Guest Post: Keeping Your Pet Fit and Healthy
Pet owners generally regard their dog, cat or other companions as members of the family. Just as parents strive to make sure that their children stay in excellent physical shape, those who own pets are concerned about keeping their beloved animal as fit and healthy as possible. Like human health, pet health is a complex interrelationship of several factors that pet owners need to keep in mind.
The Importance of Observation
Pay close attention to your pet’s behaviour and habits, so that you can detect any problems as early as possible. Obvious warning signs to watch for are trembling limbs, vomiting and choking, but even minor changes, such as an increase in lethargy, can be an indication that something is wrong. Also be vigilant and notice if your pet appears to be limping or is injured in some other way, since pets, of course, must communicate through actions rather than words if something is seriously wrong. A lack of appetite or a sudden loss of weight should also raise concerns. Remember that treatment with pet meds is often more successful if a condition is corrected before it has had a chance to worsen.
Obesity is a leading cause of many degenerative diseases in pets. Although these diseases will often not arise until the pet is older, it is essential to prevent excessive weight gain from the very beginning so that debilitating conditions have less opportunity to develop. Regular veterinary visits will help you to know if your pet is at an appropriate weight; you can also perform periodic checks yourself. For dogs, bodyweight checks include such items as feeling the animal’s rib cage. If it is not easy to locate the ribs themselves, this may be an indication that the pet is overweight.
Follow your veterinarian’s recommendations about the type and amount of food your pet should consume. This obviously varies by type of animal. Less well known is the fact that even for the same animal, calorific requirements can change over time. It is especially important to control your pet’s weight as old age approaches. If your pet is gaining weight, reduce the amount of pet food offered by a small percentage and closely monitor the results.
The Importance of Exercise
Exercise is a vital consideration for overweight pets, but in fact all pets need daily exercise in order to stay healthy. Cats may become more active if you lure them into chasing a ball of wool, while dogs will benefit from a daily walk or jog. Even playing with your pet in the park or a backyard can be highly beneficial.
How Pet Medicines Can Help
Recent years have seen huge advances in the area of pet meds. Aging dogs, for example, can now be treated with canine arthritis medicines that allow them to enjoy their daily activities far more. Diabetes in dogs and cats can also be treated very successfully with medicines. Pet owners should not assume, however, that the only use for such medications is to remedy existing disease. For example, preventative pet medicines are essential in order to keep your pet from suffering from a variety of parasitic infections.