Pet Care Basics

By on March 20, 2023

Our pets look to us for love and care. Loving them is easy, but how do we care for them best? Beyond two more legs and a lot more hair, our furry companions require the same care we do; movement, food, healthcare, play, and cleanliness.

  1. Movement: Just like us, our animals need physical activity. Regular exercise is essential to your pet’s physical and mental health. Daily movement and play can be potential treatments for anxious or destructive animals. Research your breed of cat or dog and see how much activity they need. Make sure to move “with” your pet. For dog owners, don’t just let the pups outside, but instead, take them on walks, throw the frisbee or ball, or let them chase you. For cat owners, grab a pen laser, a ribbon, or – my favorite – the Cat Dancer, and let your felines be ferocious. Don’t forget that moving with your pet will also help you increase your physical activity!
  1. Food: Feed your pets a healthy diet ideal for their breed. According to the cats are “obligate carnivores,” which means they need meat in their diet to survive. Whereas dogs, like us, are omnivores who can eat meat and plants. Some human foods are palatable and safe for your pets, but research before tossing your animal a table scrap. The only “people food” we allow our dog is plain air-popped popcorn. Toppings like salt and butter may upset their stomachs. It’s always best to talk to your vet about choosing which food is right for your pet, but we can guarantee that feeding them a healthy diet is way easier than eating one yourself!
  1. Healthcare: Ensure your pets receive consistent healthcare by scheduling regular visits to the veterinarian. Your vet can spot any potential medical issues you may miss and give you tips for keeping your pet healthy and safe. Similar to humans, pets are getting girthier; recent studies show that about 56% of dogs and 60% of cats are overweight or obese. Annual check-ups are a great way to keep track of your pet’s weight and learn practical ways to lean them out for an active and long life.
  1. Play: When life is boring, we get grumpy, and our pets are no different. They need stimulation just like people, and lots of it! Interaction can equal stimulation, so offer your pet food-filled puzzles and toys or hide treat bags in out-of-the-way places. Socialization can equal stimulation, so take your dog to the dog park or consider adding another cat to your home. You wouldn’t want to live a dull and monotonous life, so don’t force your pet to live that way.
  1. Cleanliness: Grooming your pet has a bevy of benefits. Bathing your pet can help prevent fleas and ticks from entering your home, help remove excess hair, and help keep the rest of your house clean. Trimming your pet’s nails will improve their traction, reduce joint pain, and prevent rogue nails from tearing off and causing a wound. Brushing your pet’s hair removes dirt and dead hair, prevents tangles, increases blood circulation, and improves your emotional bond. Grooming is not just cosmetic; it’s a health measure.

There you have it. What keeps a pet happy and healthy are the same actions that keep humans happy and healthy. Pets don’t exist for our enjoyment alone; we live for each other, so take care of them.

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