You might be very surprised to learn how many pet foods labeled “natural” and “healthy” are anything but. Since many popular dry pet foods often sit on shelves for weeks, they require chemicals to maintain freshness. In addition, dog food companies fund studies on canine nutrition, so it behooves pet owners to learn about ingredients on their own. Simply put, just as human beings thrive on a diet of fresh, nutritious food, so will your pets. Look for protein rich foods free of grain, corn and other fillers.
Some owners provide their pets a diet of raw or cooked meat, vegetables and rice. That takes time and money, and may not be a practical solution for everyone. There are plenty of healthful, economic pet foods to keep your furry friends in optimum health. When owners switch their pets to more nutritious foods, they often notice an improvement in their coats, energy level, and digestive health.
Exercise and play with them.
When your dog walks over to you with a ball in his mouth, he is asking you to play. When your kitten swats at you, he may be asking for the same thing. Just as exercise gets your blood flowing and boosts your mood, it is a vital part of keeping your pet happy. Taking your pet for walks or runs, playing fetch or Frisbee, and simply interacting with them are all great ways to keep your pets alert and fit. Please note: cats can be taught to walk on a leash, and rabbits can learn to play fetch.
Exercise and playing games can alleviate stress for you and your fur baby. Training your pet with small treats (bits of hot dog or cooked meat) stimulates them much like exercise does. Keeping a close eye on your pet, and learning to interpret their behaviors will help you know when they’re bored or tired. Switch it up! For example, provide your water-loving dog a kiddie pool. Or, build or buy an indoor obstacle course for your cat. An exhausted pet is a happy pet.
Take your pet to the vet.
It’s important to promote a sense of safety when bringing your animal to the vet. Regular vet care can keep your pet at a healthy weight, free of ticks, worms, and rabies, and ensure good oral health. Use a cheerful voice when bringing your pets to the vet, and use treats to ease their anxiety. Check your local clinic, and see if you and your pet can simply visit. While you’re there, schedule your pets’ annual checkup. Most vet clinics send out reminders regarding immunizations and appointments too.
A few last words: one of the best parts about being a pet owner is cuddling with your pet. Always leave time to pet and pamper your furry friend–it’s good for their mental health and yours.