For many pet owners, their beloved animals are extensions of their own families. In some families, pets and people eat together, play together, share sleeping spaces, go on trips together, and even wear matching sweaters for family Christmas cards! Your animal’s health is an important part of your responsibility as an owner, but optimal health doesn’t come from a diet of Sophie's Choize alone. There are other factors to take into consideration when your pet’s wellness depends on you. Read on for essential elements of pet health to keep in mind when caring for your beloved animal.
When we eat good, we feel good. The same principle applies to our pets. Have you experienced the effects of overeating, under-eating, or simply consuming too many foods that didn’t serve your body well? Animals can relate. Healthy pet food, rich in protein, fiber, fats, vitamins and minerals, will go a long way in providing long-lasting energy and wellness for your pet. The dietary needs of pets change over time as they grow. Pets need daily exercise, too. You know how good a long walk feels after a day of sitting at a desk job. Stretching out those stiff joints feels great, not to mention the benefits we receive from spending time away from electronics and stressful to-do lists. Your animals may feel the same way after being apart from you in a kennel, cage, or other enclosed space. Getting out for regular walks, jogs or runs is good for both pets and owners. Schedule regular check-ups for your pooch. In addition to the diet of healthy pet food you offer your pet every day, it’s important to schedule regular appointments for them to check in with the veterinarian. It’s always better to prevent a disease or injury than to treat one. Having your pet seen twice a year will go a long way to identifying and avoiding potential issues. Brush, brush, brush those teeth. Did you know that teeth brushing and dental care are also important for your pets? Good oral health is a big part of overall health. The American Veterinarian Dental Society estimates that more than 80% of cats and dogs over three years of age have signs of oral disease, including gum disease and cancer. Research shows that taking preventative measures, including implementing a diet of healthy pet food and frequent brushing, can actually extend your pet’s life up to five years. Give them the gift of YOU. The time you spend with your pet is invaluable. Each moment you are around them is an opportunity to become more in tune with their moods and personalities. When you pet them you become familiar with their skin and coat and can notice abnormalities. By knowing what is the normal behavior and physical condition for your pet, you can detect changes quicker.