Healthy pets, happy lives!

By Hali Emmons

Being doting pet parents, we want to do everything we possibly can to keep our beloved furry companions with us as long as we can. Whether we raise puppies or adopt senior animals, we want to make sure that we, as their caretakers, can provide them with the best care, ingredients, and tools to help them thrive.

So, what are some things we can do to help them along?

First and foremost, a healthy diet. Depending on your animal’s taste, your ideals, your budget, whatever the case might be, the most important thing for your animal’s wellbeing is nutritional food at portion sizes for their weight class. The types of food and ingredients are numerous and could be featured in an article to themselves, but the main thing is that your animal enjoy its food and receives the correct amount to be strong and well throughout their lifetime.

Secondly, exercise is a huge part in retaining your animal’s fitness and activity. It keeps their muscles and joints working all through their phases of life. An under exercised animal will have obesity and mobility issues in their later years. Going on walks and playing with their toys is very beneficial for mental stimulation as well. A busy mind is a happy mind!

Another thing to keep up with is annual visits to the vet’s office. We know how much some animals hate going to the vet, but it’s important to get an annual wellness check for their health, just like we would with our own bodies.

Making sure that your pet is current on their rabies vaccination is not only Virginia state law, but it also provides a peace of mind in case of an occurrence with a rabid animal. Rabies is very prevalent in our area, and health department warnings should be monitored closely if you have your animals outdoors. There are more vaccinations that will help keep your animal safe from diseases such as distemper, feline leukemia, and parvo. All of these diseases are detrimental and often deadly to our furry loved ones. So, stay up to date on your pet’s vaccinations!

Lastly, sustaining your animal’s grooming is another vital chore to keep those pets happy. Bathing regularly is paramount to keeping bacteria and pests away. Brushing their teeth is a challenge, but making sure they can keep their teeth is going to help them keep eating their nutritional diets well into their elder years. Nails, hooves, claws, talons all must be kept trimmed and maintained; it is imperative to keep your animals mobile. Grown out nails can hinder walking and cause immense pain. Brushing your pet’s coat is important for keeping them from getting mats that may need to be shaved or cut out. Whether you can keep up with the grooming yourself or take them to someone to do it for you, animals will thank you for continuing their beauty routine!

With all these tips and more, it seems like it takes a lot to sustain our furry friends on track for a long life. However, caring your forever-adoring companion as long as you can is one of the best things in life you could them. They will love you unconditionally, but providing the absolute best support for them will reward you with a lifetime of happiness and joy!

Contact the Page County Animal Shelter at (540) 778-2101

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