Whether you are a long-time pet owner, or you are considering getting yourself an animal for the first time, there are things you will need to know to ensure that your furry friends stay happy and healthy. 

How to Help Your Pets Thrive
Image by llipkind from Pixabay

Supplies

Optional supplies can improve the quality of life you provide your pet, and can also provide fun for you while interacting with your animals. Toys are a great way to provide exercise and engage with your pets, and there are always a wide variety of options available at pet stores. Chew toys, bones or rawhides can help keep your dog’s teeth away from otherwise appealing objects such as shoes, electric cables, or furniture, and they’ll appreciate other simple toys such as balls and frisbees as well.

Exercise

Exercise is essential for everyone, including your furry friends. Dogs sometimes require a bit of work on your part to meet their daily exercise needs. Unlike cats, their requirements also vary significantly based on their breed. Breeds ranging from the beloved pug to the “nanny” Newfoundland are known for low energy, “couch potato” habits, and might only require about half an hour of exercise a day, which can be easily accomplished by tossing a ball around in the yard. However, if you live an active lifestyle and are willing to include Fido in your daily jog, these excitable breeds can be very rewarding. If you are not sure whether you are providing enough physical activity for your animals, try looking up breed-specific recommendations, or consult with your veterinarian. 

Nutrition

Another major component of your pet’s health is nutrition. Just like people, animals need a specific diet in order to stay healthy, and eating too much or too little of certain things can imbalance their nutrition and cause health problems. While it is certainly valid to simply buy a store-brand kibble at the grocery store, being aware of your pet’s nutrition needs and the content of their food can help you to make more informed decisions. 
Dogs, unlike their wild wolf cousins, are primarily omnivorous. This means that your pet dog should have plenty of fruits and vegetables included in their kibble or food. There are several food items that are harmless to humans, but dangerous to dogs and cats, so you should be wary about giving Rover anything off of your own plate. When looking for appropriate dog food, look for ingredients you recognize, with whole fruits or vegetables and meats high on the list. Most bags of dog food have a guide somewhere on the label to inform you how much to feed, but there are also online calculators for you to use that base recommendation on the animal’s weight. Just like cats, if you are unsure, or if your dog has special medical needs, consult with your vet.

Medical Care

There are also some common pet medical issues that you can usually treat at home. For example, fleas are a common parasite that are easily spread from pet to pet, and can even spread to you once your cat or dog is hosting them. Luckily, they can mostly be avoided by keeping your pet away from strays or other infected animals, and fleas are easily treated with medications available over the counter or online. Other minor issues such as weight issues can be resolved by making adjustments to the animal’s diet.  
All pets are a joy to have in your home, and most people love their pets almost as much as other people. If you love your pet and want to see them thrive, simply make sure that you care for all of their needs, starting with basics such as food and water, and then moving on to equally vital requirements such as exercise, medical care, and discipline. This will keep your pets safe and give them everything they need to be the best pet they can be.

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