There’s not a pet parent in the world who’d like to believe that they are harming their dog’s health, but pets depend exclusively on their parents to keep them healthy. Here are the top 4 ways even well-meaning pet parents take years off of their pet’s life:
#1— Letting them gain too much weight.
Pets, like humans, need to maintain a healthy weight to enjoy a long and full life. Extra weight not only complicates issues like arthritis, but also impacts a pet’s cardiovascular and kidney health. Your pet depends on you for its food… so ignore those puppy dog eyes if you must and put your pet on a diet. Click here for more information on helping your pet lose weight.
#2 — Ignoring their teeth.
Ignoring regular brushing and mouth care for your pet can lead to more than bad breath. A build-up of bacteria in the mouth can also lead to cardiovascular problems and kidney infections. You can save money on teeth cleanings by your veterinarian by starting early and brushing your pet’s teeth — regularly — your self. Here’s a video that might help.
#3 — Going too long between appointments with your vet
I know it’s tempting to avoid the veterinarian’s office when your pet seems healthy and happy. But, pets age faster than humans, so going even one year between veterinarian visits with a dog can be the equivalent of going 3- 7 years without a well visit for one of your kids. These regular check ups allow your vet to pick up on any potential (or developing) health problems when they are much easier (and affordable) to treat. Annual visits are the absolute minimum, but as your pet ages, they should be seen 2 – 4 times per year.
#4 — Ignoring nutrition.
Like you, the cornerstone of your pet’s health is nutrition. So, if you’re feeding dry kibble day in, day out, no matter how “high quality” that kibble is, your pet isn’t getting a varied diet with whole foods. The analogy I use is this,
“Shredded Wheat may be one of the healthiest cereals you can find on the cereal aisle, but eating it exclusively day after day for a lifetime will not give you the nutrition you need. The same goes for your dog.”
Consider asking your veterinarian about nutrition… What do they recommend for your pet? One of the services I offer is a nutritional consult, which can be done via phone. You can find out more about pet nutrition here.