Showing your pet you love them takes more than just lots of cuddles, treats and toys. Being a responsible pet owner means you also have to do some things your pet may not love so much…like giving them baths, grooming and even saying ‘no’. But in the long run, they will thank you for the extra care as it will keep them healthy and happy, and will surely strengthen the bond between you and your pet.
- When it comes to your pet’s health, the best way to stay on top of any issues is with regular checkups and ensuring your pet receives all necessary vaccinations on schedule as well as any medications.
- Prevent parasites with regular flea and intestinal parasite control as well as heartworm prevention in prevalent areas. On top of that, it is important to routinely check your pet for any fleas or ticks as these issues can multiply quickly.
- Monitor food and water intake as well as activity levels. If any of these change drastically, get in to the vet for a check-up as there could be a more serious underlying issue.
- Cleaning the teeth is a daily ritual for you and it should be for your pet as well. Once a day, use a specially formulated pet toothpaste on a pet toothbrush and give them a good scrubbing. Just like us, dental care is a key aspect to overall health.
- Once a week, pets need their ears cleaned and fur brushed to prevent knots and mats from forming. Brushing will also help keep fur off your floors!
- Every 1-3 weeks your pet should have their nails clipped or trimmed and they should receive a bath every 2-4 weeks using specially formulated pet products. This is important because pet shampoos contain a different pH balance than human shampoos and could cause irritation.
Exercise and Stimulation:
- Exercise does more than just keep your pet’s weight in check, it is important for overall wellbeing and behaviour. Benefits of regular exercise include: releasing excess energy; encouraging social skills when confronted with people, pets and animals outside of the family; and maintaining weight and joint function, building muscle, and keeping the bowels healthy.
- Like us, pets also require mental stimulation. Keep various toys on hand and rotate them to prevent boredom, which often leads to behavioural issues such as barking and chewing on things they shouldn’t – i.e. your shoes.
- It’s hard to ignore those puppy-dog eyes pleading for more food or scraps from the table. But food is one area where saying ‘no’ is really in your pet’s best interest. Closely follow the feeding guidelines on your pet’s food and limit the amount of treats they get throughout the day.
- When it comes to human food, know which foods are toxic for your pet and which are safe. And even if a food is considered safe for your animal, be cautious of the portion size. For example, a piece of cheese to a cat is equivalent to eating a whole hamburger. That is a lot of extra calories on top of their regular food.