Our furry friends are part of the family, and just like us and our children, they require a certain degree of regular healthcare. Your pet’s overall health and longevity is dependent upon a strong foundation of basic care and maintenance. There are several quick, easy things you can do to keep your pet’s general health in excellent condition for years to come.
Keep Their Teeth Clean
Poor dental health can lead to a wide variety of health issues, including pain, fatigue, heart disease, and infection. Brush your dog’s teeth at least once a week with a soft children’s toothbrush (or one specially-made for dogs) and canine toothpaste, which comes in yummy flavors like beef, chicken, or peanut butter. You may try a similar process with your kitty companions, but it’s likely that unless your cat is very laid-back, you’ll have a difficult time with this. To that end, be sure to have your pet’s teeth cleaned twice a year at your veterinarian’s office or with a professional groomer.
Keep Their Ears Dry and Clean
Ear infections are overwhelmingly the most common cause of veterinarian visits in the US. Ear care is one of the most important aspects of your pet’s overall health. However, it’s important not to penetrate too deeply into the ear canal while cleaning your pet’s ears, as this can result in a perforated eardrum or infection. Use a mild liquid like apple cider vinegar to remove wax, dirt, and gunk from your pet’s ears. Simply squirt some into your pet’s ear, place a cotton ball in the ear, and then allow the solution to drain into the cotton ball.
Keep Their Joints Healthy
Arthritis is one of the most common ailments affecting dogs, especially large and working breeds. Your pet’s mobility and quality of life depends on their ability to run, jump, climb, and play as they enjoy. Keep your pet’s bones and joints healthy by avoiding foods that are known to contribute to inflammation, like grains, processed foods, and unhealthy protein sources. Talk to your veterinarian about feeding your dog a Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods Diet or ask for a joint-healthy recommendation.
Keeping your pet’s teeth, ears, and joints healthy and in good working condition will go a long way towards his or her overall health, and will keep your loyal companion by your side for his lifetime. As always, ask your veterinarian for help if you have any questions about pet health or these basic healthcare guidelines, and consider purchasing a pet insurance plan that covers routine care. Here at PetFirst, we can help customize a plan to meet all of your furry friend’s needs.