Over half of all Americans own an animal as a pet. We’re a nation infatuated by animals, and we’re always looking for ways to make these key members of our family more happy, comfortable, and content when they’re spending time in our company. And a key part of that is their heath. As animals age, they can experience health issues and frailty, and it’s your responsibility as a pet owner to spot, diagnose and treat illnesses as they occur. Below, you’ll learn how to do it.
If you love your pet, there’s little chance you’re not going to be close to it. You’ll have seen it grow from a puppy or kitten into a fine, mature dog or cat. You’ll have seen it learning how to interact with the world. And as you watch them, you’ll know when they’re behaving normally and when their behavior suggests something’s amiss. If you’re noticing odd behaviors in your pet, it’s well worth getting in touch with Green Valley Vets, online or on the phone, to check whether the behavior might be a sign of ill health. They’ll advise you about what to do to help your pet.
Food and Drink
Just as humans are what they eat, animals can suffer if they’re given unhealthy foods – and flourish when they have a balanced diet and are regularly watered. Many pets are occasionally given scraps from the dinner table, which is acceptable in moderation but is something best avoided where possible. Human food is incredibly rich, and it can actually make cats, dogs, and other animals very ill if they have too much of it. Meanwhile, the food you do buy should be high quality and consistent so that your pet knows when to eat and how much they can eat before their next feed.
Dogs are the most demanding of regular pets when it comes to exercise. You’ll struggle to find a dog that you shouldn’t walk at least once a day – even the very smallest require walking for 20 minutes. But other dogs require long runs in order to stay fit and healthy. Meanwhile, cats benefit hugely from time spent free in the outdoors, and a number of other pets – like rabbits and hamsters – are happier and healthier in larger cages with significant space to run and explore. Bear this in mind whichever pet you have: exercise is good for it.
When your pet is reaching the final quarter of its expected lifespan, things are likely to start going wrong. Perhaps you’ll begin spotting a less confident gait in your cat or dog, which could suggest arthritis of the joints. You might notice they move slower and get more out of breath, which is a general sign of aging – though if it comes on quickly, it’s a sign you should take your pet for a veterinary check-up. Illness can happen to a pet at any age and may not necessarily be due to anything but bad luck, but it’s your responsibility to ensure they’re cared for and comfortable as they enter old age.
There you have it: four key tips to keeping your animals fit, healthy and happy in your family.