Taking care of a pet is a great commitment. If you have a dog or cat, you will want to keep your pet healthy. Things like a proper diet, regular exercise, good grooming, and regular check-ups at the veterinarian will help keep your pet in tip-top shape - not just physically, but also emotionally!
It is also important to get to know your pet’s habits like eating, drinking, sleeping, and others. Sometimes a variation in these habits can be an indication that they are not feeling well and something needs to be done to address that.
Even as an owner, there are many benefits to keeping your pet healthy. A healthy pet will increase your own opportunities to exercise, spend time outside, and even socialize. Regular walking or playing with your pet can decrease your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and triglyceride levels. Pets can help manage our human loneliness and depression by providing us constant companionship and affection. Recent studies show that the bond between owner and their pets can increase one's overall fitness and lower stress levels.
So where can you begin to make sure your pet is healthy? Below are five easy tips you can follow to ensure your pet's health.
#1. Proper nutrition.
Just like humans, nutrition is key to good health. Feeding your cats or dogs the right amount and type of food will help them maintain a healthy weight, which is one of the best ways to prevent obesity-related illnesses and extend their overall lifespan. Obesity is a serious problem among dogs so weight control may be necessary. Make sure that your pet gets enough fresh water and a good amount of treats! Treats should not make up over 10% of their diet.
Any pets can meet their daily nutritional needs from a balanced diet that consists of quality food. This can be a pre-packaged dog or cat food with a mix of meat or vegetables. Be sure to consult with a trusted veterinarian for your pet's ideal diet and if they need any supplements. Salmon oil is a food supplement that can provide your pet with extra protein and Omega-3s. But the salmon oil dosage depends on the size of your pet, so check in with your vet about this before giving them any supplements.
#2. Affection and socializing.
Social ties are very important between owners and pets. From the start, you should establish a strong bond with your dog or cat because it's good for both of you. Physical actions such as petting, cuddling, scratching, and even brushing their coat are great ways to show affection. This does not only strengthen the emotional connection between you but it encourages positive interactions for other animals and humans that your pet will meet.
Early socialization is important but your pet should have constant interactions throughout their life. Some options include going to dog parks, going for walks, or visiting family and friends.
This goes without saying but exercise is a great way to curb health issues in any pet. Going on walks, playing fetch, hiking, swimming are all easy activities that will keep your dog physically active and fit. Meanwhile, cats can stay active if they have a play area, a scratch post, or other animals to play with.
Vets recommend at least thirty minutes or daily active time. You can easily achieve this if you allow your pet to roam around the house and play throughout the day. Other resources to promote their fitness are through toys, treats, obstacle courses, and even teaching them new tricks.
Exercise also helps keep your pet from becoming overweight. Unfortunately, having excess weight can reduce your pet’s life expectancy by over two years.
Keeping your pet at a healthy weight lowers their risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, respiratory disease, kidney disease, and some forms of cancer. It can also reduce the risks of injuries with their bones, joints, and even their muscles. This is very common among dogs because their joints might give way when they become overweight or even obese. You may even give liquid glucosamine chondroitin which keeps sore and stiff joints at bay. The liquid can be given alone or mixed into wet food daily. So regular exercise coupled with proper nutrition is a great way to ensure a longer, healthier, and pain-free life for your pet.
Besides physical exercise, mental stimulation is also important. Keep your pets engaged by changing up their walking routines or taking them on trips, so they can experience new scenery and smells or even meet new animals and people!
#4. Regular check-ups.
Regular visits to the veterinarian are very beneficial. They can perform a variety of health screens, such as blood tests, that help with the early detection of diseases and spot warnings signs of serious illnesses like cancer. It is also a good opportunity to get vaccination shots or anti-flea medicines as needed. Dental hygiene is also important so you can remove plaque and tartar buildup. Preventing health issues is key and will keep your pet healthy against heartworms, parasites, fleas, ticks, and other threats.
Giving a proper dosage of salmon oil for dogs may help with disease prevention, too. The Omega-3s and Omega-6s in the salmon oil may help boost their immunity because these fatty acids promote a healthy immune system, heart health, anti-inflammatory, even healthy skin, and coat.
The main Omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon oil are EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), and DPA (docosapentaenoic acid). These are long-chain acids which means that they contain 20 or more Carbon atoms. Studies show that long-chain fatty acids like these provide anti-inflammatory benefits that support your dog’s coat and skin, potentially decrease the development of skin allergies, and even help aid in the healing of wounds.
There are many ways to use salmon oil to supplement your dog’s diet and nutrition. Always consult your veterinarian for their recommendations for your dog’s diet. One way to administer salmon oil is through oil supplements, oil-infused treats, or adding the oi into their food.
In any case, always check the recommended dosage on the label and the expiration date on the package. If you observe that your pet is having any reactions, like nausea, loose stools, or bad breath, seek advice from your veterinarian immediately. It is possible that one or more ingredients in the supplements are not working for your pet.
Getting your pet spayed or neutered has several benefits. The best of all is that it can prevent some cancers and diseases, extend your pet's overall lifespan, and even decrease the aggressive behavior in males. Meanwhile, when female pets are spayed, they are prevented from going into heat and the behaviors associated with this cycle like yowling, irritability, and weakness or having low energy.
Some pet owners are scared to have their pets neutered or spayed. There is a slight chance that pets might have complications after their surgery. However, professionals and veterinarians agree that the benefits far outweigh the potential risks. Always consult your veterinarian so you are fully informed of the risks and benefits for your pet, and whether getting them neutered or spayed at their age is the best choice.
Besides getting spayed or neutered, vaccinations from your veterinarian can prevent fatal illnesses like rabies, distemper, parvovirus, heartworm, and other diseases that can seriously threaten your pet's health. First vaccines are usually given at five or six weeks of age and continue over the next few weeks up to sixteen weeks of age. Then regular booster shots, usually every year, will provide the added protection that your pet needs.
Every owner wants to keep their pets healthy and help prevent all sorts of diseases and even injuries. If you follow these five simple steps and shower your pet love and affection, they will surely have a happy and healthy life!