#1: Proper Diet – Feeding raw and fresh foods along with a good quality commercial diet is an excellent way to find a balance for your pet’s nutritional needs. Speak with your veterinarian about recommendations.
#2: Proper Exercise – Just as humans need exercise for increasing circulation, maintaining muscle balance, flushing waste and general happiness, so do your pets. Keep them active, healthy and happy through playing, running or whatever activity you enjoy doing together.
#3: Maintain Proper Weight – Obese pets die at a younger age; it’s a fact. Canine obesity is one of the fastest growing health issues among dogs today. Extra weight overloads organs, making it hard for your pets’ body to function correctly. If you’re having a hard time maintaining your pets’ weight, be sure to speak with your veterinarian. He/she can help you determine the correct amount of food that needs to be given.
#4: Have Your Pet Examined Yearly – Get a complete physical examination done by a veterinarian each year. They will check for parasites, dental disease, update any vaccinations they may need, and go over the correct diet plan for your pet. It’s also a great time to talk to them about any concerns you may have.
#5: Give Your Pet a Purpose – Spend more time with them! Not only is it good for their health, but it’s a proven fact, that it’s good for yours as well. 😉 A bored pet can become lazy and lethargic, which can ultimately cause weight issues, and in some cases, depression.
#6: Use Flea and Tick Control (Sensibly) – Fleas and ticks bring all sorts of diseases. Check with your veterinarian to find out the ideal times to use flea & tick control.
#7: Spay and Neuter Your Pet – According to the Humane Society of the U.S. “There are an estimated 6-8 million homeless animals entering animal shelters every year. About half of these animals are adopted, and tragically, the other half are euthanized.”
Still, many people are reluctant to spay or neuter their pets. The fact is, spaying and neutering is actually a healthy choice for your pet. It reduces the risk of breast cancer in females and testicular cancer in males. Neutered males are also less likely to run away from home, mark their territory, or exhibit aggressive behaviors.
#8: Socializing Your Pet – If you get a puppy or kitten, it is important to provide them with positive human interaction during their first seven weeks of life. This will help them develop trust and respect, and give them a sense of what’s right and what’s wrong.
#9: Do Not Leave Your Pets Alone For Too Long – Spending 8-10 hours alone in a crate, tiny laundry closet, or even outdoors is too much for most dogs, and in some cases, cats. It can lead to separation anxiety, depression, and destructive behaviors including chewing, soiling, digging, and nonstop barking or howling. If you plan to be away for long periods of time, be sure to find arrangements for your pet, whether it’s hiring a dog walker or pet sitter or perhaps asking a family member or neighbor to help out.
#10: Do Not Scold Your Pet(s) For Any Reason, Including “Accidents” – Don’t scold your pet during or after an accident. Reaction is still attention in their eyes, whether a good or bad reaction. The situation took place in the past, and your dog or cat won’t understand why you’re yelling. A better strategy is to praise your pets immediately when they do their business where they are supposed to.
Got any other tips on maintaining a healthy, happy pet?!? We would love to hear them!