We’ve all heard dogs referred to as “man’s best friend.” But Fido isn’t our only close companion. Pets of all shapes and sizes now occupy homes across the United States in record numbers. While 46.3 million, or between 37-47%, of American households have a dog, a whopping 76.43 million have cats.
But whether you have a cat, dog, or something of the less fury variety, pet owners nationwide are viewing their animal companions more and more like part of the family. And just like a parent would care for their child’s health and well-being, so are pet parents seeking out the best pet wellness plans for their fury friends. Whether they’re skimming pet insurance reviews or browsing pet store aisles for healthy treats, good pet parents know that there are certain musts for a happy, healthy pet.
Here are four things you can focus on to keep your pet healthy inside and out:
- Healthy, Balanced Diet
- Regular Exercise
- Annual Vet Visits
- Protection from Parasites
Just like humans, pets require a healthy, nutritious diet for optimal health and well being. A recent study found that the U.S. spend approximately $20.46 billion on pet food each year. It’s important to make sure your dollars are being spent on high-quality nutrition. Read labels to avoid choosing foods that are packed with additives. Instead, look for pet food that include grains, vegetables and recognizable whole foods.
Also avoid the giving your fury friend too many treats. It can be tempting to indulge them, but too many can be detrimental to their diet and overall health. This also goes for people food. Be careful to not feed your pet from the dinner table, no matter how much they beg. Besides being unhealthy, certain foods can even be poisonous to your pet.
Along with a well-balanced diet, regular exercise is key for your pet in maintaining a healthy weight and overall well-being. Just like in humans, being overweight can place an extra burden on your pet’s cardio vascular system and lead to a number of related illnesses. In order to avoid this burden, be sure to encourage you pet to move through daily walks or play time. This is especially important if your pet is left home alone for long period of time when they may or may not initiate movement on their own.
Along with diet and exercise, it’s also important to ensure your pet receives regular check ups from a veterinarian.These visits should happen at least once a year in order for the doctor to confirm that your fury companion is in good health. Likewise, stay conscious of your pet’s behavior so that you can know when to take him or her in to see the vet if anything changes. Besides regular check ups, it’s also key to spay and neuter your pet if appropriate. These procedures ensure your dog or cat, for example, avoids physical and behavioral issues down the road.
This appointments and procedures can come at a cost, however. In fact, the U.S. spends approximately $13.59 billion on vet care each year. But don’t let these expenses stop you from seeking medical attention for your pet. Consider taking out a pet insurance policy to cover incidentals. Research pet insurance reviews to find a good one or ask your vet for more information. Pet insurance reviews in particular can provide relevant information on costs and coverage.
While vet visits are key in catching any health issues , taking preventative steps to serious issues is equally important. This includes getting your pet vaccinated for things like parvo, panleukopenia and rabies, along with treating them for flees and ticks. These steps are especially important if your pet spends a significant amount of time outside, but can also effect those who live exclusively indoors.
For a healthy and happy pet, be sure to give him or her a healthy diet, regular exercise, annual vet visits and preventative treatments for parasites. Do your research through pet insurance reviews, for example, to find the best means to carrying these steps out.