Pets are members of the family, which means we do whatever we can to keep them with us for as long as possible. The Homestead Gardens staff has some tips to help you extend the life of your pet. You may notice these tips are very similar to those your doctor gives you for extending your own life!
1. Brush those teeth – Dental hygiene is just as important for cats and dogs as it is for humans. Train your pet early to allow you access to his teeth, because regular care will help keep them healthy so he can properly chew his food for digestion. Make yearly veterinarian appointments as well to check for dental-related issues like gingivitis and bacteria. There are water additives, dental chews like TropiClean and Greenies and even treats by Merrick that are good for your pet’s teeth, which can help. But tooth brushing is the best way to care for your pet.
2. Serve good food – Pets need a healthy balanced diet to provide the energy they need for playing and the nutrients they need for growing – and in the flavors they want. Work with your veterinarian to determine the best diet for your cat or dog to help her maintain a regular weight. Quality dog food should have no byproducts, and you should be able to easily tell where the food was processed. Merrick and Earthborn are two manufacturers of high quality pet foods the sales team at Homestead Gardens recommends that will help keep your pet in excellent health.
3. Regular exercise – In conjunction with diet comes exercise – and it’s good for you, too! For pets, playtime can be considered exercise. Throw the ball around the backyard for your dog to chase, or give your cat a climbing object with hidden toys to keep her reflexes sharp.
4. Vaccinations – Pets can catch diseases just like humans, and some of them can be very harmful or even life-threatening. When scheduling your veterinarian appointments, be sure to ask about vaccinations to help protect your pet. Talk with the vet about the lifestyle your pet has. For example, some vaccines aren’t necessary for cats who spent their entire lives inside.
5. Companionship – Most importantly, share your love with your pet. Play with him. Snuggle up while watching a movie. Go for rides in the car or long walks through the park. The time you spend together will benefit you both!