Home Pet 101 10 Ways to Optimize Your Pet’s Health
10 Ways to Optimize Your Pet’s Health

10 Ways to Optimize Your Pet’s Health

  1. Keep the Weight Off

Extra weight contributes to a whole slew of health problems, including arthritis, diabetes, respiratory compromise, and liver problems in cats. Studies show that obesity can shorten pets lives up to two and half years!

  1. Brush Those Teeth

Removing plaque by brushing regularly can help prevent tartar build up.  Bacteria from dental disease can negatively affect  kidneys and liver function, and even cause heart problems.

  1. Parasite Prevention

Depending on where you live, parasite prevention is very important to keep your pets healthy.  Fleas, ticks, heartworm disease and intestinal parasites are all 100% preventable and are responsible for a variety of illnesses, some of which can be communicable to humans.

  1. Get out and Exercise

Keeping your pets strong is healthy for their hearts, and for their minds!  Boredom from not enough activity can not only lead to destructive behavior, but can contribute to cognitive dysfunction in older pets.

  1. Nutrition

You are what you eat! Ensure you are feeding a species appropriate dog or cat food and avoid grocery store brands.  Cheaper food tends to have more fillers, by-products and lesser quality ingredients.

  1. Visit Your Veterinarian Annually

Veterinarians are trained to spot problems with your pet’s health early on, and will recommend testing, vaccinations and preventative medications that can optimize your pet’s wellness.

  1. Microchip

Having your pet microchipped is an invaluable way to help in the case they become lost.  Collars and tags can fall off, but a microchip is a way of permanent identification.

  1. Training and Socialization

A well-behaved pet will always be a more welcome family member in your home.  Many animals are surrendered each year to shelters and humane societies because of behavioral issues.

  1. Grooming and Good Hygiene

Poor hygiene can lead to painful infections of the ears and skin.  Toenails left untrimmed can actually grow into footpads, causing a pain.

  1. Screening Lab Work for Senior Pets

Routine blood work for older pets can help identify illnesses before they become a problem, facilitating treatment and preventing progression of the disease.

Originally published on Oct 15, 2015. (Updated October 4, 2017.)