There are few other things in life as special as the unconditional love and loyalty that a pet provides. It’s obvious Americans enjoy having pets, but what might not be so evident is the best way to take care of them. So when it comes to ensuring that your pet stays healthy and lives as long a life as possible, what steps should you take?
There are several factors that contribute to the lifespan of a pet. While some of them like congenital, genetic and environmental factors are out of our control, here are a few tips to add a few more happy years to your pet’s life.
Analyze your pets diet
While most pet parents would feed their cats and dogs the same stuff day after day, they are not aware that such a habit can lead to food intolerances and nutritional deficiencies.
In it’s stead a holistic approach to a pet’s diet should work well. This means using real, wholesome food, no processed items or by-products, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives and rendered ingredients. Homemade food (either cooked or raw) is the best. If you are not interested in preparing homemade food, the next best thing can be raw food. You can prepare them in advance and freeze it. All you have to do then is to defrost necessary portions overnight. You can also go in for premium pet specific canned foods that are very high quality.
It’s best to consult with a holistic veterinarian or nutrition specialist to develop a good, basic diet menu that you can easily make yourself at home.
It’s recommended to read the label while selecting food for your pet. The main ingredient should be a high-quality one. If the main ingredients are a mix of different types of grains or starches, then that should be preferably avoided.
Most of us consume multivitamins and other supplements to aid our health, and this practice can be beneficial for pets as well. Providing your pet a species-appropriate diet, which include supplements like omega-3s will contribute to overall wellness and help pets thrive.
Adding supplements like omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) to a pet’s diet brings many health benefits, that include healthy skin and fur coat, reduced inflammation which causes itching and hot spots, reduced inflammation of joints, a strong immune system and a healthy digestive tract. One highly recommended supplement is fish oil specially formulated for pets.
Prioritizing play and downtime
As with humans, exercise is of paramount importance to the physical well-being of cats and dogs. The simple act of walking a pet helps move and lubricate joints, improves flexibility, retains muscle mass (which protects joints) while improving blood circulation through joints and muscles.
Find time every day to play with your pets. Walking a dog once or twice a day can be good for both you and your pet. And if you cannot devote the necessary time, try hiring a pet sitter or dog walker to do it for you. It can be detrimental for a dog’s health to have him refrain from urinating all day long. A walk come midday is optimal.
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