Why Do You Need to Keep Your Pet Healthy and Happy?

“Pets are humanizing. They remind us we have an obligation and responsibility to preserve and nurture and care for all life.” James Cromwell 

Just like any member of the family, your pet’s health is just as important. There are certain diseases that animals can pass to humans and being exposed to these hazards can easily happen at home. Neglecting your pet’s health can lead to these illnesses and also affect your pet’s behavior which poses immense danger to your household.

Risks aside, studies have shown that pets can boost their owner’s health and well-being. Taking regular walks and playing with your pets can be a great way to exercise. Cuddling can make you calm and lower stress. Taking care of pets provides a sense of purpose and a feeling of being needed. This can boost your happiness and contentment in life. Pets can help you manage depression too! 

One of our main obligations as pet owners is securing their mental and physical wellness. Pets need medical attention when they are sick and it’s necessary for them to have a yearly visit to the vet for a yearly check-up just like we do. Keeping our furry friends from having diseases and treating their ailments will not only keep them healthy, but it will keep us safe and healthy as well. Exercise is just as important. It stimulates their mind and keeps them fit which lessens the chance of them having health problems. 

Know your Pet. In having a healthy pet, you are required to know all about it. It’s also very important to know how to care and provide for it properly. Before getting a pet, you have to determine what its purpose will be. Do you want a pet to watch your house or to keep you company? After determining your pet needs, you then choose the one that best fits your requirements. Just like having kids, a pet would need your attention and financial support. Does your pet require high or low maintenance? What should you feed your pet? Would you have time to take it out for walks, play, socialize with other pets, give it a bath, clean the litter, and provide clean water all the time? Do you have the finances to pay for health services and healthcare products to ensure that your pet will live a happy, healthy, and comfortable life? Not caring for your pet accordingly and not being able to meet its needs can lead to it developing behavior disorders that can be harmful to both your family and your pet. 

Train them not to bite. One of the greatest health risks to humans is an animal bite. Infections, rabies, tetanus, nerve & muscle damage, and broken bones are just a few of the possible complications people can get from a dog bite. Cats carry a lot of bacteria in their mouths too so it’s best to avoid being bitten by them. Pets tend to bite for different reasons. Some bite because they feel threatened, to assert dominance, to defend themselves or use it as a way to communicate or call attention. Socializing with other pets, maintaining a consistent reaction to bites, rewarding good behavior and not using physical punishment are just a few ways to train your pet to stop biting. 

Keep it clean. A dirty litter box or dog poop left lying around is an outright invitation for diseases to flourish. Little kids are most vulnerable as they usually put their fingers in their mouths or walk barefoot often. They are susceptible to fall victim to hookworms, salmonella, E.coli, toxocariasis and other bacteria that can cause illnesses. To prevent this from happening, always clean up after your pet, teach your kids how to wash their hands properly and look after your children well. 

Up to date vaccinations and regular check-ups. A healthy, disease-free pet will prevent diseases from spreading. Puppies and kittens would probably need vet visits every month until 1 year old for a set of vaccinations for several diseases that little ones are prone to acquire. Regular visits will also ensure that they are growing accordingly and are not suffering from any illness. If an illness is diagnosed, the vet can immediately address the problem and prevent it from getting worse. A visit to the vet may be costly but treatment and medication will cost more. 

Proper feeding. Feeding your pet is a calming habit that can enhance your well-being but it should be done properly to ensure that they too will reap benefits. To live a long life, your pet needs to have a safe and simple diet. It will give them enough energy for their daily activities and is essential for brain development. Owners have a tendency to feed their pets too much and this often leads to overeating that brings about obesity. Pet obesity is a serious health problem that can cause immense suffering and can be severely debilitating. It can result in arthritis, diabetes, hypertension, and cancer. These diseases can shorten the lifespan of your pet and treatment can be very expensive. It’s also important to keep in mind that you shouldn’t give them table scraps. Your food may be right for you but it may not meet your pet’s nutritional needs. For dogs, it’s advised to give them the same kind of food as long as possible. Constantly changing or experimenting with their diet can cause an upset stomach as they have to adjust every time a new food is introduced to them. If change is inevitable, try introducing the new food slowly so your pet’s digestive system can adapt to the change. For cats, the smell and temperature of their food are important. It has to be around their body temperature before they eat it. Bowls that don’t absorb smell are highly recommended. They like taking small meals at a time so free-feeding them on dry food would be perfect. 

Keeping a pet is not easy. Always keep in mind that it’s a serious commitment that would last until your pet’s whole lifetime! 

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