Any responsible cat or dog owner has just one wish: for their pet to have a long, healthy life. While animals can live for many years, they need proper care. Below are five tips to help owners improve pet health, vigor and vitality.
StartWith a Good Diet
The quality of a pet’s diet directly affects the condition of its eyes, skin and coat. A good, healthy diet can strengthen a dog or cat’s immune system, maintain intestinal health, sharpen their senses, keep muscles and joints healthy, and more.
Keep a Healthy Weight
Overweight pets are vulnerable to many health issues. Obesity is the most frequently seen nutritional disease in pets, and various studies show that it can shorten a cat or dog’s life by two years or more. Why? Obesity and being overweight can put a pet at risk for diabetes, heart disease and joint disease, among other problems.
Take the Pet for Regular Checkups
All pets need frequent veterinary care to stay healthy. However, care goes beyond vaccinations, although these are crucial. Routine exams can uncover hidden health issues in dogs and cats, and early diagnosis can improve a pet’s chances of survival. In most cases, early detection is less expensive than waiting for a problem to become serious before seeking treatment.
Keep a Clean Mouth
Oral diseases are common among cats and dogs, and they can cause pain that makes it difficult for a pet to eat. If these issues are left untreated, they can lead to kidney and heart disease in some cases. In addition to veterinary care, owners can brush the pet’s teeth at home. For pets that cannot tolerate a toothbrush, there are dental treats, toys and diets available. A local veterinarian can provide recommendations.
Provide Adequate Supervision
Allowing a dog or cat to roam freely may seem like a good idea. However, free-roaming pets are vulnerable to dangers such as predation, auto accidents and exposure to toxins. Allowing a pet to roam unsupervised may cause problems if the animal relieves himself on a neighbor’s lawn, or digs up the garden. For the pet’s safety and the owner’s sanity, supervision is key.
Pets provide companionship and love, and they ask nothing in return. However, owners can take certain steps to reciprocate. By following the tips above, a pet owner can keep their cat or dog healthy, happy and safe for many years to come.