March is National Nutrition Month, and nutrition is one big part of keeping pets healthy. There are a number of steps you can take that can help increase the quality and quantity of your pet’s life. Here are a few suggestions.
1. Give clean water at all times. A healthy pet will drink enough to stay hydrated, so make sure to make good, clean water readily available. Water transports important nutrients throughout the body and helps the body absorb nutrients. It aids the body in maintaining a healthy temperature and can ensure that toxins pass out of the body.
2. Groom your pet properly. Grooming isn’t just for aesthetic purposes. Proper cleaning can help prevent skin infections and rashes. Avoid excessive use of cleaning products (some can be harsh and irritate the skin).
3. Regular exercise. Diabetes, heart and bone diseases, cancer, and various skin conditions can be traced to obesity. As with people, there’s a growing tendency in pets toward obesity. Recent studies suggest that over half of all dogs and cats are overweight. Minimize obesity by playing with your pet indoors or taking them outside for walks and play time.
4. Feed them a balanced, nutritious diet. Regular exercise is good, but complimenting exercise with a balanced diet is best. Avoid feeding your pets “human food” that may not be good for them, and make sure they’re getting enough nutrition from high-quality pet food to develop a healthy immune system.
5. Vaccinate your pets. Your pets should be vaccinated for protection against potential illnesses such as rabies, panleukopenia, parvo, distemper, etc. Also, watch for worms (one of the most common problems in dogs). Worms such as heart worm, round worm hook worm, etc. can cause coughing, vomiting, weight loss, low energy, changed stools, etc. See a vet if you suspect a worm or parasite.
Since pets can’t communicate with spoken language, it can be hard to pinpoint what may be ailing them, but taking steps to prevent health problems can go a long way to preserve their good health.