There’s no doubt you adore your pet, but sometimes learning to take care of your animal can be a challenge
Whether you’re a youngin’ learning responsibility or a seasoned animal-lover, there’s no need to bark about the struggles of caregiving. “Lucky” for you, we’ve gone to the dog park and “fetched” up the latest tips on keeping your pet happy and healthy.
1 – Proper nutrition
Pets love to eat! But feeding your pet the right amount and type of food help them maintain a healthy weight, which is a “paw-some” way to prevent obesity-related health illnesses. And weight management contributes to a longer lifespan.
Quality food can help pets meet their nutritional goals of having a balanced diet, but check with the vet to see if supplements are necessary. Also, make sure to give your pets fresh water daily and be aware of how many times your “good boy” receives a treat!
Too many treats may lead to a nutritionally unbalanced diet and obesity. Plus, if you are continually giving your pet treats, it will lose their value as a reward. On your next veterinary visit, talk about proper nutrition for your pet.
2 – Exercise regularly
Keeping your pet physically active and fit help and mental stimulation. Dogs (and sometimes cats) love to go on regular walks, hikes, and fetch outdoors! Indoors fun can sometimes be a challenge.
As an added bonus, please pop over to “walk your dog month” which discusses how the perks of having a dog pertain to your health. There are many bonuses including staying active, getting social, finding inner peace, and reducing stress.
Unfortunately, cats don’t always go on walks (whether their owners want them to or not). However, cats still need stimulation and exercise to stay healthy. Grab a red pin light to send them on a chase up and down the stairs or play “catch” with a catnip food puzzle. There are many ways to keep your little kitty occupied (and hopefully out of trouble).
3 – Annual checkups
Regular health screenings can help your pet stay healthy, allowing time to spot early warning signs of serious illnesses. How often should your pet visit the vet? Veterinarians love to see your pets at least once a year for a wellness check depending on age. Annual dental appointments to remove plaque and tartar buildup may also be recommended to pet owners.
4 – Preventative medications
Your vet may recommend preventative medication to keep your pet free from unwanted health issues, like flea-related diseases and tick-borne illnesses. Sanctuary Holistic Kitchen offers preventive medications such as anxiety drops, Upset Tummy Drops, Flea Destroyer, and several dental care chewy bites. Brushing your pet’s teeth and chewy bites can prevent periodontal disease.
5 – Grooming
Whether you take your pet to the groomer, or have a frequent ‘home-spa,’ grooming your pet should include trimming nails, brushing a few times a week, and regular baths. The National Cat Groomers of America recommends cats get a bath and blow-dry every 4-6 weeks. This helps keep their coats from getting matted or pelted. As for Dogs, it is recommended, a monthly “good sudsy soaking” in the tub to keep coats shiny (and not so stinky!) Deodorizing Dog Shampoo helps deodorize, moisturize, and repels fleas.
Dry Dog Shampoo freshens skin and absorbs loaders. It’s excellent for in-between baths. Just sprinkle sparingly on the dog’s coat and rub it in. You know your animal best, so pay attention to the condition of their skin and coat to know when to bathe. Happy splashing!
6 – Show your buddy some love and affection!
A good belly rub, cuddle, or brushing of the coat will build a strong bond between you and your pet. Not only does this promote a strong emotional connection, but pets will also learn how to have a positive interaction with other animals and humans!
7 – Socialization
Call your fur-mom and dad friends to meet at Green Belt. It’s time to take your pet on a play date to build well-rounded “fur-babies.” According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), proper exposure to various situations and other animals or humans decreases the odds of antisocial or aggressive behavior.
A few options may include visiting family during the holidays, taking a trip to the park, going for a walk through the neighborhood, or spending the afternoon in “Doggy-Daycare.” Now, now! Don’t think these activities are for “dogs only!”
Cats have social needs, and (some) felines enjoy these activities (though it might be a challenge). Maybe you will have more luck walking your pet around the neighborhood than the people in this funny youtube video.
8 – Spay/neuter
Getting your pet fixed not only controls the homeless pet crisis but helps pets live a longer, healthier lifespan by preventing infections and possible cancers. It may help males cut back on aggressive behaviors. For females, spaying helps reduce unwanted behaviors associated with their cycle, like irritability, spraying urine, and yowling.
9 – Safety first
Collars with ID, microchips, and making sure hazards are out of reach are all great ways to keep your pet safe. Animals might love the outdoors, but it’s our job to protect them. Always make sure doors are shut completely when not home. When allowing pets to explore the outdoors, keep them close (within 6 feet) on a leash and away from unfamiliarities. To help better maintain control while on walks, consider taking a pet training class. It makes walking easier on owners and pets really enjoy the socialization!
10 – Fury fashionista
According to Sassy Dog Fashion, some animals may feel more confident when dressed to impress. You may find your animal loves the attention people give them for looking chic like it does when you cuddle or compliment. However, make sure your pet is having a good time and not uncomfortable with the fashion line.
11 – Know what’s expected
You know your pet the best! Paying attention to their behavior is the best-indicated cause for concern of an underlying issue. If you notice abnormal behavior, give your vet a call to discuss possible needs for an exam.
Hot-diggity-dog! We hope these tips & tricks help keep your pet happy, healthy, and safe. Please refer back to our site for more nutritional information. Later in November, we have a great blog about making your 4 legged friends some very healthy treats, “Treat Them Well.”