Nothing is scarier than your pet feeling less than usual, especially if you plan to include them on your wedding day. It’s a heartbreaking omen when they suddenly refuse a walk, snub a treat, or won’t play with their favorite toy. It’s even worse when they’re showing symptoms of vomiting, troubled breathing, allergies, and other alarming symptoms.
Your pets provide you with unconditional love, loyalty, and care. Besides having their constant company, there are numerous mental benefits to having a pet in your home. They help ease anxiety, lower blood pressure, and lessen the likelihood of depression. Playtime with your pets also boosts your dopamine and serotonin levels. This explains why a puppy snuggles after a long, exhausting day and melts away all exhaustion.
With so much your furry friends bring to the table, it’s only natural that you give them the best care they deserve. Here are ten ways to keep your pets healthy.
Make routine wellness vet visits.
A trip to the vet shouldn’t only come when something bad happens. By then, you never know how much worse something has already been when you could’ve prevented it in the first place.
Regular wellness visits to a reputable veterinarian ensure that your pet’s health remains strong. Set up an annual or biannual exam to screen for symptoms, raising warning signs for potential illnesses. The earlier the detection, the sooner your vet can advise on preventive measures or treatment plans to avoid matters taking a turn for the worse.
Don’t Miss Their Vaccines
Another tip for keeping your pets healthy for your wedding day is by making sure they have the necessary vaccine shots.
Not vaccinating your pet can have painful and fatal consequences. This includes deadly diseases such as parvo, rabies, and distemper. They won’t also have that protective shield to keep them from contagious animal diseases.
This is why vaccines are a mandatory requirement for pet ownership in many states and most parts of the world. It’s your obligation as an owner to keep your pet protected by completing their rounds of vaccines. Be sure to discuss with your vet what vaccines they need based on their health status and possible risks.
Have a Parasite Prevention and Management Plan
Besides potential illnesses and vaccinations, the presence of heartworms, ticks, and fleas is another crucial issue to raise with your vet. These are easily curable, but severely neglected cases can lead to death.
You can use a flea comb to remove infestations deep in your cat’s or dog’s coats. There are also over-the-counter oral and topical medicines that you can safely give to your pet. Your vet might also administer injections for internal parasites such as tapeworms and hookworms.
Important note: You can have your pet at your wedding without them being there. Some ideas include having illustrations of them on your wedding invitations, table numbers, and so on. You can also include their favorite treats along with “takeaway doggy-bags” for guests to take home, or have a signature drink inspired by them available at the bar.
Serve Nutritious Meals
Having healthy pets on your wedding day includes making sure that they eat properly. Whatever you put in your pet’s body, be it food, treats, or vitamins is going to significantly impact their health. It’s essential to take a second to give careful consideration to what you’re feeding your pet.
Here are some pointers on giving your pet a healthy, well-balanced diet:
- Consult a professional on the appropriate nutritional needs based on their size, age, breed, condition, health history, etc.
- Feed your pet the right calorie amount to maintain their weight.
- Restrict table food to a minimum as they contain an unhealthy amount of fats and calories. You can serve them a nutritious, vet-approved dry food mixed with raw meat and fish.
- Limit store-bought treats and give them bite-size fruits and vegetables instead.
Get Them to Exercise
In the US alone, 54% of dogs are obese, accounting for 35 million dogs nationwide. This continues to be the top health risk, not only with dogs but with other pets as well. It raises their chances of developing cancer, heart disease, a lung infection, and a slew of other life-threatening illnesses.
A good exercise program and balanced diet can do so much to keep your pet out of harm’s way. These can help keep them active and at a healthy weight.
Be sure to find an activity best suited for your pet. A solid 30-minute walk with your dog can do wonders for keeping them active. Although cats are usually active and nimble, interactive toys, climbing towers, dens, and other indoor components can mentally stimulate them and get them on their feet if they’re particularly sedentary.
Take care of any behavioral issues.
Besides physical ailments, your pet might experience sudden behavioral changes and may react to situations differently. This is especially important if your pet is exhibiting aggressive and destructive habits. Behavior problems are the top reason for relinquishment. Unfortunately, a study shows that this might be due to owners’ lack of understanding and inability to recognize behaviors as actual problems.
There are tons of resources online that can help you deal with your baby’s tantrums, extreme fear, separation anxiety, and others. This includes training and routine exercises that can help them calm down. When it’s beyond your capabilities, consult with an animal behaviorist or ethologist for professional advice.
Raise Them in a Safe and Clean Environment
Ultimately, your pet’s health quality will reflect how and where they’re raised. If they’re not given the proper care that they need, along with a conducive environment, a slew of issues are bound to arise. It’s important to remember that being a pet owner is a huge responsibility. It’s imperative that you commit to this role.
Here are some things you can do to maintain a healthy space and lifestyle for your pet:
- Designate them a clean, dry, and disturbance-free area with enough space to move around.
- Ensure the space is at an optimal temperature.
- Provide them with bedding, towels, toys, and other things that can help them get comfortable.
- Keep them clean and cozy with regular grooming sessions. You can also use bath time as a way to check for lesions, cuts, rashes, and other skin issues.
- Let them play and socialize with fellow pets and other people to build confidence, get accustomed to new senses, and minimize fear, anxiety, and aggression.
It takes a lot of time, resources, and patience to manage furry friends at home. They’re a great addition to the family and hold a special place in family photos and in everyone’s hearts. And their unconditional love, unfading companionship, and unparalleled devotion deserve nothing less than the best of what you can give in return. Check out this fur-parenting guide to ensure your amazing pup remains happy and in great shape.
Jeff Paige is a writer and community relations officer for Windsor Fine Jewelers with a passion for jewelry and style. He is skilled in building and maintaining relationships with customers and the community, and is an avid collector of fine jewelry. His work has been featured in multiple publications, and he is an expert on various topics related to jewelry and fashion.