Along with annual veterinary care, the wonderful things you do for your fur friend on a daily basis are also integral to good health and wellbeing. From diet to exercise, these are many daily pet care tips out there – the trick is knowing which ones you can rely on. That’s why West Park Animal Hospital has compiled the following list.
Optimal Daily Pet Care Tips: Beyond a Walk in the Park
- Hydration hacks – Most of us know how much cats love running water. Just turn on the tap, and you’ll find your curious feline sipping from the drip. That’s why a water fountain type dispenser is a great way to keep your kitty hydrated. For finicky dogs who may not enjoy the temperature or taste of (bleh) tap water, try cool, filtered water instead. If that doesn’t work, add some sodium-free chicken broth or ice cubes.
- The right sleeping spot – Believe it or not, pets are pretty particular about their resting areas. Cats, for example, may prefer to sleep somewhere that’s out of the way – perhaps in a closet or under the bed. Senior pets who suffer from arthritis need extra comfort and support, such as an orthopedic bed. Small pocket pets and exotic pets need their cage bedding cleaned regularly for health and comfort. Always consider your pet’s specific needs when selecting the right bed, bedding, or sleeping quarters.
- Wash those bowls – Another daily pet care tip involves cleaning and sanitizing water and food bowls at least once a week. This ensures the removal of bacteria and biofilm (that slimy layer that develops on your pet’s food and water bowls). It also discourages flies and other pests.
- More exercise, please – It’s easy to skip a day or two of dog walks or cut playtime short when life gets a little chaotic. However, exercise has a big impact on health, weight management, and behavioral problems. Try scheduling at least 20 minutes of exercise each day. Remember, indoor kitties can benefit from chasing that laser light.
- Avoid trendy diets – Organic is always better? Cats should be on gluten-free diets? Pets can be vegan? There are a number of articles online and in print that promote these dietary trends among animals. However, this may result in sick pets. Unlike organic foods for people, these labels can be misleading for pet foods, which do not meet the same guidelines. Grains can also be swapped out for less nutritious tapioca or other fillers (surprisingly, few pets are actually allergic to grains). To get some insight into the best diet for your pet, ask us for nutritional recommendations that meet his or her unique needs.
- Indoor pet parasite protection – Many pet guardians mistakenly believe that indoor cats and dogs are safe from illnesses transmitted by other animals and pests. Unfortunately, this is not the case. If you haven’t noticed, mosquitoes have a way of making their way indoors through small cracks and openings in your house. This means fleas, ticks, and other insects can also get inside. Screen doors, open windows, and visiting pets can also put an unvaccinated and unprotected pet at risk.
For more daily pet care tips, please ask the team at West Park Animal Hospital.