Pets are able to communicate many things to their owners in different ways. What they are not able to tell us is how they are feeling in terms of health and well-being.
With so many other day-to-day expenses on the rise, it makes sense to keep your pet healthy and fit, so unexpected medical costs don’t surprise you; but more importantly, a happy and healthy pet makes for a happier family.
Here are some easy simple steps pet owners can take to ensure a pet stays healthy. Some of these steps will also keep owners healthy, as well, delivering a win-win situation for all.
1. Healthy Diet
Your pet’s dietary needs will change over time. Younger pups and kittens need different types of nutrition to develop their young bodies than do middle-aged and older pets. In addition to this, nutritional requirements for different types of pets will differ. Dogs will require a different type of food than cats.
Royal Canin sells an excellent range of pet food for cats and dogs which is available in New Zealand, Australia, Europe and North America.
It is especially important to consult with a veterinarian to understand the specific diet requirements for your pet. Another thing to remember is that different breeds may require specific nutrition. A veterinarian will be able to advise on this, taking into account the pet’s age.
When purchasing food, be sure to check the AAFCO labels to determine if the food is safe for ingestion for the particular age of your pet.
Portion size is equally as important. It is very easy to overfeed pets, and they will eat any amount put before them. Reading the labels on food packaging and following the advise of a veterinarian will help define the right amount and frequency to feed your pet. Overweight pets contract several health issues, which is what you want to avoid.
2. Daily Exercise
All living things need activity to keep organs working at full capacity and to keep the body working smoothly, well into old age. Pets needs exercise, too. Even if you feel you are keeping your pet on a strict diet, it still needs to use the muscles and joints it has to stay fit and healthy.
According to a study conducted by Purina, a popular pet food manufacturer, about 60 percent of all pets are overweight. This can lead to diabetes, heart and lung disease, skin conditions, bone and joint disease, and cancer. Keeping excessive weight gain at bay is key to keeping good health, and can easily be achieved by incorporating a daily exercise regimen, recommended for your pet by a veterinarian.
3. Bi-Annual Exams
According to veterinarians, one of the most important things you can do for your pet is to take them in for routine examinations. Preventative measure go a long way to keeping pets healthy, because these examinations can look for problems that would go unrecognized by most pet owners. Veterinarians are trained to look for warning signs for potential problems, so they will catch issues before they become hard to fix.
This makes treating your pet far less expensive. Taking pets in for bi-annual exams ensures that your pet is in top condition and also helps build a history of behavior and metrics, so your veterinarian will know quickly what to do when something is quite not right.
4. Dental Health
A pet’s overall health can be greatly affected by its dental health. Research has shown that proper dental health can extend a pet’s life by two to five years and prevent many other medical issues.
According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, more than 80 percent of cats and dogs over the age of three have some signs of oral disease.
5. Parasite Prevention and Management
Parasite control is especially crucial, as side effects can range from discomfort to life-threatening illnesses. Examples of parasites include fleas, ticks, heartworms, and intestinal parasites.
Fleas and ticks usually cause skin conditions in pets and rarely result in any major medical issues. Vets can suggest a variety of options to monitor and prevent your pet from getting infected.
Heartworms usually pass through mosquito bites and are not fatal is properly treated. Treatments are available for dogs that have heartworms, but the best thing is to prevent your pet from getting them by opting to use one of several medication options available on the market.
Intestinal parasites are a danger to pets at any age and can be detected via routine fecal examinations paired with deworming treatments.