October is Pet Wellness Month
We all want our pets to live long, happy, healthy lives. October is a great month to focus on making healthy choices for your pet(s). Celebrate Pet Wellness Month by making some positive choices that can help your pet be healthy and thrive. Here are some tips:
Update your pet's vaccines and parasite prevention during their annual exam, with the help of their veterinarian. The physical exam and discussions with your vet are foundational to their well-being.
Focus on a healthy diet. Good nutrition helps prevent many diseases. The quality of the ingredients in the diet is important. High protein sources like chicken and eggs build muscle, and fruits and vegetables are natural sources of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are necessary for a well-functioning immune system.
- Control their weight. Obesity in dogs and cats can lead to conditions like Cushing's Disease, heart failure, cancer, and joint problems. An overweight pet has a decreased quality of life. At the veterinary hospital, we see many pets that are overweight. Exercise is good and pets love to get out and walk or run, but the calories eaten per day are the #1 cause of pet obesity.
- Speaking of exercise, regular exercise keeps the pet’s muscles, tendons and bones strong. It also provides some mental stimulation. Spend some time exercising with your dog outdoors, or playing indoors with your cat. It will do you both a world of good.
- Don't skip dental care. A healthy mouth can extend your pet's life. Sniff your pet's breath. Is it offensive? There may be a problem. Seeking professional help from your veterinarian can lead to a mouth free from pain and infection.
- Brush their fur. Regardless of the length of your pet's hair, regular brushing removes dead hair and stimulates natural oils for a clean healthy coat. This is an opportunity for you to observe your pet's skin and hair for any changes like growths or abnormalities that need the attention of a vet.
- Grooming is a part of pet wellness. While most pets should have a bath about once a month, we see many pets with skin allergies that would benefit from a bath once a week, due to their special needs. Use a shampoo made for pets. Human shampoos are too harsh for a dog or cat's skin. Rinse thoroughly to get all the residue off the pet.
- Check and clean those ears. You can prevent ear infections with a regular weekly ear cleaning. Your vet can provide information on what products to use and how to clean your pet's ears.
- Learning to trim your pet's nails at an early age is so helpful throughout its life. We see many pets who are very fearful of a nail trim and this causes a lot of stress for owner and pet. Your vet or vet nurse can give you advice on this procedure.
- Spend quality time with your pet. Happiness is an important component of your pet's overall wellness. You know your pet loves it when you spend time with them. Left alone without companionship, your pet can become depressed or act out in destructive ways. They are a family member so interact with them, talking, walking, playing, stroking, and giving affection and attention they deserve. Your pet will benefit and give you unconditional love.
What other wellness tips do you have? Send them to LVVH@ yourpetdoc.com
Harley Robinson, DVM