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Every pet owner wants to keep their furry friend happy and healthy for as long as possible. There are plenty of ways for cats and dogs to get into trouble, whether they spend lots of time outdoors or never leave the home. Fortunately, many of these health risks can be managed by owners who are willing to invest some of their time and energy towards giving their pet a wholesome lifestyle. Many of the most common accidents and health conditions in domestic animals can be avoided if you follow a few simple care-taking strategies.
Get Your Pet Moving
It’s not good for people to go for long periods without exercise, and the same is true of your pets. You can get indoor cats active by engaging them with a toy and taking them on a chase around the room. Dogs are a bit more challenging, especially for pet owners living in an apartment or other communal space. Even if you have your own yard, it’s still a good idea to take dogs on longer walks and runs to keep their muscles in good shape. Lack of exercise is also associated with the development of behavioral issues and stress, which can have wide-ranging impact on your pet’s health.
Protect Against the Cold
Walking on snow or ice isn’t good for your dog’s bare paws, especially if the surface has been treated with salts or other chemicals to encourage melting. Some of these substances can be lethal to dogs when ingested, so you should avoid these areas or get protective boots for your pet before walking on pavement. You also need to be careful around frozen water and avoid letting your pet run on the surface of iced ponds or lakes.
As winter approaches, the risk of antifreeze poisoning rises. All pet owners need to be careful with handling and storing antifreeze around the home. This common household chemical can be appetizing to pets, and even small amounts can be deadly for any cat or dog when ingested. If possible, store all toxic chemicals and cleaning solutions in a separate closet or space where the animals don’t have access.
Don’t Forget Checkups and Vaccines
Perhaps the most important part of responsible pet ownership is making sure your pets have all of their necessary vaccines. Some shots are required by law, like the rabies vaccine, but there are also several important optional vaccines that could save your pet’s life. Talk to your vet’s office about common diseases in your area to determine what vaccines are appropriate for your situation. All pets should visit a primary care veterinary office, like Glenvale Veterinary Clinic, for annual checkups, parasite exams, and dental maintenance.
Providing living standards and basic health care for your pets is not always cheap, but many owners believe that it’s worth the cost. Companion animals are essential family members in millions of households across the country, so it’s natural to care about their long-term health and well-being. As long as you are observant and take a few simple precautions, you can provide a safe and wholesome environment for all of your furry friends.