Many Australian families have pets and they provide many benefits to our own health. These include:
- improving immunity to allergies
- attracting a partner
- providing companionship (especially helpful for the elderly)
- practice before having kids
- can reduce depression and anxiety
- can bring down your blood pressure
- force you outdoors more and increase your exercise
But as well as helping your health, it’s important to consider the health of your animal. There are several ways to maintain good pet health. These tips will focus on cats and dogs, since they are the most popular pets.
1. Get Regular Checkups
Visiting a veterinarian on a regular basis is key to ensuring the good health of your pet. Just like humans, they can develop a range of issues, and detecting and addressing these early will go a long way towards looking after your furry buddy!
2. Protect from Parasites
Fleas, tapeworms and hearworms are some of the most common parasites, and many can lead to hairloss, irritated skin and even infection. Ways to protect against parasites include regular checkups (as above), deworm kittens, avoid feeding your animals raw meat, and using medication where necessary.
3. Microchip your Animal
Once a pet gets lost, fewer than 15% ever find their way back home. This can be distressing for the owner. Having your animal microchipped means you will be able to track them down, no matter how far they go.
4. Look after their Weight
Just like people, many cats and dogs become overweight. And just like humans, this can lead to a range of issues such as arthritis, diabetes and cancer. The main cause of obesity is overfeeding. There is a great UK documentary called ‘Dogs – Their Secret Lives’ which has an episode dedicated to pet obesity and how to reduce it.
Ensuring high quality food for your pet also plays a big role in their health. We recommend Pet, Horse & Farm for a range of leading brands of pet food that is great for your animal well-being. https://www.pethorsefarm.com.au/
5. Avoid Giving Pets Human Medication
If your animal isn’t well, it may be tempting to give them some of your medication. This is a huge mistake! Ibuprofen is one of the most poisonous things a pet can take, and antidepressants and muscle relaxants can also have serious impacts on their health. Problems can include seizures, kidney damage or even cardiac arrest. If you’re cat or dog isn’t well, take it to the vet!
6. Always Supply Plenty of Water
Water is more important for your pets nutrition than vitamins and minerals. Especially in a dog (who loses substantially water naturally throughout the day), ensuring there is plenty of water available is paramount to their health. Leave plenty in the bowl at home (or multiple bowls) and if you go for a run, take water along for him…or ensure he’ll have access to water where you’re going.
For more pet health tips go to http://www.petmd.com/