5 Signs of a Healthy Pet
- A Healthy Weight
- Clear Eyes & Ears
- Clear Skin & Coat
- Healthy Teeth & Gums
- Good Energy
Having a healthy pet presents itself with quite a few challenges, considering that domesticated pets are, unfortunately, following in their human companions’ unhealthy lifestyles. That’s not an attack on our human friends; it’s the realization that we need to pay more attention to the specific needs of our pets and be more in tune with what a healthy pet looks like, acts like, and how to feed them based on their specific needs. When you consider that over 50% of dogs and 60% of cats are overweight, that equates to an estimated 50 million dogs and 56 million cats that are too heavy, based on the 2018-2019 pet population projections provided by the American Pet Products Association. Obesity is just one of the leading ailments that dogs and cats suffer from. A quick and easy way to stay on top of your pet’s health is by keeping tabs on a few key items.
- A Healthy Weight– Excess weight puts stress on joints, organs, and the ability to exercise effectively. Start by rubbing your pet’s side to feel for their ribs. If you can’t feel them, they are most likely holding a few extra pounds. If you can see them without rubbing them, they are on the thin side.
- Clear Eyes & Ears–Regularly cleaning and grooming the eyes can help your pet avoid infections, relieve allergies, and contribute to their overall health. Ear infections are one of the leading reasons for vet visits, so contact your vet for symptoms of excessive ear scratching, head shaking, ear or eye discharge, and odor.
- Clear Skin & Coat– A healthy, shiny coat is a sign of good health, proper nutrition, and a properly working immune system. If your pet suffers from excessive fur loss, chronic skin irritation, redness, and foul odors, a visit to the vet is most likely needed. Just like you, proper grooming and skin maintenance speaks volumes in maintaining a healthy coat and can help keep tabs on food intolerance and possible underlying allergies.
- Healthy Teeth & Gums– Good oral hygiene starts with a good diet, healthy chews, and a consistent dental regimen. Chew toys can satisfy your dog’s natural desire to chomp while strengthening their teeth, massage the gums and help keep their teeth clean by scraping away soft tartar. Once a week, examine your dog’s gums and teeth. The gums should be pink, not white or red, and should show no signs of swelling. Their teeth should be clean, without any brownish tartar. And if those pooch kisses start to smell a little bad, it’s time to get the vet involved.
- Good Energy– And lastly, a good energy level is a good indicator of a healthy animal, one that is active and shows no reluctance to move, which may indicate illness or injury. Of course, just like us, we tend to slow down as we grow older, but having a pet with a proper weight, supporting it with a healthy diet, and giving it plenty of opportunity to burn off some excess calories is a recipe for a healthy and happy pet.
Bottom line, stay in tune with your pet’s health by paying particular attention to the things we can see and monitor each day. Our team at Best 4K9 can help guide you along the path to a healthier and happier pet.