This article was written for Pet Guardian Angels of America by Sasha McGregor
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5 Best Pet Care Tips
Whether you consider yourself a cat person or a dog person, there’s no disputing the benefits of pet ownership. Studies have shown that people who have animal companions are happier, healthier (both physically and mentally), and live longer. A majority of households in the United States have at least one pet.
If you’re like most, your pet is more than just a four-legged animal living in the home. It’s a member of your family. You love your pet with all of your heart and want to provide it to be happy and healthy. Here are five tips for providing your pet with the best care possible.
Pay Attention to Diet
Just like humans, pets need to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet to ensure proper nutrition and optimal health. While it’s tempting to grab a bag of cheap food off of the shelf, you should take the time to investigate the food you feed your pets. Read ingredient labels and look for those that have at least two meat (or meat meals) at the top of the list. You may also want to consider making your pet’s food or feeding them a raw foods diet. Just be sure to consult with your veterinarian and supplement with vitamins when necessary to provide complete balance.
In addition to a healthy diet, pets need exercise. Take your dog for a stroll around the block or toss a ball in your backyard. Some dogs are great running partners, which can help you to improve your health while keeping them healthy at the same time. Grab a small ball or toy on a string and play with your cat. Exercise for your pets is essential for maintaining a healthy weight and a healthy heart. It’s also important for keeping them mentally stimulated. This is crucial for preventing boredom and behavioral problems.
Grooming is important no matter how long or short your pet’s coat is. Regular brushing helps to keep their coat healthy and shiny and it’s excellent for their skin. While pets don’t need bathing as often as humans do, regular baths are also necessary. Proper grooming doesn’t just keep their fur looking good. It also prevents issues such as matting, bacterial growth, and painful infections. You can groom your pet yourself or you can take them to a professional groomer.
Consider Holistic Care
Despite our best efforts, sometimes pets get sick or injured. While conventional medicine has come a long way, it may not always be best for our animal companions. Some medicines can produce some rather uncomfortable side effects. Some procedures may not have the desired effects. Holistic medicine has also come a long way. If your pet is injured or dealing with joint or muscle issues, therapies like acupuncture, osteopathy, or chiropractic care may be beneficial. Herbal supplements may help treat certain illnesses. Aromatherapy using Young Living Essential oils can be beneficial for pets with anxiety, treating skin issues, or alleviating pain. Just be sure to speak with your veterinarian and research which oils you should avoid around animals.
Spay or Neuter
While you might not want to subject your pet to surgical procedures, spaying or neutering is an essential part of being a responsible pet parent. Many animals don’t have homes. They are either on the streets or living in animal shelters. Having your pet spayed or neutered (especially if they wander outside) prevents potentially adding to the animal homelessness problem. The procedure also helps to prevent medical and behavioral issues. In males, the risk of testicular cancer and prostate issues is reduced. They are less likely to wander away from home. In females, the risk of breast tumors and uterine cancer are reduced.
Just like any other member of your family, you want to provide your pet with only the best. Giving them a safe, comfortable home, nutritious food, and healthcare when they need it can help to ensure that your pet lives a long, happy, and healthy life.
Sasha McGregor is a part-time freelance writer and full-time educator.