TIPS TO BEING A RESPONSIBLE OWNER OF YOUR FURRY FRIEND
We want the best for our pets. We spoil and love them. There are many ways pet owners can ensure their furry friends stay happy and healthy. Here are some tips to being a responsible pet owner.
PLENTY OF EXERCISE
Our pets like to be active, which is great for having fun and staying fit. Pets want to keep moving – they have a lot of energy — so regular walks or playtime is important.
Playtime helps augment a bond between a pet and the pet owner and gives them an outlet for all that energy.
Walking with your dog is a simple but beneficial way to get exercise. Begin with short, frequent walks. Build gradually to a 15-minutes period of brisk walking, then allow for cool-down time and recovery, the American Veterinary Medical Foundation said.
During warm weather avoid hot surfaces — such as asphalt — that can burn your pet’s feet. During the winter, try to avoid walks during the coldest parts of the day.
Talk to your veterinarian for the best exercise practices.
Regular visits to a veterinarian will help prevent disease. It’s recommended to have annual exams (including bloodwork) for adult cats and dogs. Checkups for senior dogs or cats are recommended every six months, according to petmd.com. Taking care of your pet also includes protecting them from fleas and ticks.
“If not prevented, fleas can lead to itching, hair loss, flea allergy dermatitis, secondary skin infections, tapeworms and even severe anemia,” Shermaine Wilson Cox, DVM, a veterinarian, told petmd.com
Ticks can transmit diseases. There are over-the-counter products to help protect your pets, such as shampoos and natural sprays.
Being properly groomed will help the health of your pet. Brushing your pet is a simple way to help keep your pet healthy. Regular brushing will help remove dirt and keep their skin clean, according to mypet.com. Try brushing their hair several times a week.
Bath them routinely to keep them healthy. Use lukewarm water and use specially-labeled formulas for pets. Regular ear cleaning (with an approved pet ear cleaner) will help prevent dirt buildup that could lead to ear infections.
Your pets’ nails also need regular trimming. Overgrown nails can be a source of pain for your pet, according to petmd.com.
Pets often aren’t fond of getting their nails trimmed. Your veterinarian might be the best one to properly cut their nails.
“Overgrown nails can create problems throughout the body, especially in the back and hips. When I see a pet come in with pain symptoms, the feet are the first place I look,” Dr. Jim Carlson, DVM CVA CVTP, told petmd.com.
PAY ATTENTION TO THEIR TEETH
Your pet’s teeth should be checked at least once a year by your veterinarian for early signs of trouble, the American Veterinary Medical Foundation said, noting periodontal disease is the most common dental condition in dogs and cats.
Signs that there may be a problem include bad breath, broken or loose teeth, bleeding from the mouth, or refusal to eat.
Regularly brushing your pet’s teeth is the most effective thing to do to keep their teeth healthy. It’s also important to schedule annual dental cleanings.
During a cleaning appointment, anesthesia will be used. This helps the procedures to be performed without startling your pet. Anesthesia also keeps your pet still, which makes it easier to clean their teeth.
The American Veterinary Medical Foundation said to talk to your veterinarian about dental products, treats, or dental-specific diets.
TAKING TIME TO TRAIN
Training will help keep both you and your pets safe. A dog who has had basic obedience training will know what is accepted, which can help him be more cooperative. Training also can help dogs from getting lost. It can also boost mental stimulation and boost your pet’s confidence.
“Dogs that have anxiety or more timid personalities can benefit from training. It provides a sense of accomplishment and provides a way for us to communicate with our four-legged family members,” according to Loyal Companions Animal Hospital & Pet Resort.
Positive reinforcement is recommended, with rewards ranging from treats, to a toy or praise.
The key, Loyal Companions said, is consistency with training.