Your furry pal is a constant companion who showers you with love and devotion, so you want to keep them happy and healthy for many years to come. There’s no better way to reward your beloved pet for their lifetime of adoration than by ensuring their good health. To keep your pet in tip-top shape, try the following four steps to cater to their mental and physical needs.
#1: Purchase pet health insurance
Pets are prone to getting into mischief, which can lead to costly emergency veterinary visits, and they can also suffer serious illnesses that require intensive nursing care and hospitalization. These situations seem inevitable when you own a pet, but you don’t need to take out a loan to cover emergency, accident, or illness costs. Protect your pet from the pain of making a finance-based decision about their care by buying a health insurance policy as soon as you welcome them home. Pet health insurance can not only protect your furry pal from unforeseen circumstances, but also help you provide wellness and preventive care. Depending on your needs, you may choose to purchase an accident and illness plan, or opt for a more comprehensive option that covers dental care and parasite prevention. Whatever you decide, lock in a policy quickly to avoid being excluded because of pre-existing conditions.
#2: Be active with your pet every day
Too many pets receive little to no exercise most days—enjoying only some playtime on weekends when their families have more free time. However, daily activity is a vital part of keeping your four-legged friend happy and healthy. Not only does exercise help manage your pet’s weight, but it also provides mental stimulation, which is necessary to help thwart behavior problems. Without regular physical activity, you may notice the following health issues developing in your pet:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Skin infections
- Separation anxiety
- Fear, anxiety, and stress
- Destructive behavior
Make it a point to provide at least 30 to 60 minutes of focused exercise for your pet every day. Since it can be more difficult to encourage your cat to be active for large blocks of time, divide their play sessions into short bursts, such as taking advantage of a commercial break during a TV show. And, regardless of the weather, you can always find fun games, such as hide-and-seek, to play with your pet indoors, or design an agility course, or teach them new tricks.
#3: Choose a healthy diet for your pet
A healthy diet goes in hand in hand with daily exercise for keeping your furry pal in good condition. Over half the U.S. pet population is overweight or obese, partly from lack of exercise, but also from an improper diet. Many pet owners dole out too many treats to their cats and dogs, often as a way to show their love, but pets are equally happy receiving attention and extra playtime—including cats. Rather than tossing your dog a 200-calorie chewy treat when you leave for work, wake up half an hour earlier and take your pooch for a run through the local park. Then you can give them a small snack when you leave, like a couple of training treats that are only five calories apiece.
In addition to cutting back on treats, check how much food you’re actually feeding your pet. Is that cup of food a true measuring cup? Or is it a 60-ounce soda cup? Calculating how many calories your pet needs each day and measuring out the correct amount will work wonders on their waistline and help them maintain a healthy weight.
#4: Schedule regular wellness visits for your pet with Livingston Veterinary Hospital
Nothing is more effective at keeping your pet healthy than regular wellness visits with your Livingston Veterinary Hospital veterinarian. During your pet’s wellness visit, we’ll examine their body from nose to tail, checking their heart, lungs, eyes, ears, mouth, and abdomen for hints of illness or disease. We’ll also perform screening tests that will give us a baseline on your pet’s overall health, and check them for parasites. To protect your furry pal once they leave our hospital, we’ll give them lifestyle-appropriate booster vaccinations and shield them with parasite prevention.
Your furry pal is your constant companion, and our Livingston Veterinary Hospital team wants to help you keep your best friend by your side for many years to come. Lean on our veterinarians to help keep your pet happy and healthy—call us to schedule a wellness appointment.