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As every pet owner knows very well, the animals we share our lives with becoming members of the family, and not just creatures that occupy the same space as us.
Our pets offer emotional support, companionship, and fun, and the better we get to know them, the more we realize that they have distinct personalities and quirks, too.
For all those reasons, it’s heartbreaking when a pet gets ill, and we would all like to do our best to prevent such a situation from arising.
Here are a few straightforward tips that you can follow for keeping your pets healthy.
Check them regularly for parasites, and treat them as soon as you find any
Parasitic creatures, such as ticks and fleas, can cause our pets to experience significant levels of agitation and discomfort, and they can also pass on diseases that can be potentially fatal if left un-medicated.
The thing is, unless you’re paying pretty close attention, you might not necessarily notice that your pet has picked up some parasites, until the problem has exacerbated, and they’ve been scratching themselves raw, losing fur, or displaying other symptoms.
Get into the habit of checking your pets for parasites on a regular basis, and treat them as soon as you find any such parasites.
Medication such as Frontline Plus for cats can often kill off any parasites that may be affecting your pet, within just a few days, and keep them at bay for a good length of time afterward. The sooner you catch them, the better.
Feed your pet food that is as close as possible to their natural diet
Every animal has such a thing as a “natural diet template” that they are meant to follow. Cats, for example, are obligate carnivores and must eat meat. Even dogs, who we have selectively bred to the point where they are quite distant from their Wolf cousins, need to eat certain foods and avoid others.
As a general rule, feeding your pet food that is as close as possible to their natural diet helps to keep them in peak health, and stave off many serious and chronic diseases and conditions.
These days, it’s often quite easy to find “high-quality” pet food – but it’s more expensive than generic pet food.
Even if you’re not able to afford top-of-the-range nutrition for your pet, certainly avoid feeding them human treats like chocolate and table scraps. These aren’t likely to be good for them, no matter how much they beg.
Ensure that your pets have plenty of opportunities for regular exercise and social interaction with other animals of their species
All animals need regular physical movement in order to be healthy, and high-energy pets such as cats and dogs need a lot of it.
Generally speaking, your pets will do what they can to exercise themselves – but you should still take your dog for a walk, and should provide plenty of opportunity for your animals to roam around, play, and exhaust themselves.
Additionally, social interaction with other animals of their own species is very important for the well-being of certain pets – particularly dogs, who are naturally social. A visit to a dog park on a regular basis can be great for your dog’s health, for this reason.