Pet healthcare is a scary subject to a lot of people. We all know the trauma associated with and the cost involved with treating an unwell pet. But did you know there are certain things you can do to improve your family pet’s chances of staying healthy?
Let’s take a look at the 6 simple pet healthcare tips anyone can follow to keep your pet in tip top shape.
Go the vet approved diet route
As vets and pet healthcare professionals, we see the impact the wrong diet can have on your pet’s health. Obesity, skin allergies, issues with joints such as knee and hip, bad breath, teeth and gum loss, digestive problems and general fatigue can all be avoided by feeding your pet the right kind of food they need.
How do you choose the right food for your pet?
- Feed your pet vet approved diets such as Royal Canin
- Treat with fresh vegetables instead of processed treats
If in doubt, consult the vets and the vet nurses. Especially if you suspect your pet may have specific issues related to digestion, allergies or need to shed a few kilos.
Make time for exercise and play
Exercise not only helps keep your pet fit and active, it also keeps them mentally sharp and emotionally centred, too. Regular walks for dogs are a must. Providing climbing frames and tunnels for cats, birds, lizards and pocket pets not only get them on the move, they help give them private space as well.
Puzzle toys, learning new tricks and exploring new environments are what most pets need to exercise mind and body. So always make time each day to stimulate the mind and body of your pet to help them maintain health.
Remember they are an animal
While it can be fun to dress pets up and have them “think they’re people”, the fact of the matter remains your fur, finned or feathered friend is an animal. And as such, respecting the boundaries between what we think is fun or funny and treating them with respect is part of pet healthcare.
Sometimes we can take the pet love a little too far by feeding them human food, dressing them in costumes, dyeing and decorating their coat, piercing ears, making them wear shoes and so on.
Look out for warning signs that you may be annoying you pet, such as their desire to remove clothing or items, skin inflammation from dye and coverings, and changes in mood, body shape and their level of obedience towards you.
Pet healthcare is negatively influenced by our pets not feeling safe, happy and protected. So be mindful of treating them too much like a mini human and removing their animal identity.
Regular washing and grooming
Dogs and cats can be especially prone to skin disease, fleas, and bites and damage to the skin that their fur hides. One of the best ways to ensure your pet’s skin health is regular washing and grooming.
Removing excess hair, keeping hair clean and allowing the skin a lovely balance between natural oil and cleanliness helps your pet stay comfortable. It also helps minimise the chance of infection, overheating or flea and tick activity going undetected.
Matted hair ruins skin. It’s also painful and uncomfortable. Smelly pets are also not much fun. So always make sure you use the right shampoo for your pet and make a commitment to regular grooming.
Don’t forget, we’ve got the Pooch Parlour if you need a hand cleaning or gaining advice on how to keep your dog clean, too.
Teeth are super important
Dogs and cats should have their teeth cleaned daily. Yet we all know this doesn’t happen. However, teeth are your pet’s hands and chewing mechanism. They help them pick up things and be able to eat properly.
That’s why Greenies dental bones are a must. Special mouthwashes that prevent the build up of tartar are helpful. And most importantly a vet dental check every 6 months for early detection of gum disease is essential.
As we’ve mentioned before, to protect your pet’s teeth they need to be cleaned daily to prevent dental issues. You can find out more about pet dental care in this blog.
You should also follow a good diet to ensure that mouth, gums and teeth are not over-exposed to sugar, salt and fat in their food that can promote tooth decay and gum loss.
Vaccinate and medicate as necessary
Your pet can’t check the calendar or administer his or her own vaccinations, so it’s up to you to follow a regular vaccination schedule and visit the vet. You’re also the one responsible for giving flea, tick and worm prevention all year round, not simply in the warmer months.
And if your pet has a medical condition that requires medication to aid in recovery, it’s your job to respect the treatment plan and provide that relief to your pet.
We don’t advocate over vaccinating or believe you should use Google in lieu of vet knowledge when it comes to pills and potions, either.
Always make sure the medicines you are giving your pet are vet approved, up-to-date (so no expired medications) and are fully explained to you by a veterinary professional.
Pet healthcare doesn’t have to be hard
At Fox Valley Animal Hospital, we know pet healthcare seems difficult. That’s why we always make sure you are fully informed during each consultation, and that you know you can pick up the phone or make an appointment to query your pet’s ailments and treatments.
We also know one of the most common ways a pet’s health can decline is through not following the advice of a vet and the vet nurses and moving away from the right course of action.
Each time you decide your pet needs a higher or lower dose of medication, you’re making a choice that could impact their health negatively. Every time you neglect their cleaning, emotional needs and desire for exercise, you contribute to ailments and diseases that are preventable.
So please, when choosing your family pet, give a lot of thought about pet healthcare. Choosing the right level of commitment in time, effort and finances available to feed, treat and medicate your pet can make both your life and the life of your pet much more enjoyable.