Tips to Keeping Your Pet Happy & Healthy

All good pet owners love their furry family members and want to keep them healthy and happy! So below are some tips to help you keep your pet on the path to wellness:

Happy & Loving Home

Just like us, stress can be the root to many illnesses. Many people don’t realize how much a happy and loving home can do for a pet’s health. Insecurity causes stress, while boredom and lack of sufficient exercise can lead to obsessive or destructive behaviors. The cat who excessively licks her fur can develop skin problems, while the dog who chews apart furniture can end up with an intestinal blockage.

Nutrition

Proper nutrition is key to keeping your pet healthy. Diet directly affects your pet’s skin and coat, weight, energy level, and gastrointestinal function. If a problem occurs in one of these areas, it may be linked to improper diet. Learn about proper nutrition for your dog or cat, or talk to your vet about the best diet for your pet. Pet obesity is becoming a very common problem which can often be reversed with proper diet and exercise. Remember, a sudden change in your pet’s foods can cause diarrhea or even vomiting, so switch over gradually unless otherwise directed by your vet.

Hydration

Just like us your pets need lots of water to stay healthy too. It can be hard to measure daily water intake, especially in multiple-pet households, but your vet can show you how to assess your pet’s hydration status. A well-hydrated pet will have gums that are moist and a healthy pink color and urine that is light to medium yellow.

Daily Exercise

Many pet owners underestimate their pet’s need for exercise. In many cases the lack of exercise can result in behavioral issues due to the result of an energy surplus. Example; if your dog can’t release his/her energy with exercise, playing in the yard or a walk around the neighborhood, it may be released on your furniture, carpet, doorways, or your shoes. Cats will do the same. If a cat doesn’t get enough exercise through play time, they will likely turn other items into toys. Often times it’s your couch and comforter. Your pets don’t realize what they’re doing is wrong. Many times destructive behavior comes from boredom and pent up energy, a deadly disaster for your home, so before you get mad at your pet ask yourself if they are getting enough exercise. Your pets should get at least 1-2 hours of play time with you. Set up an exercise routine, maybe some play time in the morning and again after dinner, whatever works best with your schedule.

Grooming 

All pets need grooming, even your cat needs some degree of basic physical upkeep – and pets with special needs due to health conditions such as allergies need it more frequently. Keeping up with a regular grooming routine with your pet, not only ensures cleanliness, but frequent at-home grooming is also beneficial to your pet’s health. Developing a regular grooming routine will help you create a stronger bond with your dog, catch potential issues swiftly, and score major brownie points at your next vet visit! Establish a grooming routine for your pet. Cats and dogs, as well as different breeds may vary in how often they need grooming. For instance, the average short-haired dog will benefit from a monthly nail trim, bath, and brushing, while long-haired dogs should be brushed out daily. Dogs with continuously growing hair may need a haircut every week or two. If you have a cat regularly brushing helps spread their natural oils throughout their fur while at the same time, increasing blood circulation. This keeps your kitty's skin healthy and also gives your pet a shiny coat. Cats need their nails trimmed as well at least once a month and even if your cat hates the bath there are waterless shampoos just for felines to help keep your kitty clean.

Dental Care

It’s easy for pet owners to forget about the teeth, but plaque and tartar build-up can lead to serious health problems. Don't wait until dental disease is present - start focusing on preventive dental care right now, if you have not already. There are plenty of options out there from pet toothbrushes, wipes, oral rinses – talk to your vet about the right options for your pet.

Ear Care

Just like dental care, ear care seems to get overlooked as well.  Unfortunately, the ears make the perfect breeding ground for various nasties, making pet ear care extremely important. Adding ear care to your pet’s grooming routine is the best way to help ensure healthy ears and keep them safe from infections. Learn more about keeping your dog’s ears healthy here and your cat’s ears healthy here.  

Don’t Skip Your Vet Appointments

Even when we do all the right things to keep our pets as healthy as can be, there are some problems that arise that are out of our control. Seeing your vet twice a year for routine wellness examines is a way to ensure your pet is healthy - and if a problem is found, early treatment is always better and less costly.