Our pets are family members and, like your human family members, attention to the health and wellness of your pets are top priorities. Your pets deserve a healthy lifestyle, but they are depending on you, their owner, to provide good health habits for them. They can’t go to the store to buy nutritious food, tell you when they feel bad, or plan an exercise program for themselves. Therefore, if you want your pets to live a long, healthy and happy life, you need to take certain steps to insure that they will. Here are some suggestions:
· Have your pets examined by a veterinarian at least once a year, more often if they are elderly or have health problems.
· Keep your pets current on all vaccinations.
· Provide opportunities for fun, games, walking, and plenty of exercise. They will be less stressed out and less apt to be destructive.
· Provide pets with clean bowls for food and fresh water.
· Feed them a nutritious diet. Many grocery store pet foods are filled with dyes, preservatives, and fillers, which are nothing more than “junk food” for pets. You may want to switch to a premium pet food, which you can purchase from a pet store or your veterinarian.
· Do not give your pet table leftovers. They enjoy vegetable treats and these are better for them. If your pet is overweight, help your pet lose the extra weight by using a pet food designed for that purpose.
·Handle your pet’s body frequently to check for sores and lumps.
· Long-haired pets should be groomed on a regular basis.
· In the summer, keep your pets and their environment flea-free. Fleas carry many diseases and if left untreated, can kill your pets. Pet sitters do not want to carry fleas to a flea-free home!
· Be sure to pet-proof your home and yard. Pets have a way of getting into things that could be potentially harmful or fatal to them.
· Do not let any symptoms of illness or injury go untreated. See your veterinarian immediately if symptoms persist. If your pet exhibits destructive behavior or is house-trained and begins soiling in the house there may be an underlying medical problem. See your vet.
· If your pet is not a socially acceptable member of your family (growls, bites, jumps on people, will not obey simple commands, etc.) you should enroll your pet in an obedience class or consult with an animal behavior counselor.
· Be sure your pets wear proper identification even though they are mainly indoor pets.
· When you travel, be sure to hire a competent pet sitting service to care for your pets and home. Your pets will be less stressed out, eat better, their routine less disrupted, and they will not be exposed to sick animals and fleas as they might at a veterinarian or kennel.
· If you give your pets plenty of love and attention and encourage proper health habits, you will have a healthy, happy pet that will give you many years of love and devotion!