Listening and communication are key components of any successful relationship, including the one with your fur children.
How many times have you thought or even wished your pet could talk? Perhaps you just want to have a two-way conversation with your best friend, hear what they are thinking, or you want them to tell you where they hurt.
Gary Weitzman has been a veterinarian for over 20 years and through his experiences he found a way to “speak pet”. Sadly, it is not what we all hoped for, but he helps pet owners communicate with their dog or cat through observation and listening. He comprised all of his knowledge and tips into his new National Geographic book, “Complete Guide To Pet Health, Behavior, And Happiness“.
The book is a reference for pet owners on basic first-aid techniques, when a trip to the vet is necessary, dietary recommendations, simple training techniques, necessary supplies, essential behavior cues, and much more. Weitzman has a soft spot for rescues and is currently the CEO of the San Diego Humane Society. In addition to sharing his knowledge, he hopes to clarify common misconceptions.
Cats Need Just As Much Attention As Dogs
He states that cats need just as much attention and stimulation as dogs, but just in a different way. People think that cats are easier or require less attention than a dog. He said in an interview with National Geographic, “A lot of people who work long hours opt to adopt a cat instead of a dog, since they don’t need to be walked or let out. But cats need just as much of your attention and energy as dogs. Your home is their whole world, and you need to make sure their environment is stimulating.”
Difficulties In Keeping Pets Healthy
He believes one of the problems is vet accessibility, meaning location and cost. “The cost can be prohibitive for nearly everyone. What I want to do is help people translate what their vets are saying so they can make the best decision possible. Often that starts by sitting down with your vet, looking them in the eye, and asking, What are my options?”
Adopting A Shelter Pet
Weitzman currently has an adorable Pit bull named Betty and a three-legged German shepherd named Jake. He loves going to work every day at the shelter because the volunteers and people are working to make the world a better place for animals. Not to mention, all the adorable dogs and cats he gets to interacts with.
“Animals in shelters are often purebreds and make great pets.” He went on to say, “Most shelters or rescues can help you decide on what pet would be the best match, and what you’ll need to do to keep them happy and healthy.”
Animal Health Is Not A Mystery
“Animal health is not a mystery. True, animals can’t talk, but, in many ways, they’re just like us when they don’t feel well. They get upset stomachs, sore legs, skin rashes, and many of the same things we get.”
He wants to remind his readers, “No one knows your pet better than you do yourself; if you listen and watch closely, you’ll generally always know when your pet is not feeling well.”
Andrea Powell is an animal enthusiast that resides in West Michigan. When not writing, she is exploring the great outdoors with her dogs and horses.
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