For many of us, our pets are like our children. They give us joy, companionship and unconditional love. As such an important part of our lives, we want to make sure our pets are well cared for and happy. Here are the top 6 ways to ensure your pets are happy and healthy.
1. Attention and Affection – Pets thrive on attention and affection from their human family. Make sure you set aside time every day for quality interaction with your pet. This might include going for walks, playing, snuggling or just hanging out together (belly rubs welcomed). As a bonus, spending quality time with your pet reduces your stress and improves your well-being too!
2. Spay/Neuter – Have your pets spayed or neutered. This curbs unwanted behaviors such as running away, peeing or marking indoors, destroying household objects and scratching or other destructive behaviors. Having your pet spayed or neutered also helps prevent some cancers and increases your pet’s life expectancy.
3. Good Nutrition – Choose a good quality nutritious food for your pet. At minimum, a pet food should meet AAFCO standards for nutrition. And if your pet has a dietary concern or health condition, be sure to choose a food appropriate for that concern. For example, pets with sensitive stomach issues often do well on limited ingredient foods.
4. Preventative Medications – Making sure your pet has preventative medications is especially important for pets who go outside or in households where one or more pets go outside even if others are indoor-only. Preventative medications that address issues like fleas, ticks and heartworm (transmitted by mosquitoes) help keep your pet healthy and safe from parasites and vector-borne illnesses.
5. Grooming – Grooming includes keeping nails trimmed, brushing your pet regularly and bathing as needed (yes, even cats need to be bathed at times). Don’t forget about your pet’s teeth. When you start young, many pets can be trained to allow you to brush their teeth but never use human toothpaste with your pet. Always use a toothpaste made specifically for the type of pet you have. Dental chews and toys made for dental health are also good options for your pet’s dental hygiene.
6. Exercise – Just like people, pets need exercise. You can help your pet get more exercise by playing with some toys together like Bark Appeal’s plush dog toys that crinkle and squeak or the cat teaser wand with feather. Walking, swimming or hiking with your dog are great ways to get some exercise together. Playing fetch (which a surprising number of cats enjoy too–indoors, of course) and other activities appropriate for your pet. And don’t forget to make sure your cat has plenty of appropriate scratching options, which help satisfy the instinct to scratch and give her exercise too.
Our pets are our furry family. These 6 tips help you ensure your pets are healthy and happy both now and for many years to come.