5 Tips for Keeping Your Pets Healthy & Happy
Keeping your pets healthy is an important part of pet ownership. You already know that when your pet is healthy, she’s usually happy too. Still, it’s important to watch for any changes in your pet’s mood and behaviour. Here are five simple steps you should follow to give your pet a longer and happier life.
Healthy Pet Tip #1
Schedule annual veterinary checkups. If a dog’s year is equal to seven human years, missing just one year would be like us not visiting the doctor for seven years. Imagine what could be going on in your own body in that time frame!
Annual checkups are vital for both dogs and cats, as they allow your vet to spot any problems at their earliest stages, when taking care of them is often easier and less expensive. It goes without saying that any health issue (like a wound or illness) that arises in between yearly checkups should be addressed immediately.
Healthy Pet Tip #2
Establish a grooming regime early on and stick to it. Grooming isn’t just about looking good, it’s also about maintaining your pet’s good health. Brushing their coat, cleaning their ears, trimming their nails and even attending to their anal glands is all part of your pet’s regular grooming needs, and even the most fastidious cats need the odd helping hand. If there’s a particular part of the grooming procedure you can’t or won’t do, take Fluffy to the groomer or the vet and pay for the service.
Healthy Pet Tip #3
Take care of their teeth and gums. Dental disease is a common problem with our pets today, and there’s really no reason for it other than cost of dental care. Periodontal, or gum disease, is far too prevalent in both dogs and cats over the age of 3 years, and it almost always leads to painful gingivitis, bad breath and eventually tooth decay. So brush your pet’s teeth, use dental treats and make sure his teeth are checked by the vet at his annual physical.
Healthy Pet Tip #4
Exercise and play with your pet on a daily basis. If you can’t do it, hire someone else who can and will. All pets need daily exercise or they become bored, frustrated and obese, or worse, they develop heart disease or diabetes.
Ask your vet for advice about exercise for an older and/ or overweight pet, and never underestimate the value of several brisk walks per day – good for her and you! Any form of physical and mental activity is fine as long as it’s safe, so take her swimming, play Frisbee fetch or buy her a new food puzzle to keep her brain working!
Healthy Pet Tip #5
Feed them the highest quality pet food you can afford. Reading the nutritional label will usually dissuade you from buying the cheaper bargain brand. Ask your vet for her advice on feeding to avoid issues with obesity, teeth and skin, and think not just about quality but quantity. More isn’t necessarily better! Your dog or cat needs the right balance of nutrition for his lifestyle and stage of life, so be just as picky as you are with your own food.
And that sums it up - five easy ways to keep your pets healthy and happy for many years to come!
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