Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise Pet Parenting
When it comes to making choices for our health, the healthier options are often the more expensive ones. Fortunately, making healthy choices for your pet doesn’t have to come at such a high price, and keeping them healthy now will prevent bigger, costlier health problems in the future.
Read on about how to keep your pet healthy without breaking the bank.
Maintain A Healthy Weight and Diet
Obesity can lead to many major health problems in pets, such as diabetes, breathing difficulty, hypertension, liver disease, and an increased risk of cancer to name a few. Helping your pet maintain a healthy weight can save both of you from a costly condition down the road. Since ideal weight varies by breed, you should consult your veterinarian about a healthy cat weight or a healthy dog weight.
Feeding your dog or cat a proper diet makes managing their weight easier. All pets have different dietary needs, so ask your vet about how many calories, grams of protein, and grams of fat your pet should be consuming.
Remember that the amount of calories per serving of pet food varies from brand to brand. Some are more calorie-dense than others. You should also keep in mind that a small amount of fat to us can be significant to a pet, especially to toy breeds, so go easy on the fatty table scraps or simply don’t give any scraps to your pet.
Exercising your pal is another way to manage their weight. Regular activity burns calories and promotes healthy muscle development. Even a short walk a day can go a long way. If you live somewhere with severe winters, or perhaps a place with extreme heat in the summer that makes playing outdoors unsafe for your pet, try active indoor games.
Below are some active indoor game ideas for you and your dog or cat.
Get some pet-friendly bubbles and watch your dog go nuts chasing and popping them.
This classic game isn’t just for outdoors. Play in the living room or hallway with any toy. If you have hardwood floors, KONG toys or other toys made from a bouncy material can add an element of unpredictability to challenge your pup.
Hide and Seek
Hide out and call your dog’s name until they find you. Reward them with a healthy treat or lots of praise when they do. Repeat with a new hiding spot as many times as you want.
Cats have an affinity for boxes. Use some to build your cat a fort. They’ll love using it for climbing and hiding.
Ping Pong Play
Toss a ping pong ball around the room. Your cat will enjoy chasing after it and swatting it with their paws.
You can do a lot with just a string. Drag and wiggle it along the floor for your cat to try to catch, or tie a toy to one end and cast it out like a fishing line so they can run after the toy.
You may not always be able to stop your dog or cat from being enticed to chew your things, especially if they’re teething, but preventing boredom can minimize chewing and other destructive behaviors. By minimizing these behaviors, you’ll reduce the chance of your pet ingesting something harmful. You’ll also be saving yourself the costs of potentially expensive treatment and replacing items in your home.
Help your pet beat boredom with toys, games, walks, play dates with other pets, and, if you have a cat, climbing posts. You can even make your own toys out of household items to save money.
If your time and budget allow, getting your pet a four-legged sibling can be a great way to keep them occupied and happy. Remember, happiness promotes good health.
Watch Their Water Intake
The body requires water for many important functions, so it’s imperative that your pet is hydrated. Dehydration can be a serious condition and lead to other problems as well, like urinary tract issues, kidney failure, and failure of other organs.
If your pet is properly hydrated, their urine will be a light to medium yellow, and their gums will be moist and pink.
Water requirements for dogs and cats depend on environmental temperature, level of exercise, and body size. Canned food is 70-80% water, so pets who eat canned food may drink a little less than pets who eat dry food. If you don’t think your pet is drinking enough water, mix some into their food.
Remember to Groom
Regularly grooming your pet's coat and cleaning their ears promotes healthy skin and prevents infections. You should trim your pet’s nails regularly too. Having nails that are too long can affect your pet's balance, and loss of coordination while they’re walking or playing can hurt their well-being.
Regular dental care is just as necessary, as it protects your pet against dental disease and the other serious illnesses linked to it. You can brush your pet’s teeth at home. Just be sure to use pet-safe toothpaste. If your dog or cat insists on being difficult when it comes to brushing, consider getting their teeth cleaned professionally, and supplement professional cleanings with chews designed to reduce tartar.
It's also a good idea to clean your pet's paws after they’ve been outside. Pesticides and harmful chemicals on streets,sidewalks, and lawns are ingested by pets when they lick their paws and can be detrimental to their health over time.
Don’t Skip Preventive Care
You should take your pet for check-ups at least annually. Prognosis for health problems is usually better with early detection, and a better prognosis can mean more manageable treatment costs.
Preventive services like vaccines and spaying or neutering are also important. They help protect your pet from many diseases.
Get Pet Health Insurance
While following these tips will put your pet’s health on the right track, some conditions can’t be prevented. Pet insurance is designed to help with the unexpected veterinary costs. It may sound like an unnecessary added expense, but pet insurance can save you some out-of-pocket cost if your pet has an emergency or a serious illness later.
Pet insurance preventive care coverage is usually available for a low additional cost to your base plan. You can use it to get money back for preventive services that help keep your pet healthy.
Learn more about the financial benefits of pet insurance or get a customized pet insurance quote for an idea of coverage options and monthly premiums.