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Natural Awakenings Tampa Florida

Tips for Maintaining Your Pet’s Health When You Have Moved South for the Winter

by Dr. Cathy Alinovi, Solely Holistic Veterinarian

Birds aren’t the only ones compelled to fly south for the winter. If you’re one of our proud winter residents with pets, you know that sometimes travel and environment change can bring on health problems for your furry friends. The problem is, now, you’re away from your regular veterinarian and the last thing anyone wants is an emergency situation.

My work as a 100 percent holistic veterinarian, in Downtown Clearwater, has led me to the following pet health “hacks” that will help keep your pet in tiptop shape while you’re enjoying the sun and sand.

Hack #1:  The biggest thing we do for our pets is feed them. Providing the best nutrition and water is critical for good health, just like with us. “Food” that has a long shelf life is not truly food, certainly not food that protects and maintains health. Ideal health comes from “real food”— regardless of species. In my book, Dinner PAWsible, I offer dozens of fun recipes for everyday use, but just keep it simple. Consider mixing up some good old fashioned meat and vegetables for Fido, hold the kibble. Whole food options will keep your pet healthy, youthful and insanely excited at meal time! Also, if you don’t drink the water, neither should your cat or dog. Give them the good stuff, too.

Hack #2:  One downside of the year-round warmth in our beautiful city is that we don’t get a good freeze to kill off the bugs, like fleas and mosquitoes. But, strong chemicals don’t have to be your go-to solution. Essential oils repel insects and can help make pets less tasty to flying critters. Also, avoid walking at dawn or dusk as that is prime time for bugs that bite! If you have your own yard, consider monthly cedar shavings in the yard which will significantly decrease the insect population and allow you to get the same results as most commercial pesticides but without the toxic chemicals.

Hack #3:  The stress of travel and new surroundings can occasionally bring on a little diarrhea. As long as your pet has good energy and is not vomiting, there’s no reason to panic. Have some canned pumpkin on hand to mix into their food; it’s a great way to normalize the intestines naturally.

Hack #4:  No matter where you’re from or how long you’re here, keeping your pet in tiptop shape is easier when you follow the basic health tenets you’ve adopted for yourself: less chemicals and processed foods, more clean air, plenty of fresh water and daily exercise.

Dr. Cathy Alinovi, a solely holistic veterinarian, helps clients find only natural solutions to their pets’ needs. Healthy PAWsibilities, Natural Pet Wellness Center, is located at 423 Cleveland St., Ste. 100, Clearwater. For more information and appointments, call 727-510-3665, email [email protected] or visit