A pet can quickly become a valued member of the family, and they deserve the best care their owners can provide. Good care can lead to a long, healthy life, lower vet bills and a happier pet that has a stronger bond with its owner and family, and it's easier than many owners realize to provide the very best care for their pet.
- Food: A healthy, nutritious diet is the key to a healthy life for your pet. Choose the proper food for their age, size and activity level, as well as any special dietary needs your pet may have. Offering a variety of foods can help keep their diet balanced, and good food helps promote good dental health as well.
- Water: Fresh, clean water is critical for all pets. Not only is water part of a healthy diet, but adequate water is essential to promote digestive health, proper kidney function and good circulation. Water should always be available, indoors and outdoors, and steps should be taken to ensure pets are drinking enough to prevent dehydration.
- Shelter: Even indoor pets need protection from drafts and chills, and a safe space they know is their own. A proper bed, crate or other shelter can help them feel secure, and outdoor dogs should have a suitable dog house for shelter and protection. A fully fenced yard can also help keep pets safe without making them feel confined.
- Grooming: Matted fur, tangles, overgrown nails and decaying teeth can be uncomfortable for your pet, and can lead to additional health problems. Proper grooming is essential, from brushing and combing to regular nail trims, tooth brushing and bathing. A clean, groomed pet looks better and will suffer less from fleas, ticks and other pests.
- Exercise: Regular exercise keeps a pet at a healthy weight and in top physical condition, which can minimize illnesses and other health problems. Exercise also reduces stress and keeps a pet mentally healthy. Games, walks, training or light work tasks all serve as exercise to keep a pet in peak form.
- Licensing: One of the most valuable things an owner can do for their pet is to be sure the pet's license is up to date and the information on it is accurate. Tattoos and microchips are great options that cannot be lost, but a pet should always be wearing a license tag, even when they are indoors.
- Professional Care: All pets need regular vet checkups. A veterinarian can provide vaccinations, dental care and physicals that can help correct any problems before they become serious. Other services vets may provide include professional grooming and boarding, helping pet owners always keep their pets in great shape and safe from danger.
Proper care is critical for all pets – cats, dogs, birds, reptiles, rabbits and more. By providing great care, pet owners not only keep their pets healthy, but also strengthen bonds they can enjoy with their pets for long, happy lives.