Every responsible pet parent will want to do everything possible to ensure their pet is healthy and happy. Keeping it this way is a lot of work, but it is a small price to pay for your furry friend.
Pets, in addition to keeping us company and showing us unconditional love, also help reduce stress, improve our heart condition, and help in the development of social and emotional skills in children. However, they need to be healthy to offer us these immense benefits.
To help keep them healthy year after year, you must make the right choices for their well-being. We’ll help you achieve this by providing you with 6 tips that you can easily implement.
1. Regular veterinarian visits
Making good choices for your pet’s physical and overall well-being starts with regular vet visits. Since animals have short lifespans, it’s essential to take them for checkups at least twice a year. Younger ones will require more frequent visits. Note that you have to keep up with these visits as they get older.
Your vet will oversee the following:
- Dental checks;
- Routine checkups, bloodwork, and fecal tests;
- Parasite treatment and prevention.
You may, however, experience some challenges when taking your furry companion on these trips. The earlier you start, the easier it will be to acclimatize it to these visits. It will be less scared and get used to being surrounded by other people.
2. Healthy feeding
Provide your four-legged buddy with nutritious food and fresh water. The right food will supply it with the nutrients and energy required to keep it strong, nourished, and happy.
There are many brands and options in the pet food market, and it’s easy to get confused. You may want to find out what ingredients are most important to your buddy at every stage of its life. Knowing its allergies will also help you choose the brand with the right ingredients.
The pet’s age, activity level, and health conditions will also determine the food formula that’s best for it. The food should meet the dietary standards and guidelines stipulated by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).
Start with smaller food packages to see if your four-legged companion likes the food to avoid wastage. Keep feeding areas clean and ensure you wash the dishes regularly.
When in doubt, speak to your vet about the right diet for your furry companion, especially if it requires more specialized food.
Once you welcome your new pup or kitten into your home, you should take them to the vet’s office for an immunization appointment in the first few weeks.
Vaccination in dogs, for example, helps to prevent rabies, distemper, and Lyme disease. In cats, it’s possible to prevent feline leukemia virus (FeLV), feline herpesvirus (FHV-1), rabies, and other diseases.
Remember that you’ll need to abide by the vaccination schedules because your pet will need it as it grows older, especially when interacting with other animals.
Grooming is an important part of your furry companion’s health. Regular grooming, such as nail care, hair trimming and brushing, keeping debris and dirt out of the eyes, and cleaning the ears, all play an essential role in your buddy’s wellness.
Lack of grooming may cause skin infections, matted hair, and other consequences. Matted hair can be uncomfortable as it causes circulation risks and itchy skin. Constant scratching and licking of the skin may lead to the development of painful “hot spots.”
5. Regular exercise
Generally, cats and dogs need a lot of exercise, depending on their breed and size. Domesticating them gives them a safer but less active lifestyle, even though they burn off excess energy by playing on their own.
Regular exercise offers the following benefits:
- Keeps joints flexible;
- Helps to maintain a healthier weight;
- Prevents behavioral problems such as anxiety, depression, excessive barking, digging, and licking;
- Burns off excess calories;
- Reduces blood pressure;
- Provides better organ function.
To get your pet to exercise more, take it on walks, allow it to play in the yard, and let it have fun with other animals at the park. However, avoid over-exercising the animal as this can lead to soreness and limping. Also, make the walks shorter as the pet gets older.
Just a fun fact: according to Nuwber, the pet we have says a lot about us. While dog owners are active people and are more likely to hold financial positions, cat owners prefer creative activities and usually work in farming and education. That’s why it’s important to choose a pet based on your preferences and lifestyle.
6. Spaying or neutering
With the number of cats and dogs getting euthanized yearly, you may want to consider spaying or neutering your pets to prevent overpopulation. According to research, these procedures increase the lifespan and offer several health benefits.
Spaying female cats and dogs reduces their risk of breast cancer and prevents uterine infection. Neuter the males to reduce their risk of having testicular cancer and developing benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
Also, with the help of these procedures, you’ll reduce some frustrating mating-related behaviors. The males will roam less, exhibit less urine-marking behaviors, and have lower breeding instincts.
Pet care combines physical health and non-physical needs, such as emotional, social, and cognitive ones. All this will guarantee your four-legged companion a happier and longer life.
You can prioritize your pet’s wellness by making good choices that will keep it feeling its best. Regular veterinarian visits, healthy feeding, vaccinations, grooming, regular exercise, and spaying or neutering (depending on the gender of the pet) are some of the starting points that can lead your animal to a healthier life.
Remember that you are responsible for your furry companion’s health. It counts on you in all aspects of life, including feeding, entertainment, and other things. The more you are involved, the less regrets you will have in the future, especially if you are an empath.
You and your furry companion will reap immense benefits from the above-mentioned tips. All you need is to be consistent and prioritize your animal’s needs and wants.