area for puppies and kittens
MENTAL & SOCIAL HEALTH
Let’s talk about the lesser-known facets which prove to be very essential for maintaining the good health of our furry friends – The Mental and Social well-being.
Pets, like humans, can undergo periods of stress, anxiety, and depression, loneliness. Due to certain events occurring around. Just like humans, pets too get affected by it.
Here’s what you can do to ensure good mental and social health for your pets-
- Give them time and attention
Yes, the best part of your pets’ day is when they spend time with you. You are the best thing in their lives, Never forget this fact! They love when you just give them a little time and attention despite your hectic schedule. So go on, talk to them, love them, take them on walks and just focus on increasing the bond between you two.
This ensures 2 things
- Happiness for your pets
- Happiness for you
And just by being there and spending some time with them, it’s a scientific fact that stress levels rapidly decrease (in humans and animals both) and happy hormones start increasing.
- Speak Positive Words.
Whenever your pet is acting like a good boy/good girl make sure they know it too! Saying positive words and good thoughts, words of encouragement does in fact help your pets feel super proud and happy. It relaxes the stress and promotes happiness!! We all need a ray of sunshine in our lives. For pets, you are the ray of sunshine! So go on, talk to them! Tell your pets how your day was, ask them how their day was. Maybe you both won’t understand each other due to the language barrier, but trust me, we do understand emotions regardless of language and species. Try it today!
Yes, daily walks help in promoting the good physical health of your pets but also, it does help in the mental sector too. Walks help to refresh their minds and enjoy the beauty of nature. There are endless benefits of walking.
- Happiness Quotient
- Analysis of situation
- Enjoying nature
- Staying fit
- Mental and physical stimulation
- Obesity can be kept under check
You can decide where to walk your pets. Dog parks seem to be a great place too. It will help your little furry friend make some other friends while you too can make friends with other pet parents. So go on make some friends at the park and have a happy little dog party!
When your furry babies are babies (puppies) make sure you’re taking them between humans and fellow dogs to initiate friendship. Even if your pets are adults, try to make them aware of their surroundings and encourage them to initiate friendships with fellow humans and fellow dogs. Friendship and Bonding are the core nature of all creatures. We always notice every single animal on this planet has some or the other kind of association with some other animal. There are a mutual bonding and love which binds us all. Hence, make sure you’re allowing your pet to expand their horizons and enjoy what life has to offer by loving and bonding with others. This helps with conditions such as social anxiety, loneliness, depression, lethargy, and isolation.
This World Health Day ’21 let’s keep in mind the theme “Building a fairer, healthier world” by focusing on the health of our pets along with us humans! Let’s start this trend to prioritize our well-being along with the well-being of all of them living amongst us which includes our pets, our community stray animals, our wild animals, our birds, our trees! Only when we respect nature and its beings can we thrive physically and mentally. Only when we believe and vouch to work for building a fairer healthier world for all, can we actually stay connected, grounded, and healthy in the true sense.
It’s a circle of life, let’s pledge to be a part of the change to preserve, save and grow our community as citizens of earth. Let’s pledge to BUILD A FAIRER AND HEALTHIER WORLD! We, the Goel Vet Pharma team wish you and your furry friend a Very Happy World Health Day’21. Here’s to a new chapter of building a happy, fairer, and healthier world!