Pet owners gain awareness on animal healthcare’s importance

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PET owners in Brunei are becoming more aware of the importance of animal healthcare, said a senior veterinarian.

Dr Diana Dennis, Senior Livestock Husbandry Officer from the Department of Agriculture and Agrifood (DAA), said pet owners in Brunei are becoming more aware of the importance of vaccinations in preventing animals from becoming seriously ill, attributing this to technological advances and the media.

“There is more awareness now among pet owners on getting their pets vaccinated simply because owners today are more knowledgeable and updated on the current trends in pet health and care,” she said in an interview.

“In today’s fast-paced and technologically savvy world, all the information on the best health care and nutrition for their pets is readily available online, as well as through the media,” she said

She said an average of 600 animals are received on a weekly basis by the government vet in Terunjing, Berakas.

“Each animal is regarded as a patient, and most of these patients are cats considering that most of the population in the country are Muslims,” said Dennis.

Dr Dennis said she has observed an improvement in pet ownership with more pet owners bringing their pets to the vet for checkups and vaccinations, as well as in the quality of life for pets in the sultanate, due to the increasing popularity of veterinary healthcare.

She urged pet owners to take responsibility for their pets and to get them vaccinated against viruses and worms to prevent outbreaks.

“Pets are like humans. They get the flu the same way people do,” she said, adding that going nose-to-nose with an infected pet such as a cat is one way to catch a virus.

“They (cats) can also get it by hanging out where an infected cat has been. It can even be transmitted by human touch. If you come in contact with an infected cat, you can bring it home to your own cat,” she said.

She said the DAA is very active in animal health awareness campaigns that are tailor-made to the needs of farmers and pet owners, adding that they often disseminate information through brochures as part of their initiatives to inform the public about basic preventive pet care and good animal husbandry practices.

The animal clinic is open three days a week on Mondays and Saturdays from 8am to 11.30am and on Wednesdays from 1.45pm to 3.30pm.

The Brunei Times