Pet Health: Your Number One Priority
Do you have a pet or are you thinking of getting one? Then you know that your pet’s health is of the utmost importance, and as a pet owner, you will be the one most responsible for ensuring your pet’s good health. You can take care of your pet’s health care by thinking about some basic principles of pet care. These are discussed below.
Food and Nutrition
Perhaps the most obvious way to help keep your pet healthy is to feed it food with the proper nutrition. Look to make sure the pet food you are giving your friend is properly balanced. Sometimes if there is an imbalance, your pet can suffer from a nutrient deficiency which can lead to bigger health problems down the road. For example, if cats do not get enough vitamin B1 (thiamine), they can get a vitamin B1 deficiency which can lead to loss of equilibrium, seizures, dilated eyes and in some instances, even death.
Sometimes some foods can be bad for pets even though our common sense might tell us they are good. Going back to our example, tuna fish has an enzyme which breaks down vitamin B1 in cats. Some good foods for pets include:
- Eukanuba Lamb and Rice Formula for Adult Dogs
- Nutro Max Cat Adult
- Nutriphase Parakeet Food
- 15oz ZuPreem Iguana Canned Diet
- Nutrafin Max Complete Food Flakes
- 4.4oz Vitakraft Premium Menu for Mice
If in doubt about what type of food to feed your pet, ask your veterinarian for recommendations.
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Another important factor in regards to your pet’s health is the type of shelter they call home. For smaller animals that live in aquariums, terrariums or cages, think about whether or not they have enough room. Plus, if you are planning on adding to your brood, will there be enough space to accommodate them all? Will your pet grow much larger than he or she is now? If so, you may want to plan ahead and get a shelter that will be appropriate for them in the future. Even hermit crabs whose “homes” may be on their backs need larger shells as they grow. Plan ahead and get some… it will keep them happy and less stressed
What other things could you add to your pet’s environment to keep them happy? For fish, it is nice to be able to provide items that they can hide in or behind since they sometimes like to rest without having to worry about being chased by other fish. Anything that can help relieve stress that your pet might experience will help to keep them in good health. Even though he may be indoors, is your chihuahua cold in the winter? Provide him with some items to help keep him warm. Some products you can use to create and improve your pet’s environment are:
- Luxury Cat Tree with Tunnel by Green Duck
- The Iguanarium from ZooMed
- Super Pet Chinchilla Home
- Striped Multi Pocket Dog Sweater by Maxx’s Closet
- MIDWEST Homes for Pets Large Parrot Cage
- AquaWave Fish Tank by Hawkeye
By thinking about your pet’s home and the accessories that go with it, you will go far to improve and maintain their health.
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This is important not only for relatively large animals (dogs, cats, horses, etc.) but for small animals too (mice and rats, guinea pigs, gerbils, etc.). Make sure you have enough room for your pet to roam. For example, some dogs can cover a great distance. Does your four-legged friend have an area he can run in that will provide him with enough exercise? Do you have a park nearby that is friendly for dogs? At the very least, make sure to walk your dog using a good collar and leash
Gerbils and mice often get great exercise using wheels or habitrails. Not only is it fun for them, but it’s fun for you too to see where they choose to go. Many pets enjoy toys to play with and even better, when you play with them! Don’t be afraid to play a game of fetch or entice your cat with toys at the end of a string. Anything to get them moving and using up energy will help to keep them in tip top shape. Read on for some great ideas:
- Single Layer Nylon Dog Collars
- 1″ x 4′ Weaver Leather Traditions West Lead
- Toyshoppe Satin Danglers Cat Toys
- Toy Shoppe Rawhide 4 Step Bird Ladder Toy
- Super Pet CritterTrail Fun-nels- 10 Tube
- 9″ Ware /Fern Cage White Sheet Metal Exercise Wheel
Grooming and Cleaning
You may have heard the saying “Cleanliness is next to godliness”. Well, in this case, it’s also good for your pet’s health. Take time to groom your pet whether this means brushing their coats, giving them baths, removing thorny or problem items like mats, burrs, caked mud and dirt and other things. Dogs and cats can build up tartar on their teeth. If this problem is ignored, it can lead to tooth decay and tooth loss, thereby reducing their ability to eat well and increasing stress on their bodies.
Some animals you may not be able to clean very well, but you can control the cleanliness of their habitat. Clean out cages and replace the litter appropriately. Clean your fish aquariums, and perhaps invest in some fish that help you do just that. Some fish even help groom other fish – what a great deal! Cleaning your pet and their environment helps to reduce bacteria, parasites and other elements that can be detrimental to your pet’s health. Be sure to check out some of these items:
- Fresh N Clean Flea & Tick Shampoo
- Perfect Coat Cat Bath Wipes- Deodorizing Value Pack
- Swheat Scoop Pet Bedding
- Kaytee Chlorophyll Pine Bedding
- Wipe Out from ZooMed
- Emperor Power Filters
You should be sure to visit your veterinarian with your pet at least once a year. It is important that your pet be vaccinated and checked over to ensure that they are in good health. Any pet health questions, pet health problems or any other pet health information you are looking for can be discussed with your veterinarian.
It is also a good idea to start building a health record or health history for your pet. By seeing a veterinarian regularly, you can create an extensive pet health record which will enable the veterinarian to give sound pet health advice tailored to your pet, or in the event of an emergency, make sound health care decisions. Having some good reference books written by veterinarians is also a good idea. They can help to answer some pet health questions you may have. Below are some recommendations:
- Dr Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health
- Ferrets USA 2004 Annual
- Veterinary Guide for Animal Owners
- Veterinarian Guide to Natural Remedies for Dogs
- Hamsters As A New Pet
- Understanding Reptile Parasites: A Basic Manual for Herpetoculturists & Veterinarians
Supplements and Specific Health Concerns
You should only use supplements or products that target specific pet health problems with the advice of your veterinarian. There is a wide variety of products available, and if you aren’t sure which one to use, it can be very confusing. Your veterinarian can help you to understand your pet’s health problem and suggest proper treatment. Some products that might help are below:
- 1lb Nupro Custom Electrolyte Formula
- 60/ct 8 In 1 Pet Joint Ensure With Glocosamine & Chondroitin
- Felovite II Vitamin Supplement for Cats
- 3oz 8 In 1 UltraVite Multi-Vitamin Treats for Rabbits
- Solar Drops Vitamin D3
- Aquarium Products Anti Fluke Treatment
By keeping in mind these important factors, you can maintain your pet’s health. Remember, your pet is only going to be able to do so much on its own. It’s up to you as a pet owner to take responsibility for your pet’s health. When your pet is healthy, your pet is happy, and so are you.