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5 things a vet would never do as a pet owner

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by Barbara Csernai

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Plus, other potentially life-saving tips for taking care of your pet.

Pets are members of the family. So when it comes to taking care of yours and giving them the best life, what mistakes should you avoid?

Dr. Brett Levitzke, the chief medical officer of VERG Brooklyn, came to TODAY on April 21 to share five things he’d never do as a pet owner knowing what he knows as a veterinarian. His tips could be life-saving!

Never use over-the-counter medicine without consulting a vet.

Levitzke advises to never use medicine without consulting a veterinarian as some medicine could be OK while others could be toxic to dogs and cats.

Never use retractable leashes.

While very popular, retractable leashes can be dangerous when used in traffic, around other dogs or at the veterinarian clinic because they can make it more challenging to keep your dog under control. On that note, Levitzke says to never let your dog off the leash when in any of those situations. He often sees dogs come in because their owners didn’t have control over them when around other dogs, near cars or in an area where they could ingest something they shouldn’t.

Never feed a pet human food without knowing the risks. 

While your pet may beg for table scraps, do not feed them to your cat or dog as there good be health ramifications, Levitzke says. Some human food may be OK for your pet, but many foods like chocolate, onions, grapes, raisins and avocados are toxic to dogs. As for cats, many owners think they can have milk but several are lactose intolerant. So if you want to give yours milk, make sure it’s a kind that is specially made for felines.

Never ignore your dog’s dental health.

Yes, your dog needs to have their teeth brushed, Levitzke says. Start getting them used to it when they’re a puppy and get in a daily routine to keep dental tartar and gingivitis at bay. You can find tooth brushes that are wearable on your finger or more traditional ones at your local pet store.

Never leave your dog in the car unattended.

Never leave your dog in the car unattended, Levitzke says, even if it’s only for a few minutes. Warmer temperatures are approaching and they’re as dangerous for pets as they are for humans.

Source: Today