There are many similarities between human and pet health, so keeping your pet healthy won’t be as challenging as you may think. Even if this is your first pet, keeping your new companion in good condition mostly requires common sense and an understanding of your responsibilities. Like a human child, your pet can’t look after himself, so it will be up to you to provide good nutrition, encourage him to exercise, and help him stay mentally healthy through stress management techniques.

Begin with a Healthy Diet

Like you, your pet’s health will rely on a steady nutritious diet, but you must also recognize that your pet’s dietary needs are a little different from that of a human’s requirements. You should begin by consulting your veterinarian about the best types of foods for your pet since the dietary requirements of pets can even vary from breed to breed. In most cases, you should read the labels on pet food packaging to ensure it has been designated safe and nutritious for your type of pet. Additionally, stick to treats made especially for your pet. Unless your vet tells you differently, it’s best to assume human food is toxic to your pet, because, in many cases, it is.

Stress Can Be a Problem

People don’t realize is that animals suffer from mental health issues just like people. For dogs and cats, anxiety is the most common mental health issue they face.

Many pet owners have started turning to cannabidiol for reducing stress in pets, finding the best CBD dog treats available for sale are very effective at calming canine companions. Similar products are available for cats. While CBD is promising, there are many other ways to calm your pet. For instance, rubbing an unscented dryer sheet on your pet as a thunderstorm approaches will reduce static electricity, which can affect how the animal reacts to the storm. Another way to calm your pet is to dress him in a Thundershirt, which is compression clothing specially designed for pets.

Exercise is Extremely Important

Running around the house for five minutes at a time is insufficient exercise for your pet, so you might want to look for additional ways for dogs to get more exercise. In a recent study, Purina found that more than 60% of household pets were grossly overweight and that’s not even the worst effect of insufficient exercise. Pets develop the same conditions as humans, so insufficient exercise can result in your pet developing diabetes, heart disease, joint stiffness and pain, and many other illnesses. Exercising with your pet will keep both of you healthy for a longer period of time.

Regular Vet Visits are a Must

Finally, regular veterinarian visits are essential to keeping your pet in his best possible shape. Most people only take their pets in to receive their annual vaccinations, but you should really be seeing your vet at least twice per year. A routine check-up every six months can help you address behavioral or health problems before they get out of hand.

Additionally, more frequent check-ups help the vet identify health problems sooner, so they can be treated early. In many cases, you won’t know that your pet has developed diabetes, arthritis, cancer, or heart disease until you observe physical symptoms. By this time, the disease has become more severe. Addressing these illnesses earlier will help save you money and, more importantly, will spare your pet unnecessary pain and discomfort.

Your pet can’t speak up when he’s not feeling well, so it’s up to you to be aware of health changes. Usually, a problem can be identified through behavioral changes. Be being watchful and consulting your vet regularly, you’ll be able to keep your pet in a better state of health. This can help you keep your pet around for years to come.

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