October is National Pet Wellness Month, which aims to raise awareness about how pets age and how that can change what they need for their health and wellbeing. Your pet is part of your family, so you’ll already be doing everything you can to keep them happy and healthy, from brushing their teeth, getting their vaccinations, and keeping them well-groomed.
We know you’ll be looking after your pet’s wellness every day, not just during Pet Wellness Month. But what better time for a refresher to make sure you’re looking after your pet’s wellness and maybe learn a few extra tips and tricks.
One of the most important ways to keep your pet at optimum health is to take them for regular check-ups with their vet. You should aim to take your pet to the vet at least once or twice a year for an examination – maybe more as they get older or if they have special health requirements.
Taking your pet for regular check-ups will mean the vet can pick up on any signs of illness or disease and treat it before it becomes too severe. They will also be able to advise you on what your pet needs as they get older, like how much exercise they need and if they require any extra supplements or vitamins to keep them at peak health.
Diet and Exercise
Pets can easily become overweight if they are eating too much and not getting enough exercise. So, it’s important to monitor their weight and ensure they’re eating the right food. Being overweight can cause significant stress to your pet’s body, which can develop into more severe illnesses like diabetes, high blood pressure, and liver disease. It can also put more pressure on your pet’s joints, which can cause problems with movement.
You should keep your pet on a healthy diet and make sure they are getting enough regular exercise. If you’re worried about your pet’s weight, you should speak to your vet to see what they advise.
Dental care is just as important for your pet as it is for you. Cats and dogs will need to have their teeth regularly cleaned. If you don’t brush your pet’s teeth, plaque can build up which can cause gum inflammation. This can then develop into gum disease which can result in your pet’s teeth coming loose and causing them pain.
Some pets, like rabbits and hamsters, will require special foods and chews to help them wear down their teeth. If their teeth are left to overgrow, they can painfully dig into your pet’s mouth and even cause infection and disease.
Dogs, cats, and rabbits will all need regular brushing. How often will depend on the length of their coat. Pets with very long fur will likely need daily brushing to make sure they don’t get matted, and pets with short hair will need brushing at least once a week. Most pets’ claws will keep worn down naturally, but you should keep an eye on them and clip them if they get too long.
Most pets won’t need to be bathed regularly, as they can manage this type of cleaning themselves. However, if they are particularly dirty, dogs can be bathed with a pet-safe shampoo. Cat and rabbits won’t need bathing regularly, but you might need to wash them if they have rolled in something that might harm them. You shouldn’t ever put rabbits in a bath of water, as this can cause them to go into shock – instead, just use a damp cloth to clean them.
Monitor Their Behaviour
Whilst your pet can’t speak to tell you if they’re unwell, they will usually be able to communicate with you through their body language and behaviour. You should keep an eye on your pet and recognise when they are acting abnormally. By noting your pet’s behaviour when they are healthy, you can better recognise behaviour that might be a suggestion that they are unwell.
Excessive scratching could mean that your pet is uncomfortable and needs some extra care. If they’re shaking their head more than usual, they could have an issue with their ears that might need the vet to treat. If your dog is heavily panting and drooling, it could be a sign that something is seriously wrong, and you’ll need to contact the vet.
Spend Quality Time with Them
You should aim to spend plenty of time with your pet. This can be good for their physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing. Dogs especially are social creatures and will want to spend time with you!
Pets that don’t get enough mental stimulation will likely resort to bad behaviour due to being bored. You can find games to play with your pet, which can also help them to get some more exercise. However, just sitting with them can be a great way of bonding too.
You might be worried about your pet’s wellness if you leave them in kennels when you go abroad. Instead, you might prefer to take your pet on holiday with you, so they can really spend some quality time with you. PBS Pet Travel is an expert in pet flights and we can help you navigate the rules and regulations involved with taking your pet overseas. We’ll make sure that your pet’s journey is designed to keep them happy and healthy for the duration. Contact us to speak to one of our expert advisers about your pet travel needs today.