When you have a pet, your body can experience a wide range of health benefits. From improving fitness levels to reducing stress and anxiety, pets can help you live a longer, healthier life.
They’re also beneficial to your mental health, helping you resolve feelings of loneliness and depression. And, they can even increase your social skills and build self-confidence.
1. Nutritious Meals
Nutrition is an important aspect of keeping your pet healthy, and it’s essential to give them a balanced diet that meets their needs. It’s a great way to avoid obesity and reduce health issues.
In addition to protein and fats, pets need carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. These nutrients help support your pet’s overall health and are essential for growth and development.
Choose a high quality food that has been carefully researched and formulated to meet your dog or cat’s specific needs. Avoid bargain brands, which often contain fillers and low quality ingredients.
Your vet will be able to help you select the right diet for your pet’s breed, age, lifestyle and condition. They can also help you choose foods that are nutrient-dense and made with the highest-quality ingredients.
2. Clean Water
Your pets need water to stay hydrated, and it can also help them recover from illness or fatigue. However, it is important to be sure the water you give your pet is clean and safe.
Dirty or contaminated water can harbor harmful bacteria, parasites and viruses. This can lead to a variety of health issues in your pet, and may even cause them to get sick.
If you have a dog, it is essential to keep their water bowls clean and empty them out regularly. Make sure that they are cleaned with hot soapy water, rinsed and sanitized before you refill them.
Avoid giving your pet contaminated or chlorinated pool water, puddles or natural freshwater sources, as these all contain harmful bacteria and can dehydrate your pet. Instead, give them the best quality of drinking water you can find – like spring or distilled water.
3. Routine Checkups
It’s a good idea to bring your pet in for a routine checkup at least once a year, even if they appear perfectly healthy. This allows your veterinary professional to examine them for any signs of illness or damage that may not be obvious in the earliest stages, allowing them to treat health problems as they arise, preventing costly and invasive treatments later on.
During the examination, your vet will assess your pet’s heart rhythm and rate, blood pressure, pulse, breathing, weight and temperature. They’ll also examine the lungs, lymph nodes, stomach, intestines and bladder, as well as the liver and kidneys.
Your pet will then be given a fecal exam, which is important for checking the presence of intestinal parasites that can lead to serious and even fatal illnesses. Your pet’s overall condition will be checked, and a discussion about your pet’s diet, exercise routine and any other needs will be conducted. If any concerns are found, your vet will recommend further testing or treatment options.
4. Regular Exercise
Whether you have a pup or cat, it’s essential that they get regular exercise. This is not just for their physical health, but also helps reduce behavioural issues such as excessive licking, chewing and barking, as well as anxiety-related behaviours.
A good rule of thumb is to aim for at least 60 minutes of daily exercise for a healthy adult dog. However, that number can vary depending on the age and breed of your pet.
The key to getting your pet off the couch is finding a suitable activity that they enjoy doing. Try playing fetch, figuring out a puzzle treat game or even obedience training.
Brisk walking is the ideal activity for both you and your dog, as it’s not only a calorie burner but also benefits their heart, lungs, bone density and mental health. Taking them for a walk also provides important bonding time and helps to cement a trusting relationship between you and your pet.