Are you planning resolutions for you and your pet in 2018? Here are some suggestions for your pet’s food, exercise, play, grooming, and health.
Proper Storage of Pet Food
Once a bag of pet food is opened, the fat starts to oxidize, and over time the smell and taste gets worse, even rancid. Store opened bags of pet food in airtight containers, and keep it in its original bag since bags have a fat barrier.
When dumping pet food into a separate container, the oxidized fat will coat the walls of the container, fouling the taste of any other food you decide to put in after. To prevent this, it is recommended to wash the container with soap and water; rinse and dry it well before tightly sealing the original bag of pet food and placing it in the air sealed container.
Wash Pet Food and Water Bowls Several Times a Week
It’s important to wash your pet’s food and water bowls frequently. It’s healthier and more appetizing. We suggest you use metal food bowls since they are not as porous as plastic. The oxidized fat doesn’t get an opportunity to build up on metal. If your pet is on a raw diet be sure to clean their food bowls to prevent the build up of bacteria.
Measure Food and Manage Your Pet’s Diet
Follow the directions on the pet food bag and use a measuring cup to give your pet their food. Pets who are still growing need a diet with more calories, whereas senior pets, or pets that have been neutered, need less energy and calories. Pets with degenerative joint disease also can be helped with a proper diet. Talk to your vet about the best options.
Pets Need Stimulation
Your pets are descendants of animals that used to roam large territories. It is believed the majority of behavioral pet issues are the result of a buildup of anxiety. Your home or yard is not a large enough territory to release your pet’s energy. Here are some ideas:
- Set up a specific time to walk your pet - they’ll come to look forward to it
- Create a playground of sorts filled with boxes, bags, and newspapers for your cats and dogs to play with and tear up
- Install a feeder outside a window, where your dog or cat can watch birds and squirrels visit
- Play laser tag or use a toy or stick to play keep away. Reward them with a treat or toy at the end
- Practice tricks your pet knows and teach them new tricks
- Get a puzzle feeder so your pet has to think through a task to be rewarded with a treat
All of these activities will keep your pet from building up anxiety and can potentially prevent behavioral issues.
Grooming and Hygiene
Daily grooming is good for your pet. It helps manage shedding, which reduces the amount of fur you find on your clothes and furniture. Grooming helps keep your pet’s coat healthy by distributing oil from the skin to the fur. It’s also a bonding activity that shows your pet you care for them.
Brushing your pet’s teeth is the first line of defense in your pet’s oral health. Use toothpaste meant for dogs and cats. Learn proper techniques from your vet or from websites. Daily brushing helps you identify any unusual symptoms that might prevent a more damaging diagnosis in the future.
Keep potty areas clean. Clean litter boxes at least once a week. Pick up feces from the litter box. It makes for a cleaner potty area. Keep an eye out should your dog or cat “go” outside the litter box, This may suggest some other health issues, and it can create stress for them.
Get Your Pet Microchipped or Updated Tags
You may have moved or have a new phone number, whatever the case be sure to update the information on your pet’s tag or better yet, get your pet micro-chipped. Then, should your pet get lost you can rest assured it will most likely be found.
This is the least expensive method of managing your pet’s health care. Regular checkups allow us to identify and eliminate common issues that can be easily avoided. During your visit we answer questions and provide advice on food and behavioral issues. Your pet’s health is your responsibility, but we are here to help you keep them healthy.