Pet’s Health

 

This resource was provided to Pet Guardian Angels of America by Cary Teller

Photo by Unsplash

4 Ways to Improve Your Pet’s Health

When you first brought your pet home, you were probably so excited to start a new life with him. Of course, you want what’s best for your pet, but there may be some things you overlook. For example, you might be unaware of certain dangers you’re exposing your pet to. Or you might not think about it before it’s too late. Either way, it’s important to keep your dog or cat’s health top of mind so that he stays with you for as long as possible.

Feed a Balanced, Species-Appropriate Diet

Getting the right nutrition is perhaps the most important thing to help him live a long, healthy life. For optimal health, dogs and cats need quality proteins, fats and a small amount of fruits and vegetables that provide antioxidants and fiber.

Make sure your pet’s diet is free of the following items:

  • Grains
  • Fillers
  • Artificial preservatives, colors and additives
  • Chemicals and byproducts
  • Processed or genetically modified (GM) foods

Also, consider putting your pet on a soft water diet. Did you know that pets have a higher risk of developing urinary issues in areas of the U.S. with very hard water? Therefore, if your pet is more prone to urinary problems, you should keep this in mind. Consider getting a water softener to combat this possible risk.

Keep Your Pet at a Healthy Weight

Just like with humans, pets that are overweight are prone to various health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, respiratory disease, kidney disease and some forms of cancer. Excess weight on your pet can also put pressure on his bones, joints and muscles, which puts him at a higher risk of injury.

To keep your pet at a healthy weight, make sure you’re not overfeeding him. Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to feeding your furry companion because every animal is different. Know your pet’s weight and use a calorie calculator for pets that helps you keep track of the calories your furry friend is consuming. Maintaining a healthy balance between the calories your pet consumes and the calories his body uses for normal functions and activity is crucial to keeping your pet’s weight down.

Exercise Your Pet

Ensuring your pet gets adequate exercise is also key in keeping his weight in a healthy range. However, the amount of exercise your pet needs will depend on several factors such as his age, breed, gender, diet and more. Being aware of these factors can help you decide how much exercise your pet needs to remain healthy and maintain his weight. Plus, you’ll be helping him live longer because animals who get daily activity live longer than those who do not.

Keep Your Pet Free of Parasites

Fleas, ticks and mosquitos can cause serious harm to your pet,
especially if they go unnoticed
. Fleas and ticks can cause severe skin problems; some of them may carry disease. This means that if an infected flea or tick bites your pet, he may get very ill. Thankfully, you can treat your pet’s fleas and ticks with prescribed medications that keep the parasites at bay. There are various types of flea and tick treatments out there. They all help repel fleas and ticks to keep them away from your pet. These medications are also powerful enough to kill the parasites.

Mosquitoes can also pose harm to your cat or dog, especially if they carry disease. The most common disease mosquitos transmit to pets is heartworm disease. Heartworms can be a deadly disease if it’s not properly and promptly treated. The best way to keep your pet from succumbing to heartworms is to practice prevention. This means that you should take him to the vet regularly so that he gets tested for heartworms. This allows you to get a leg up on treatment and catch any problems early.

Keeping a healthy pet is probably one of the most satisfying things about being a pet parent. You’ll wish you tried these tips sooner than you did.

“Cary Teller is an Oregon native who loves exploring the outdoors with his trusty sidekick Milo, a 2-year old gorgeous and cuddly mastiff.”