Keeping Your Pets Healthy: Having a healthy and happy pet at home can take a lot of work, but it will also save you money on vet bills. Creating a perfect home environment for your pet will depend a lot on the individual personality of your cat, dog or other animal, so you need to be ready to learn and adapt. While vets are the best source of advice in regards to your pet’s health, you can also find a number of books and websites that will help and guide you through the processes needed.
Pets in general do not have complicated desires and needs like people do, but rather shared, common needs that are relatively easy to fulfil. These include:
- Regular health checks.
- Clean and appropriate bedding and/or housing.
- The right nutritious food.
- Lots of exercise and space.
REGULAR VET VISITS
A regular vet visit can help you determine what is wrong with the way your pet lives. In many cases, you may not see anything wrong with what you are feeding your pet or where they are sleeping, but if you are doing it wrong, it could be affecting their health. However, owners are always concerned that too many vet visits will be costly in the long run, and so they avoid getting their pet checked out.
To alleviate the cost of veterinarian visits, pet insurance can be taken out, which is similar to human health insurance. This can help cover big bills if your pet needs medication, or an expensive operation. Otherwise, you can always put aside specific money for your pet’s health needs.
Most household pets will have good bedding already, but because they are sleeping on it every night and day, it can become a health issue. Throwing your pet’s bedding into the washing machine every month or so can help keep them clean and fresh. Remember not to use anything too scented, and stick to hypoallergenic or pet specific washing products.
Also, make sure that your pet’s bedding is dry and clean at all times. If you own smaller animals, such as rabbits or guinea pigs, then you will need to provide soft bedding for them in the form of shredded newspaper, wood shavings, or even kitten litter. Disposing of the waste can be a problem, but if you have a compost bin or garden bed, buy biodegradable bedding that will help fertilise your garden.
While dogs, in particular, will eat pretty much any old thing, including the food you eat, they really need specific nutrients to stay healthy. We all know how much dogs can love chocolate, but this can eventually kill them. So ask your vet for advice – or a fact sheet – on the best food for your pet. You should also test out new food before buying big bags or lots of cans, as some pets can be very fussy when it comes to new cuisine.
Most importantly, make sure that your pet is exercising regularly, even if it is only a small animal. Provide enough space for them to run around and, if you can, take them out to the park or down the street for walks. If you have a small yard, make sure you are taking bigger dogs out for a long run so that they don’t feel confined.