You want to improve your dog or cat’s health, but it can be hard to know where to begin. There are so many factors to be considered to help your companion live a longer life. Taking a holistic approach by looking at all aspects of his care and lifestyle is a good starting point. This checklist of eight tips will help enhance his health and lengthen his life (and maybe yours too)! You want your furry friend to be with you as long as possible. Incorporate these suggestions from animalwellness.com into his care to help ensure his health and longevity.
As conscientious consumers, we review ingredient lists on our own food.
We need to do the same for our animals. Look for labels that state whole meat ingredients like chicken, beef or lamb – not poultry by-products, etc. Choose superior brands of pet food from the Barkery, like Lotus or Purrfect Bistro, which promise healthier ingredients. You can even talk with our well-trained staff members for more information on the best kind of food for you pet.
2. SECURITY WITH SUPPLEMENTS
I like to think of vitamins and minerals as a form of supplemental health insurance for animals, providing the nutrients needed to maintain health. A quality, daily supplement is the most valuable contribution you can make to your dog or cat’s longevity.
To be truly effective, vitamins and minerals need to be balanced, complete and able to be absorbed by the body. For example, powdered dry bone meal, often used in pet supplements, can’t be absorbed, so there’s no nutritional value. Read and compare labels carefully. Choose vitamins that state the milligrams or International Units on the label, and that contain high quality ingredients.
3. VACCINATE CAREFULLY FOR A LONGER LIFE
A new puppy or kitten may be stressed – particularly if he just came from a shelter or rescue. Take him for vaccinations when his systems are strong and balanced. Never vaccinate an animal compromised by an infection or illness. Previously vaccinated dogs and cats can get blood tests that register titers or immune memory in lieu of certain vaccines. Research has shown that after their one-year boosters, many dogs and cats are protected for five to seven years or longer, depending on the vaccine.
Italian researchers have found that eating as little as one cup of raw vegetables daily can add two years to your life. Today, scientific research is proving what Hippocrates said hundreds of years ago: “Let food be thy medicine.”
Phtytochemicals, contained in what are now aptly dubbed superfoods, have well-documented health benefits. The beautiful colors of many fruits and vegetables are doing a lot more than just looking pretty. Dark vibrant green kale leaves are rich in compounds with long names like glucosinolates and sulforaphanes. These help cells “clean up after the party” and clear carcinogenic substances more quickly.
5. GO GREEN
Adding a bit of green to your companion’s diet can do as much good for the planet as it can for him. Eating more fresh fruits and vegetables has many health benefits, including reducing the risk of cancer. Cats often like cooked asparagus and cantaloupe, while our easier-to-please canine friends love everything from a piece of apple to a broccoli stem.
Create a dog and cat-friendly outdoor environment by using natural fertilizers and pest control. In 2004, the Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine linked bladder cancer in Scottish terriers to exposure to lawn chemicals. Rain creates a mist of these chemicals that lingers at the body height of dogs and cats – and many of these animals enjoy chewing occasional blades of grass.
Regular exercise is part of a healthy lifestyle for all of us – humans, dogs and cats. If it’s not safe for your cat to go outside, make sure he has a scratching post and a selection of toys. Setting aside some time to play with her every day is a great way to give her the exercise she needs, and will improve your own quality of life.
All dogs need exercise – even notorious couch-potato breeds. Taking your dog for a long brisk walk is the perfect excuse for you to get some exercise too! The Brookside Barkery has everything you’ll need for a nice walk! We have a wide selection of collars, leashes, and even coats for the colder months!
7. ROUTINE MEDICAL EXAMINATIONS
A yearly health check helps detect problems before they become serious. Older animals should get yearly blood panels to monitor their health. Those that live in tick-infested regions of the country need yearly blood tests so any tick-borne diseases can be treated promptly, avoiding long term complications.
Dogs and cats are social animals. Social animals don’t want to be alone – they want company and interesting interactions. Relationships are an important part of health. Strong bonds with others means protection from loneliness and depression. It works both ways. Healthier animals are happier, and happier animals are healthier. Just as important is that both humans and animals benefit from quality time spent together. Try getting a new toy for your pet to help with interaction. The Barkery carries so many great choices, you could even bring your pup in to pick one out!