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December 30, 2009 at 3:49 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Keeping Your Pet Healthy and Happy

By Smarty More Blogs by This Author

Having a pet is a big responsibility. Your pet depends on you to keep him safe, find the right veterinarian and provide a loving environment. If you feel overwhelmed, here are some areas you can start with to keep your pet healthy and happy.

Creating a Safe Environment in Your Home

Pet-proofing your home can prevent pet accidents. Does your pet chew on power chords? Keep harmful objects out of his reach. You may not realize that a small taste of antifreeze can kill your pet. Always be aware of poisons that can kill your pet, like those found in pesticides, medications and certain house plants. Plants you should keep out of your house:

  • Philodendron
  • Mistletoe
  • Hyacinth
  • Dieffenbachia

See the Vet Regularly

Like humans, pets need regular physicals. This can help prevent a problem before it starts. Don't wait till something is wrong or you go on vacation to take your pet to the vet. And make sure your pet gets routine vaccinations annually, and regular checkups.

Finding the Right Diet

Obesity in pets is a growing problem. It is important to make sure your pet gets the right amount of food and exercise to stay healthy. The quality of the food is also important. And don't feed your dog human food!

Developing a Relationship with Your Pet

Developing a relationship with your pet is rewarding for both of you. If you have a dog, proper training will allow you to take your dog more places and make more friends, both human and animal. Training will also establish you as the top dog. You probably won't take your cat on a walk, but playing together is a healthy way to bond. Animals need attention and want to be around you. Happy animals tend to behave better, and animals who behave are treated better by humans, which creates a healthy cycle. If you notice a behavioral problem in your pet, don't ignore it. You and your pet will both be happier if you take steps to correct the problem behavior.

Brushing Your Pet

Brushing your pet regularly will get rid of tangles and excess hair. When you brush your pet, the strokes should be gentle, yet firm. Your pet should enjoy getting brushed, and it is a good bonding experience with your animal.

Bathing Your Pet

When your pet gets dirty, you should brush then bathe your pet. Always use specialized pet shampoos and not human shampoos on your pets. Sometimes pet bathing takes two people, especially for pets who don't like to be bathed, like cats.

Nail Trimming

Dogs and cats need to have their nails trimmed regularly. Nails that remain untrimmed can break, bleed and become very painful for your pet. Cutting your pet's nails only removes the excess, just like when you cut your own nails. Important tips for cutting pet nails:

  • Make sure you have the right size clippers for your pet
  • It is best to trim a small amount off the nail on a regular basis
  • Use training to make your pet more comfortable. Start with holding your pet's paw. When your pet is comfortable with that, cut one nail and move slowly on from there

Sources:

http://www.peteducation.com/category_summary.cfm?cat=1383

http://www.healthypet.com/library_view.aspx?ID=63&sid=2

Photo Credit: colorblindPICASO

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