Healthy Pet - Happy Pet!

Woman kissing puppy on her Knee

Healthy Pet, Happy Pet

Here are a few of our top tips for taking care of your best friend.

Do remember that lots more advice is available from specialist books, vets and online sources. But when searching online check the information you find is up to date and reliable.

Keeping Fit

Daily exercise is just as important for your furry friend as it is for you. Obesity can cause your pet all kinds of health issues and, ultimately, shorten their life. For dogs, daily walks are a must and games like ‘fetch’ or ‘tug of war’ are a fun way to keep you and your dog in shape. However, many vets suggest avoiding throwing sticks for your dog as they can splinter in the dog's mouth as well as cause choking.

When it comes to keeping fit, cats have the advantage of a higher metabolism but they do still need some physical activity to keep them in shape. No one likes a fat cat, so try a cat tree or scratching post or have a bit of fun with a small ball on a string. Playing games is also a great way to bond with your pet.

Healthy eating

A balanced and complete diet is vital to your pet’s health. They need fresh water, protein, fats, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins. When you feed your cat or dog HiLife, you can be certain they are getting great tasting, high quality and nutritious food.

A winning smile

Looking after your pets’ dental health can make cuddling more fun and save you time and money at the local vets.

For dogs, ideally you should brush their teeth every day or every other day. And giving them treats made from rawhide such as HiLife Special Care Daily Dental Chews will also help to clean their teeth.

You can also clean your cat’s teeth - although in order for your cat to let you, it's better to start early to get them into the habit. Making sure your cat has foods to crunch as well as wet food is a great way to keep their teeth healthy. This is where biscuits such as HiLife Crunchy Kibbles can help. But remember to carefully monitor their total food intake so your cat remains trim and active.

If you do notice a lot of tartar on your pets’ teeth or their mouths start to emit a nasty pong, it's wise to make an appointment at the vets for a clean and scale to prevent more costly conditions developing.

Vaccinations

To prevent your pet from picking up diseases keep up to date with their vaccinations.  

Puppies and kittens need regular vaccinations from an early age. Puppies are usually vaccinated at eight and 10 weeks and kittens at nine and 12 weeks, with an initial course of two injections. Your pet should then be given a booster 12 months after their first vaccination.

Microchipping

Microchipping your pet is their best chance of being identified and returned to you if they wander off or are stolen. We've seen the benefits of this ourselves when one of the HiLife teams cats (Gizmo) disappeared. Gizmo had travelled 10 miles away but was returned safely to Emily 2 weeks later, after someone took him to the vet to see if he had a microchip. For us, microchipping was well worth every penny.

The process itself is quite easy. The vet inserts a tiny microchip under your pet's skin, which holds a unique code. When the microchip is scanned, the code can be matched to the owner’s contact details kept on a database, such as the national PetLog database. But be sure to keep your details up to date if you move house.

Show them love

Cats and dogs enrich our lives in many ways and showing them love is great for you and them. As pet owners we all know the joy of hearing a cat purring or seeing a dog wagging its tail.  If you are feeling in need of a lift, give your dog or cat a stroke and see what a difference it makes to them and you.

Pets can have such a positive effect on our lives. Which is why HiLife has been supporting the work of Pets as Therapy for numerous years, a charity which promotes the health benefits of interaction between pets and humans. For more information on Pets as Therapy, please see our links.

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