Your pets are members of the family and you want what is best them. Whether you have a dog or cat they do not live as long as you do, but you can find ways to improve your pet's health and improve the quality of life. A healthy pet is a happy pet. Here are five ways to improve your pet’s health on a daily basis.
Regular Veterinary Visits
Just like people, it is recommended to visit the doctor regularly. Your pet’s vet keeps your pet’s health records. Reasons to visit your pet’s vet:
- Keep vital statistics of your pet: age, weight, skin and coat changes, teeth clean and free of cavities, heartworm check, blood work and any changes from the last visit.
- Current vaccinations and reminders
- Behavioral evaluation
- Encourage healthy exercise, weight, and other advice.
- Maintain records for boarding
- Provide micro-chip options
- Offer prescription service when needed
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Maintain a healthy weight
Your pet will live longer and be healthier with an optimal weight. Feed your pet a balanced and nutritional food in an amount right for their breed, weight, and activity level. Just like people, your pet’s weight drives other health issues:
- Heart disease
- Liver disease
- Kidney stones; many times dogs have kidney stones because they have been holding it in until they are able to go outside. Purchasing a dog patio potty or litter box will allow your pet to relieve themselves while you are away.
- Breathing problems
When you are not sure what type or amount of food to feed your pet, your vet is the best one to ask. Another season to have an ongoing relationship with your pet’s vet is they know your pet, breed and physical needs sustained by quality food.
Exercise is more than a walk
It is essential to exercise your pet, especially dogs. Dogs must be walked either on a leash in your neighborhood, park or path on a regular basis. Walk your dog 20 to 30 minutes two or three times a day for small dogs and double the time for larger breeds. An off-leash dog park, for socialized and managed dogs, is a great place to let your dog be a dog. Some dog parks have paths, play structures, streams, beaches and fountains to enrich your dog’s experience. Treadmills are an alternative to exercising your pet when there is too much pent up energy.
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Exercise should be varied and appropriate for your pet. Mental wellness exercises keep your dog busy and stimulated. There are food puzzles designed specifically to provide a job and mental stimulation for dogs. Chew toys work in the same way. A Kong type chew toys are made of hard rubber with two holes, fill with organic peanut butter, treats, cheese, and freezing harden the treats and make it harder for your dog to get to, thus increasing the time and thought and ability to get the treats.
Precautions to keep your pet safe
- Microchip your pet as a precaution which identifies you as the registered person caring for your pet.
- Dogs always should be leashed on walks not designated for off-leash play.
- Never leave your pet in a hot vehicle.
- Beware of plants and food which are toxic to your pet.
- Make sure vaccinations are current. Using dog grass products until your pet has received all vaccinations is a safe bet as well to keep your dog from harmful illnesses during the puppy stages!
- Deworming, flea and tick control is essential to avoid heartworm and other diseases carried by pests.
- Spay or neuter your pet to reduce the population of unwanted pets and over-crowded shelters.
- Basic training classes in obedience give balance and security.
Pets are effective in helping you in your daily health. Pets make people happy and calm. When you walk or play with your pet you are exercising along with them. Playing with, cuddling and interacting with your pet provides a positive experience. You are responsible for your pet and they provide love and companionship. Improving your pet’s health by providing everything they need improves your health and well-being. Smile, walk, play with and cuddle you pet and you both will be healthier. Improving your pet's health improves your health.