WSU veterinarians make record of prime 5 pet items | WSU Insider

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Most WSU vets agree that exercise in general can be the best and cheapest gift of all.

Veterinarians at Washington State University’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital have compiled a list of the top five gifts to improve pet health this holiday season.

“At this time of year we always take the opportunity to give something to our pets. Why not give them something that gives all year round? “Said Dr. Jessica Bell, a small animal veterinarian in the veterinary teaching hospital of the WSU.

# 1. Annual review

There is no better gift for your pet than an annual wellness exam.

Veterinarian Jessica Bunch, WSU’s integrative veterinary medicine coordinator, said while many pet owners postpone routine checkups, yearly screening for disease and other complications is the best way to ensure your pet is in good health.

“It’s not a ball or bone, but it could be what will keep your pet in good spirits and keep them around longer,” said Dr. Bunch.

For older pets, Bunch recommends a wellness exam every six months.

# 2. Hard exercise toys and loot

Most WSU vets agree that exercise in general can be the best and cheapest gift of all.

So when buying a toy for your pet, get something that encourages physical activity.

“Every pet owner knows their animal best, but a durable ball like the Kong brand or a frisbee is usually safe,” said Dr. Bell. “Or anything with catnip for our feline friends.”

It is important to read toy reviews and avoid toys breaking or tearing apart.

“The last thing you want is a part of your gift that you take and take on an emergency trip to the vet,” said Dr. Bell.

# 3. Memory games

Food distribution toys keep pets entertained and inspire mental stimulation and weight management. Dr. Bunch said that by using toys that dispense food, pets also learn that they need to earn their treat.

Toys like the Kong ™ are well known, but interactive toys like the Pickle Pocket ™, Kibble Nibble ™ and Tug-a-Jug ™ are now flooding the market.

Snuff mats are another interactive tool owners can give to their dogs.

The mat forces dogs to use their noses to find their food, thus acting as an interactive sniffer device. It is supposed to imitate how dogs once hunted on grass and fields.

According to Bunch, snuff mats also slow down how quickly a dog consumes their food, which limits choking and vomiting.

# 4. Pet insurance

For many veterinarians, health insurance is one of the best gifts an owner can give for their pet on this vacation.

“It might not sound like a fun gift, but especially in these troubled times, it’s a gift that can save the owner big bucks on major pet medical expenses throughout their lifetime,” said Bunch.

Dr. Bunch said the monthly premium varies widely by breed and location, but there are dozens of quality animal insurers out there.

Bunch said she saw the benefits of pet insurance firsthand.

She said that once a pet has a pre-existing condition, many providers can no longer insure themselves for that condition but qualify for new conditions or injuries.

# 5. A new bed

Just like with humans, a little bit of padding makes a big difference to a pet, and a good night’s sleep is critical to physical and mental health.

Bell said it was important that cats and dogs have their own bed so that they can be comfortable in the apartment.

Bell said beds are especially important for older pets who may have osteoarthritis.

By keeping pets off the ground, Bell limits calluses and makes for an overall happier pet.

According to Bunch, pet owners can find a variety of beds, including orthopedic and heated beds, that can be particularly beneficial for arthritic pets.

She reminds owners that it is best to choose a bed that is easy to clean.

Media contacts:

  • Josh Babcock, College of Veterinary Communication, 509-339-3423,