6 Smart Ways to Improve Your Pets Lives
Your pet is a member of the family, and if you’re like most pet owners, you treat your pet like they’re your child. However, being a pet parent comes with many additional responsibilities, including ensuring the health and wellness of your pet. While you might have to make some adjustments to your lifestyle if you’re a new pet parent, the benefits pets can offer you outweigh any of the stress that comes along with taking care of an animal.
While you should always have a vet you trust to help you with your pet’s medical health, there are ways you can improve their general health and wellness at home. Here are smart ways to improve your pet’s life.
1. Keep Them at a Healthy Weight
Everyone agrees that chubby pets can be quite cute, but having an overweight pet can mean a lower quality of life, and you risk medical complications and health problems, such as diabetes, which can reduce your pet’s life. Overweight pets can also have joint and urinary problems making daily life more difficult and painful.
Unfortunately, most pet parents don’t know when their cat or dog is overweight. If they’re extra fluffy, it can be even more difficult to tell if your pet has gained a few pounds. When a human gains a few pounds, it doesn’t automatically mean they’re obese, but a small dog gaining two or three pounds can be because of their size.
During your pet’s annual wellness exam, your vet will weigh your dog and bring up if there are any weight concerns. If your pet is overweight, it’s typically best to limit treats, but you might have to start feeding them a special diet for weight loss.
2. Always Watch Your Pets
Wherever your pet goes, it’s always important to keep an eye on them so they don’t get into any danger. Both dogs and cats are curious creatures, so they can get into trouble if you look away, even for a second. If your dog goes potty in a fenced-in yard, you can easily ensure their safety by picking up any furniture, lawn, or gardening equipment that might hurt them while they’re running around.
Cats are easier to keep an eye on because they should be kept inside to avoid catching diseases from wild cats. However, if you have any plants that could be poisonous, it’s always best to watch your pets even when they’re inside.
Additionally, even if you’re in the same room while your pet is playing with a toy, you should always watch them. Pet toys can break, and your pet could swallow a large chunk of plastic, rubber, or even bone that gets stuck in their digestive tract.
3. Keep Them Entertained
A bored pet is prone to act out, but boredom can also impact your pet’s mental health. If you keep your dog inside all day except to go potty outside, they’ll need some way to burn off all their excess energy. This is especially true if you have an energetic breed. Leaving your pets to get bored can lead to chewed-up furniture and messes, but it can also make them depressed.
Keeping your pets entertained can improve their mental health while helping them get rid of some of the excess energy that might make them act out. There are many ways you can keep your pet entertained, but interactive toys are typically the best way to go since they require your pet to use their brain. Interactive toys include puzzles and treat dispensing toys that can keep your pet entertained while trying to figure out how to get the treats or food. While exercise can help keep your dog fit and healthy, mental stimulation can make them smarter while tiring them out.
Mental stimulation and physical activity are crucial to maintaining your pet’s health and keeping them happy.
4. Socialize Dogs
Socializing dogs as early as possible can help prevent anxiety and aggressive behavior. However, there is a proper way to socialize dogs with people and other animals. If you’re not sure how to socialize your dog so they can have healthy relationships with new people and animals, you can talk to your vet or find classes in your area.
If you adopted your dog from a shelter, they may not have been properly socialized. Additionally, they may have experienced trauma in the shelter and may not know how to form healthy relationships with other animals or people. If your dog suffers from reactivity related to stress, you might want to work with a behaviorist through vet telemedicine services who can help you learn tips and tricks for helping your dog manage anxiety. Additionally, your vet may be able to prescribe anti-anxiety meds to facilitate dog training exercises, such as desensitization.
5. Start Training ASAP
Training your pet as soon as possible is the best way to teach them the desired behaviors. Using reward-based training, you can teach your dog how to act around you, other animals, and strangers. Rewards-based training can help train your dog from the time they’re housetraining as pups to the time they’re adults learning not to jump on guests.
Besides avoiding jumping around people, potty training is also important in your dog’s early years. If you want to train your dog to relieve himself properly on his potty, you might need to use artificial grass, real grass, or puppy pads. It depends on what you need. You should also keep dog diapers on hand for other common situations, such as urinary incontinence, digestive disorders, or voiding incontinence. When you travel with your dog one day, dog diapers can also be very handy.
Training early in your dog’s life is easiest because they haven’t yet learned undesired behaviors. Once your dog gets older and knows they can get away with bad behavior, it can be difficult to train them on the right behavior. However, most bad behaviors can be trained away, especially if you’re working with a behaviorist or certified dog trainer.
6. Bond With Them
When you think about taking care of your pet, you mostly think about their health. However, it’s also important to take care of their mental health and giving them a safe space. Showing your pet affection tells them that you love them just as much as they love you. There are many different ways to bond with your pet, including relaxing on the couch together or playing frisbee outside. Whatever you choose to do, your pet will just be happy you’ve set aside time for them.
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