Happy, healthy life for your pet | Daily News

Happy, healthy life for your pet

As a pet parent you want to do everything you can to care for your pet; this involves regular, everyday activities to ensure they stay happy and healthy. Practice these responsible pet care tips year after year for a lifetime of happy and healthy cats and dogs.

1. Veterinarian Visits

Responsible pet ownership starts with regular visits to the veterinarian. Given their shorter-than-human lifespan, your dog or cat should be getting a checkup at least once or twice a year. Depending on your pet’s vaccination schedule, they may go more frequently when they’re young, but establishing and maintaining good pet health means keeping up with vet visits as they age.

2. Vaccinations

Vaccinating your pets is a vital component of responsible pet care. Soon after welcoming your new pet into your home, schedule an immunization appointment. During your first visit, the vet will set up an immunization schedule for your little pup or kitten to protect them from illness and disease.

3. Proper Identification

If the unthinkable happens and your little guy or gal gets lost having proper identification is the key to a happy ending. Start with the basics: a safe collar, and a tag that contains all of your contact information. In addition to an ID tag, microchipping your pet is advisable, because there’s always the chance a collar will fall off.

4. Spaying/Neutering

Sterilizing your pet prevents a host of health problems, including complicated pregnancies, and reduces the number of homeless animals. Spaying your kitty (removing the uterus and ovaries) greatly reduces her risk for cervical cancer, eliminates the risk of ovarian cancer, and prevents her from going into “heat.”

5. Healthy Food

Two connected elements of responsible pet ownership include providing animals with fresh, cool water and healthy food at all times. The right pet food will enrich your best buddy’s life, providing them with the energy and nutrients they need. With so many meal options to choose from, it can be daunting, but you can become adept in no time by familiarizing yourself with important ingredients and how they help your pup or kitty. When choosing the best cat food, look for a good balance of protein, carbs and fats. These are important ingredients for dog food, too, as is plenty of fiber for the digestive system. In addition to healthy ingredients, select a pet food formula that is appropriate for your pet’s age, health conditions and activity level, and speak to your vet before switching your pet to a specialized food.

6. At-Home Care

As your pets’ caretaker, your job is to provide them with good hygiene habits at home as well as at the vet’s or groomer’s. Brushing their teeth, combing their coats and providing them with healthy food all keeps them in tip-top shape.

7. Comfy Quarters

As the seasons change or you rearrange your living space, take a look around to see that you’re providing your pet with a safe, cozy habitat. Dog bed looking a little flat? Buy your pup a new one. Litter box area not cutting it anymore? Spruce up your kitty’s bathroom with a new box and scoop. This also is a good time to check for potential hazards.

8. Training and Socializing

One of the most important aspects of responsible pet care is ensuring your dog or cat is well-trained, and proper socializing is a part of that. Starting when they’re young is best and most effective, but it’s never too late to learn new tricks. Toilet training is the number one priority for any animal with whom you share your home, as is working on obedience training. Learning socialization skills will help your puppy or kitten bond with you and with other pets. Ask your vet or local animal shelter for recommendations for good trainers in your area or at-home training guides to read. A well-trained pet is a happy pet, and that translates to a happy pet parent.


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