When you adopt a pet you not only add a lot of love and warmth to your home, but you also claim a new family member and a new best friend. Do you know how much of an impact you really have on keeping your pets healthy? Feeding them the right foods, using the right household cleaners, and neutering them can have such a huge impact on how healthy your pet is.
Keeping your pet healthy starts from the inside out. Exercise is important for your pets as well as watching their weight. It is important to limit table scraps for your pets and to make sure your pets don’t become overweight. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, along with daily exercise, it is important to feed your pets the right foods. Always check the nutrition labels of pet foods and feed them foods that are free of fillers and by-products. Also, pets need different foods at different stages in their lives. Maintaining a life-stage diet for your pet all through the years will keep them healthy and fit. Dogs need diets rich in animal-based protein for muscle maintenance, fiber for a healthy digestive tract, and vitamins for a healthy immune system, coat and skin. Cats are carnivores and need a diet made up of digestible proteins. Their food should contain vitamin A for healthy growth, taurine for healthy eyes, and heart and essential fatty acids for healthy skin and fur, as stated by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company. Certain foods, such as avocados, grapes, chocolate, onions and raisins can be toxic to pets, so be sure to never feed your pets the food off of your plate or kitchen counter.
Keeping your home healthy can also have a huge impact on your pet's health. When cleaning your house, use cleaners that are free from toxic chemicals and pesticides, and make sure all cleaners are kept out of reach of pets. Certain plants, like poinsettias and lilies, can be toxic to your pets, so leave them out of your home. Also, carefully hide electrical wires to avoid having your pet chew through them. Keep your pet in a comfortable environment by making sure they never get too hot or too cold. Some items that are usually out of mind, like dryer sheets, batteries, insecticides, child toys, holiday decorations, medicines and even unbaked bread dough, can be harmful to pets.
Provide your pet with fresh water every day to not only keep them hydrated, but also to ensure great kidneys and heart health. Good hygiene is important as well, which can be achieved with regular tooth brushing for some pets to avoid gum disease and dental issues. Also, be sure to keep your pet's claws well-trimmed to encourage good posture and healthy joints. As stated by the Humane Society of the United States, preventive health care, including yearly exams, vaccinations and protection from parasites, will prevent your pets from having large-scale medical issues in the future. Being a pet owner is a huge responsibility, but the amount of love an adopted pet can bring to your home is priceless, and you truly impact each other’s lives each day.