Pets are important members of the family that light up our lives and make bad days seem just a little bit better. There’s nothing quite like coming home to a pup that’s always happy to see you or a kitty that pretends indifference but always has to be near you.
Promote an active mind
While we’ve domesticated canines and felines to a point where they can be reliant on us, it’s important to remember they’re still wild at heart and have basic instincts they need to follow. Cats, for instance, need things to climb, claw, and chase, so scratching posts, cat trees, moving toys, and treat dispensers are great ways to provide that for them. Similarly, puppies and dogs have an irresistible instinct to hunt food, explore, and chew. Ensuring your pup has a safe chew toy and gets lots of exercise will not only make them feel better, but it can also help control destructive urges, leading to better behavior.
With both species of animal, it’s important not to let their environment grow stagnant. Introduce new toys, games, treats, and tricks to their space to keep them engaged. New experiences are just as important for pet health as they are for human health.
Healthy diet, healthy weight
This one may seem obvious, but a good diet with a healthy weight will make a noticeable difference on your furry friend’s pet health. They’ll be more active and playful, less aggressive, have less health issues, and be happier. Good diet tips include not feeding your pets table scraps, always supervising them in your home to make sure they don’t eat items they shouldn’t, and choosing food that’s right for their size and age. If you’re not sure how your animal is doing on nutrients or weight, don’t be afraid to consult with your veterinarian. They’ll be able to check their overall health and weight, and let you know if the food your pet eats is healthy or not.
Just like humans, animals need regular veterinarian visits and checkups. These visits allow vets to monitor your animal’s growth, catch any potential issues early, and keep in touch with you on how they’re doing and any concerns you may have. Some signs of illness or problems can be easy to miss, such as dental issues, and yearly visits will ensure that if your dog or cat does develop a health issue, it doesn’t go untreated or unnoticed for too long. Pet health is complex and not always easy to read the signs of, so it’s a good idea to have a vet check your pet out regularly.
Take care of their teeth
They’re such a small part of your animal’s body that you might not think about it, but when is the last time you looked inside your animal’s mouth? Gum and teeth issues can occur often in both cats and dogs, and if left untreated, they can cause a host of other problems, such as inability to eat, lethargy, weight loss, and aggression. Dental health is as important for pet health as it is for you, and if you’ve ever had an abscess or gum disease, then you know how excruciating it can be. Your pets can’t tell you when something hurts, but there are signs to look for, like oral bleeding, discoloration, excessive drooling, loss of appetite, and unexplained weight loss.
Get pet insurance
Chances are that you have dental and health insurance to help cover medical costs and make it more affordable to go to the doctor when you’re ill. Why wouldn’t you do the same for your pet? While the costs of animal care and medical bills can be pricey, insurance for pets can be surprisingly affordable, and it’s there to help you in case of an emergency or even if your pet has a condition that requires regular medicines or vet visits. Most pet insurances will help cover the costs of medications, surgeries, regular checkups, and more, making it easier on you and your wallet to take the best care of your pup or kitty possible.
Pay attention to emotional health
Finally, one of the most overlooked aspects of pet health is their emotional and mental well-being. Just like humans, animals are susceptible to chemical imbalances that can lead to depression and anxiety, lowering their quality of life and having a negative impact on their physical well-being. If you notice that your furry family member has stopped playing as much, doesn’t seem interested in eating, has a fit when you leave, or is otherwise acting in a way they usually don’t, you need to bring them in for an exam. Sometimes, the issue is purely physical, but other times, your pet could be suffering from depression or anxiety that’s keeping them from being themselves. Treatment options are available, so your Fido or Snowball can get back to their playful, loving self.
While a lot of these pet health tips can seem obvious, it’s important to make sure you’re doing everything you can to make your animal’s life better. Your animal may be just one part of your life, but to them, you’re their entire life, and it’s up to you to take care of them. Following these tips will help you stay on the right track, but if you’re ever not sure of anything, always contact your veterinarian for information or help