When it comes to the wellness of our pets, there is almost nothing we won’t do to keep them purring or their tales wagging. As our knowledge and understanding of pet wellness has grown, so has the industry. According to Animal Medicines Australia more than 62% of Australian households have at least one pet, and we spend a staggering $12.2 billion on pet care products and services a year. One of the big reasons for this high spend is that we’ve realised pet wellness needs to be an ongoing process and not just an annual check-up. We now look at pet wellness in a more holistic sense, factoring in their diets, exercise as well as medical care. Below we have collected some pet wellness tips to help you take care of your best mates.
GET THE CHECK-UP
The frequency of your vet visits may vary greatly depending on the type, breed, age and general health of your pet, but as a general rule it is recommended that you take your pet to a vet or wellness centre at least once a year. A general check-up can help diagnose potential problems or health issues early before they require invasive solutions. Often a simple change in your pet’s lifestyle or diet can make a world of difference. Regular check-ups also help build better relationships with your veterinarian and this can be invaluable to a pet owner.
FOCUS ON NUTRITION
They say you are what you eat and this is true for our pets as well. As a result, there is a strong trend towards the humanisation of pet food. This refers to the understanding that just like us, what we put into our pet’s bodies effects their greater wellbeing. There is more attention and scrutiny than ever being paid to the source, ingredients and manufacturing of pet foods. This is evident in the many great homemade organic pet treats you can find online. More and more we are seeing human trends like the reduction of carbohydrates becoming major concerns in the pet food industry. Another recent trend in pet nutrition is the need for different foods at different life stages. We know that the nutritional needs of a puppy or kitten are very different to those of an adult dog, or even an older pet. These pet foods are fortified or supplemented to provide the right nutritional balance for the right life stage.
SPAY OR NEUTER YOUR PET
Stray animals are a major concern for animal lovers. Not only do these poor animals sometimes live horrible lives, but they are also tragically short. Rescue facilities have no choice but to euthanize animals that can’t be homed. This tragic situation can be improved if all Australians commit to having their pets spayed or neutered at a young age. Not only will this simple, and relatively painless procedure, help reduce the amount of unwanted litters and strays, but it also has many health benefits for your pet. The most striking way is that it prevents male cats and dogs from getting testicular cancer and greatly reduces the risk of breast cancer and urinary tract infections in females. Perhaps on a more selfish note, pets who have been spayed or neutered are far more attentive to their humans than those who are not.
BE SURE YOUR PET GETS ENOUGH EXERCISE
Just like people regular exercise is essential for your pet’s wellness and general good health. If you have an outside pet freedom of movement is a key consideration. While you can let your pet in and out or take them for walks allowing them to play when they want to is very important. That means installing a doggie door or leaving a window or door open. However, both these solutions have their drawbacks. Firstly, doggie doors or cat doors can be expensive to install and usually involve cutting a whole in the door, which can be a problem if you are renting or have to provide access through a patio door. Alternatively, leaving a window open can be a security risk. There are solutions for this though, such as LockLatch or PetLatch which let you leave your windows and doors open but locked. This means you can give your pet the freedom of movement they need without the high cost or security concerns.
MICROCHIP YOUR PET
A microchip serves many purposes, but it is best to think of it as the modern answer to the pet collar. While your pet should have a collar too for easy identification, these can fall off or get damaged. A microchip will always allow a vet or shelter to find out who a cat or dog belongs to and help get your lost pet back to you. In fact, statistics show that lost microchipped pets are 20 times more likely to be returned to their owners than non-microchipped pets. Microchips can also be used as proof of ownership in the unlikely event that a pet is stolen, or its ownership is disputed. As the technology improves we are seeing microchips being used in other ways such as high tech cat and dog doors that only let certain animals in, and even microchip enabled food dispensers.
GET PET INSURANCE
Pet Insurance is one of those things that you always think of when it’s too late. Like most types of insurance, what you are really paying for is peace of mind, you sincerely hope that you never need to use it. However, if something serious occurs and you have insurance it can be a life saver. As technologies and the range of possible treatments for pets increase so do the costs. In 2018 the Sydney Morning Herald found that Australians are spending $1,3 Billion annually on vet bills. With some bills amounting to as much as $30 000. Under these circumstances it is always better to be prepared.
BONUS TIP: GIVE THEM LOVE
Our last pet wellness tip doesn’t cost a thing, but it could be the most important of all. Most of all our pets deserve our attention. We know how busy you are and how much you have going on, but it is essential to make time for your pet. This can simply be playing with your kitten or taking your dog for a walk. The more you love your pet, the more love they will return to you and the more they will enrich your life.
We hope this article has helped you better understand pet wellness and how you can give your furry friend their best life. What Pet Wellness tips have we missed? If you have any suggestions for a future article why not email us and let us know.