Spring health check!
Are you doing these things to keep your pet healthy?
We hope all of our customers are taking good care during this time – and that includes the furry ones.
With everything that’s going on right now, it’s easy to lose track of Fido’s nail trimmings or flea medication. But just like with humans, maintaining your pet’s health is key to preventing serious illness down the road.
Before the seasons change, we recommend you check in with your pet’s health. Are you doing these things to keep your furry friend well?
Just like people, the foundation to a healthful life for your pet is diet and exercise. Weight gain in pets can increase the risk of arthritis and shorten life expectancy.
A nutritious and balanced diet is key for your fur friends. If you’re like us, you might be munching on a few more snacks during quarantine. Here’s your permission not to share your Doritos. A general rule is that if it’s not good for you, it’s not good for your pet. So, yes, you can share your fruits and veggies. But you should keep fatty foods to yourself.
You can read more about healthy diet here on our blog.
When it comes to exercise, the benefits are countless for both cats and dogs. Depending on breed, proper exercise can reduce risk of joint problems, digestive issues, diabetes and other diseases. Take your dog out for a walk or play fetch in the backyard. This can be good for you both!
Cats also need exercise. The trick here is to find a toy they like — lasers, stuffed mice or a cat scratching post.
Trimming your cat or dogs nails is an important part of keeping them well-groomed.
Cats typically require a claw trimming every few weeks. But it can be tricky! Some cats must be held gently, but firmly. And many owners prefer special cat claw trimmers. Make sure they’re kept sharp; dull blades can cause the nails to split or bleed. (If you need help, bring Fluffy in!)
For dogs, you’ll want to trim their nails every 1-2 months. A general rule is to trim them so they never touch the floor when your pet is standing. If the nails grow too long, they can easily catch, tear and become infected.
Anal Gland Expression
Has your dog been scooting his butt on your carpet? It might be a sign of impacted anal glands.
Usually the anal glands express themselves when your pet passes a stool. If they become impacted, they can rupture and bleed. So, they need to be manually expressed to release the fluid. Yeah, we know, it’s gross. Your vet can do this or a groomer. Some owners learn how to do it themselves. It’s usually a good idea to have your vet check it out, though, to check for an infection or chronic health issues.
Cats can have these issues, too. Some pets who suffer from food allergies or digestive issues experience this more often.
Bathing your dog and keeping its ears clean can help prevent infections. Typically, ear cleanings are part of regular groomings. Overcleaning can also be an issue that leads to irritation. The frequency of cleanings varies by animal. Did you know dogs with floppy ears need more cleanings? And young kittens and pups generally need more help keeping their ears clean.
Watch for stinky ears, yellow discharge or scabs when cleaning — these can be signs of morre serious health problems.
Does your pet have bad breath? According to Pet MD , more than 80 percent of dogs have some type of gum disease by age 3. Your pet’s dental health can impact their overall health and cause them a lot of pain.
So, how do you keep their pearly whites healthy? Start with regular brushing. Then provide dental chews and toys such as Nylabones that clean and strengthen their teeth. Schedule a professional cleaning, too, so we can get below the gumline.
Preventative care paired with regular check ups can often be the solution to keeping cats and dogs healthy. Medications can keep Fluffy free of health problems such as heartworms and tick-borne illness. Learn more about our recommendations for flea and tick medication here on the blog.