As an animal caregiver, your pets deserve the best from you. Taking good care of your pets is not just for their benefit, it is also their rights and for your benefit too. The care you give to them will reflect perfectly in the quality of the companionship, security, and other benefits they provide. It is also important to note that with the prevalence and emergence of several zoonoses, good healthcare and well-being of your pets are now essential to your own personal health. Furthermore, good pet care is a characteristic of animal welfare and lack of it contributes to the terrible acts of animal cruelty
The following listed guidelines to a healthy pet are simple actions – nonetheless important – which we sometimes forget due to our ever-busy lives.
Feeding – The most important decision you can take is what and how you feed your pet. Your pet must be fed a BALANCED AND NUTRITIOUS DIET on a daily basis. Their health and wellbeing largely depend on this. Fats and bony food should be discouraged as it could lead to obesity and gastrointestinal obstruction respectively. Also, remember to always provide a generous supply of water. Just as in humans, inadequate water intake leads to several acute and chronic conditions including organ dysfunctions. If you are unsure of specific nutritional needs for your pets, ensure you consult with your veterinarian for your pet’s diet peculiarities as it relates to age or medical conditions.
Exercise – Establish a routine to exercise or walk your pets as this will keep your pets fit, active, and alert. It also reduces the risk of obesity. Any observed problems or intolerance to exercise should be addressed and consultations made with your veterinarian.
Housing – The housing and environment of your pets is important. First of all, your pet’s housing must be comfortable to reside with just enough room for the size and projected growth of your pet, with comfortable bedding materials, and protected from harsh environmental conditions. Also, housing is important because your pet’s shelter could harbor parasites and diseases that may continually cause discomfort and illness. Ensure you check out the housing and bedding frequently to detect problems easily and to fix accordingly. Also, make sure you always maintain good sanitation and hygienic practices and remember to clean their feeding trays/plates often. Generally, your environment as an individual could as well translate to that of the pet, therefore, ensure you clear all bushes and maintain a hygienic environment for yourself too.
Grooming – Endeavor to groom your pets routinely (weekly, fortnightly, or monthly – depending on your schedule and the grooming needs of the pets). Grooming involves trimming body hair, trimming nails, care of the teeth, etc. This helps for good aesthetic presentation of your pet and shows that your pets are well kept. It will invariably portray a good reflection of the personality as the pet owner. Pet grooming will also help you identify any body abnormalities such as swellings, lumps, and infestation with ectoparasites.
Veterinary medical check-ups, tests, and appointments – Endeavor to present your pets for frequent medical check-ups and examinations with your veterinarian. Do not wait until your pets come down with one illness or the other. The duty of the Veterinarian is to ensure that he/she preserves the health of your pets and to prevent illnesses. Ensure you comply accordingly with the different appointments you have been given by your veterinarian and secure new appointments especially with regards to vaccination and routine deworming. Always remember to keep a vaccination record book and medical record book so that you can keep track of your pet’s medical and vaccination history. If you don’t have one, speak to your veterinarian about it.
Improve pet behavior – You can also assist your pets to get rid of some nasty behaviors like indiscriminate urination and defecation, barking at moving vehicles, jumping at visitors. You can do this by getting a trainer four your pet.
Use of pet toys – You can get toys for your pets to play with, so they can keep being active and sharp. The toy should not be small (with relation to body size) enough to swallow by the pet as this can cause gastrointestinal obstruction.
As pet-owners and caregivers, all of the above-listed guidelines to a healthy pet should be integrated into our lifestyle and daily routines. This consistency will ensure a quality, productive, and healthy life for your pet – and in extension, for you.