All dog and cat owners want to make the most out of the time they get to spend with their furry friends. It is truly a tragedy that these companion animals simply do not live as long as the humans that take care of them, but following a few simple tips can certainly increase both lifespan and pet health. It’s important not to underestimate the value of quality care.
Don’t Underestimate The Importance of a Healthy Diet
Not all pet food is created equal. It may be tempting to try to cut costs when purchasing pet food, but good nutrition is essential to good overall health. Check the ingredients before buying. The food should not contain artificial colors or flavoring, and should not list corn as its primary ingredient. Both dogs and cats eat primarily meat when they live in the wild. Similarly, house pets will not be able to thrive on a diet comprised primarily of grains. Also check the minimum protein levels, which should be readily available on the label.
It’s important not to overfeed pets. Some dogs and cats can appropriately estimate their nutritional needs for themselves, but many can’t. Excessive weight gain can have a severe negative impact on a pet’s well-being. Follow the guidelines on pet food labels, but keep in mind that animals’ nutritional needs change depending on their age and how much exercise they are getting regularly.
Don’t Forget to Brush Their Teeth
Dentists will often remind their patients that good oral hygiene is an important factor in determining overall health in people. The same goes for dogs and cats. A variety of products specifically designed to encourage good oral health are available for those who do not relish the thought of sticking toothbrushes or fingers in their pets’ mouths. There is no excuse for neglect in this area.
Don’t Forget Regular Wellness Checks
Like the people that love them, pets will be more likely to remain healthy and to thrive if they are brought to a veterinarian for regular wellness checks. This will ensure that any health issues will be caught early. A veterinarian can also provide their patients’ people with valuable information on preventative care. Most vets suggest at least an annual check-up.