1. Regular exams are vital
Your pet is no different from you. It can have heart problems, arthritis or a toothache. To prevent or detect such problems early, you should visit your veterinarian annually.
The most effective way to maintain your pet’s health is through regular exams. The annual vet visit should include a discussion on weight and nutrition, vaccinations and parasite control as well as a dental exam and health screenings.
2. Spay or Neuter your Pets
Every year, 8 to 10 millions Pets are rescued from shelters in the United States. Some of them are abandoned, others are lost.
You can easily avoid increasing that number by spaying and neutering your cats and dog. This procedure can be done as young as six to eight week old’s.
It’s not just about reducing the number of unwanted animals; spaying and neutering has many other benefits for your pet. It also reduces the risk for certain cancers, and the likelihood of a pet getting lost because of its tendency to wander.
3. Prevent Parasites
Fleas can cause irritated or infected skin, hair loss and hot spots. Fleas may also spread other parasites to your dog or cat. It only takes one flea for your dog or cat to get tapeworms. This is the most common parasite that affects dogs and cats.
Prevention is important all year round. In areas with endemic heartworm and intestinal parasites, it is essential to maintain regular flea control.
Talk to your veterinarian about how to keep your pets safe and worm-free.
4. Maintain a Healthy Body Weight
Most dogs and cats are overweight. Obesity in pets is associated with the same health risks as obesity in humans, including diabetes, arthritis and cancer.
Douglas says that obesity is caused by overfeeding. He adds, however, that trimming our pets can extend their life.
Pets need fewer calories than we think. A small, inactive cat or dog may only require 240-350 daily calories. Talk to your veterinarian about the best way to feed your pet based on its age, weight and lifestyle.
5. Get Regular Vaccinations
To ensure optimal health for your pet, you should regularly vaccinate them against diseases like rabies, distemper and feline leukemia.
Talk to your veterinarian about how often you should immunize your dog or cats. It depends on the age, health and lifestyle of your pet.
6. Provide an Enriched Environment
A healthy and happy environment is essential for your dog and cat friends.
It is important to provide mental stimulation for pets. This may include daily walks, scratching posts, perches on windows, and toys for cats. Playing with your pet not only helps keep their muscles toned, but also keeps boredom away. It strengthens the bond between you and your four-legged companion.
7. Your pet can be tattooed with a microchip
A lack of identification can lead to as little as 14% finding their way back home when they get lost. The microchipping or tattooing of the pet can help reunite it with its owner.
A microchip, about the size of a grain of rice, is inserted beneath the skin in under a second. It does not require a battery and is scanned in seconds by an animal control officer or vet.
8. Pets Need Dental Care, Too
Your pet may also suffer from tooth pain, gum disease and tooth loss. Regular brushing and cleanings of your pet’s mouth will help to keep their teeth healthy and strong.
Many people don’t even bother to look at their pets’ mouths. Dental disease is the most common and preventable illness in dogs, yet it is often overlooked. By age three, 80% of cats and 70% of dogs show signs of dental diseases, which can lead to abscesses and loose teeth. Chronic pain is also a common symptom. Periodontal disease is preventable by proper dental hygiene by the owner, in addition to regular cleanings performed by your veterinarian. Owner care includes oral rinses, dental treats, and brushing.
9. Never give pets people medication
Human medicines can be deadly to your pet. In 2010, the ASPCA ranked human drugs among the top 10 pet toxins.
Human drugs can cause serious health problems for pets. These include acetaminophen, muscle relaxants and decongestants. Dogs and cats can suffer from kidney damage, seizures and cardiac arrest when they are exposed to human drugs.
Call your veterinarian if you suspect that your pet may have consumed any toxic substances or medication.
10. The Right Restraints in a Car
Your pet should also buckle up in the car for safety. Pets that are not restrained in a vehicle can be a distraction for the driver and put both driver and pet in danger of serious injury. Keep pets safe while in transit by:
Pets should never be allowed to ride in the front seats, as they are at risk of serious injury or even death if an airbag is deployed.
Do not let your dog ride in a truck with its head hanging out of the window. In the event of a collision, they are at risk for being thrown out of the vehicle.
If you want to keep your pet safe, secure it in a carrier and then use a seat belt. Dogs can be secured in a kennel or harness that is attached to the seat belt.