Over the past thirty years, we have begun to see pets as more a part of the family. They’ve become our best friends in the battle against loneliness, a source of entertainment, and for many, the main ones we seek for comfort when life becomes rough around the edges. We take their care seriously, and many of us work hard to ensure they are happy in return. Yet we often forget that happy also revolves around proper health care, both physically and mentally.
As man’s best friend, we all want to make sure that they can stay in our lives for as long as possible, and to do so, we need to make sure that they are just as healthy as us. When we’re in pain, we can do something about it. We’ll go to the doctor’s and have a certain type of medication prescribed, but dogs simply can’t tell us when they’re unwell. That is up to us to keep an eye on. Regular visits to the vets are also important in ensuring that your dog is as healthy as possible, and can recommend advice should you need it. But this is just a handful of things that you can do.
From yearly vaccinations to supplements providing bladder support for dogs, every pet has five things that should be done to ensure they live their best life as they walk alongside us on the journey:
- Talk to your veterinarian about the proper diet for your pet. Dogs and cats require different diets, just as rabbits and guinea pigs are not built to eat the same foods. Proper diet and the right nutrition will extend the life of your companion plus lower those vet bills over time.
- Speaking of veterinary care, ensure your pet sees a veterinarian every year. Not just for vaccinations but an overall health check. This includes looking in their mouths, checking for parasites, and talking to you about early symptoms of a disease. By having the records of every veterinary visit, an overall picture of health, plus any issues, will go far to find problems sooner so they can be handled properly. To ensure that your pet leads a long and healthy life, you should be taking it to a veterinary service as often as you can.
- Mental stimulation is important. Just as you don’t like to be bored often, neither do animals. They need exercise, toys, playtime, and a consistent schedule. Every animal is different, so a little research will go a long way into discovering how to keep your companion happy and mentally healthy.
- Training boundaries. Even in the wild, all animals have boundaries; things they know they can do and things they won’t. It all boils down to training. Most think of dogs and horses, but don’t realize cats, rats, rabbits, guinea pigs, and even lizards benefit from training. They learn boundaries as well as mental stimulation.
- Grooming. Cats will groom themselves, yet they benefit from their humans brushing their fur as well as trimming nails. Dogs, depending on the area, coat, and breed, generally need a good bath and brush every month. Lizards require a consistently clean vivarium, fish a clean tank, birds need water to bathe in. All companions require some kind of grooming and cleaning of their living area. It’s best to do the research and be vigilant to keep your companion healthy.
Keeping your best friend happy and healthy can be a joy as well as relaxing in today’s high-stress environments. Every type of pet requires a certain set of care instructions, and this is by no means comprehensive. It should, however, be used to start the process of learning as much as possible about your companion and their needs.
The happiness and health of our pets require a little forethought, a large dose of common sense, a dash of organization and a healthy helping of research. We receive the benefits of loving companions, making the work worth every moment.
This is a collaborative post. All text and opinions are my own.