An Owner’s Guide to Pet Health and Wellness at Home
With the way this year has been going, many of us have taken this opportunity to take a good look at our own health and mental wellness. It isn’t a bad trend. In this busy world we tend to forget to take the time to be sure that we are doing okay.
Animal Medical Hospital & 24 Hour Urgent Care wants to remind you to think about your pets during this time, too. Who knows, maybe this rough start to 2020 will create a whole revolution of personal and pet health and wellness prioritization.
Prioritizing Pet Health At Home
While you might think of pet health care as something that happens at our hospital, good care starts at home. There is plenty that you can do without leaving your living room.
Consider the following:
Good nutrition – You are what you eat, right? From selecting a nutritious food, monitoring calorie intake, and promoting a healthy body weight, you can do a lot for your pet’s health starting at the food bowl.
At home dental care – A good home dental care routine is fundamental to maintaining oral health. You might take this time to teach your pet to have their teeth brushed or experiment with oral health products.
Good grooming – Proper bathing, ear cleaning, and nail trims are important for skin health. If you can’t bring your pet to see us, try an at-home “s-paw” day.
Parasite prevention – Don’t forget that your pet needs protection against things like heartworms, fleas, ticks, and intestinal parasites. Give preventatives as recommended and don’t hesitate to call us if you aren’t sure about how to properly protect your pet.
Mental Wellness for Pets
Meditation, yoga, and exercise are high on the list of ways people have been prioritizing themselves. Pets need help in this department, too, though. Animals that don’t receive good mental support can suffer from behavior problems, depression, or even be more prone to developing problems like cognitive dysfunction.
Take some time to be sure that your pet is receiving good environmental enrichment, social stimulation, and proper exercise. You might consider:
- Putting a bird feeder outside of the window
- Using interactive or puzzle-type toys and feeders
- Rotating toys often
- Provide vertical space for cats
- Spend time daily with your pet
- Provide cross-species play when appropriate
- Teach your pet a new trick using positive reinforcement training
- Encourage your dog to exercise for about 30-60 minutes daily
- Try to get your cat up and active for three 5 minute spurts daily
Of course we are always your partners in pet care, but good pet health starts at home. While this year is off to a bit of a discouraging start, we can hope that some good will come out of it with a renewed focus on taking care of what matters most- ourselves and our families, furry or otherwise.