For many people, pets are like children – pampered, cared for, and truly loved. Whether feline, canine, or even fish, most individuals treat them as one of their own, regardless of the species.
If you intend to become a good pet parent, you must make sure that you learn everything there is to know about the animal you wish to bring home.
Since you’ll be their caretaker, you have to be prepared to set aside time, money, and effort to ensure their overall well-being.
When it comes to pet health, there are three essential aspects you should research about, including:
1. A Healthy Diet
Like every other living creature, animals need food to survive. Given that a pet would soon be under your care, you must learn how to feed them correctly.
However, this goes beyond just buying dog food for dogs and cat food for cats – it is all about making sure they get a balanced diet.
For the sake of learning, let’s just say you’ll be welcoming home a new puppy soon.
When welcoming a pup, the first and foremost thing you should know about their diet is that, unlike cats, dogs aren’t strictly carnivorous. This means that not only can you give them other food items besides meat, but it would actually be better for their health if you do so.
Vegetables, fruits, and grains can give dogs valuable vitamins, minerals, and fiber to stay fit and healthy. Plenty of excellent dog foods out there contain high-quality versions of these ingredients that help keep your puppy’s body in good shape.
Besides knowing what to feed them, you must also learn about items that are potentially toxic and dangerous for your new animal friend.
Again, this differs depending on the kind of pet you’re getting, but the general rule is that not all “people” food can be given to pets.
Of course, you must never forget to give them just the right amount of food for their own sake. Like underfeeding and misfeeding, overfeeding can be detrimental to pet health as it could lead to obesity and other severe health problems like renal conditions, heart disease, and others.
The bottom line is to weigh your options based on the animal’s dietary needs. When in doubt, ask advice from a vet.
2. Regular Exercise and Physical Activity
Besides food, pets also need exercise and regular physical and mental stimulation to stay healthy. Both body and mind will benefit from engaging furry members of the family in such stimulating activities.
For one, exercise helps keep their muscles and joints well-oiled, in a manner of speaking. It also regulates their weight and ensures that their respiratory system is working well.
It helps alleviate boredom and manage pet behavior as well, so you won’t have to deal with missing shoes, damaged sofas, and scattered garbage on your lawn.
Remember that what most people consider misbehavior is potentially a pet just trying to amuse himself.
Like dietary requirements, dogs, cats, and other domesticated animals also have various needs in terms of physical activity.
Sticking to the same example above, different dogs also have varying exercise needs, depending on their age, breed, and physical capabilities. The only thing that doesn’t change is the fact that they all need regular exercise.
Since your pets will be living with you, they need to stay clean and sanitary for your sake, too. Of course, this benefits them as much as it does you.
You probably know that cats aren’t fond of grooming and tend to clean themselves up on their own. Fish only need the necessary aquarium supplies, and they’re all set.
As for dogs, plenty of pet grooming services are available to help you out. However, you can also learn more about home grooming, especially when it comes to caring for their teeth, paws, and fur.
Home grooming is vital for dog health for two reasons: to ensure that their coat, teeth, and paws are in good shape, and to keep pet owners abreast of their furry baby’s overall physical well-being.
For example, when gently brushing your dog’s coat, you will feel whether it is rough, smooth, or splotchy. These are all subtle indicators of your pet’s overall wellness.
As for their teeth, canines require proper and regular cleanings, just like humans do. There are plenty of dog care supplies you can buy, but be sure to consult your vet first.
As a pet expert, the vet can offer recommendations when it’s time for some serious teeth cleaning.
Of course, you shouldn’t forget about the paws. Regularly checking pets’ paws will allow you to see any attached foreign objects, splinters, and other objects that may harm them.
Remember that many things can catch onto an animal’s feet after a single run across the park, so keep his paws clean.
Overall Pet Care
Overall, pet care is one of the basic yet important things that new pet owners should learn about. Ensure that you understand all there is to know about feeding, exercise, and grooming to ensure that you’re ready for life as a pet parent.
About The Author:
Sam Saleki is the owner of Paws & Claws, a trusted family-run online pet store in Mirdif, Dubai. A lifelong animal lover, Sam founded the business in 2006 to fill the need for a pet shop offering good-quality dog food, pet accessories, and pet grooming products in the area. Sam is an animal welfare advocate and is currently working on an online animal homing platform that helps facilitate the fast rescue and adoption of animals in need.