People love their pets, and they’ll do whatever they can to make sure that they’re happy and well taken care of. Some people prefer to own fish, while others love having a hutch full of rabbits. But, overall people in America seem to love owning cats and dogs far more than other animals. From 1970 to 2010, the number of dogs and cats in homes has increased from 67 million to 164 million. A lot of people spend time making sure that their pets are well fed and have toys, but are less diligent when it comes to regular vet appointments and shots. Every pet owner should make sure that their pets are in good health, but pet health should go beyond a few trips to the vet. If you want to make sure that your pet is in the best health, remember these important pet health tips.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
In the past few years’ pets have been gaining weight along with their owners, and now obesity among pets is a considerable health issue. Unfortunately pets can develop other health problems if they’re obese. Keep in mind that pets don’t need nearly as many calories as humans do each day. For example, 185-370 a day for a small, inactive dog and just 240-350 calories daily can be enough for a 10-pound cat. Talk to your vet about the best diet for your pet, and see if they recommend any vitamin supplements.
Have your pets spayed and neutered.
Millions of pets end up in shelters across the United States each year, and that number would decrease if more owners spayed and neutered their pets. The procedure can be performed as early as 6 to 8 weeks in age, and can be done quickly and is relatively painless for your pet. Spaying and neutering have other benefits that go beyond pet population control. Having your cat or dog spayed or neutered could also reduce their risk of contracting certain cancers.
Avoid Using Human Medication
Some pet owners think that a little Ibuprofen can help their pet’s aches and pains, but you should never give medication that is made for humans to your pet. The ASPCA recognizes human medication as a major pet toxin, and even a small dose has the potential to cause kidney damage, seizures, and even cardiac arrest in a dog or cat. Talk to your vet about proper medications and topical treatments that can be used on your pet, and keep a list in case of emergencies.
Give Flea and Tick Treatments
All pets, regardless of if they go outside or are strictly indoor pets, should always be given regular preventative flea and tick treatments. Fleas, ticks, and other parasites can easily find their way into your home. Once they get into your home, they become much more difficult to remove. Fortunately there are many preventative treatments that have the added benefit of treating worms and other troublesome parasites.
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Sean Carter is an experienced writer who has contributed to numerous blogs covering a variety of topics such a travel, health and the latest technology and gadgets