Dogs need exercise to burn calories, stimulate their minds, and keep healthy. Exercise also tends to help dogs avoid boredom, which can lead to destructive behaviors. Supervised fun and games will satisfy many of your pet’s instinctual urges to dig, herd, chew, retrieve and chase.
Individual exercise needs vary based on breed or breed mix, sex, age and level of health—but a couple of walks around the block every day and ten minutes in the backyard probably won’t cut it. If your dog is a 6- to 18-month adolescent, or if they are an active breed or mixed-breed from the sporting, herding, hound or terrier groups, there requirements will be relatively high.
You can help keep your dog or cat clean and reduce shedding with frequent brushing. Check for fleas and ticks daily during warm weather. Most dogs don’t need to be bathed more than a few times a year. Before bathing, comb or cut out all mats from the coat. Carefully rinse all soap out of the coat, or the dirt will stick to soap residue.
Invest in Training
A lot of people don’t think about dog and cat training as a way to save money. However a well-trained dog will be easier to walk, will be calmer in most situations and will be less likely to get into things he or she shouldn’t. Teaching your dog to stay by your side and to come when he is called proves far cheaper than paying for expensive emergency care caused by his or her running off―possibly into the street―and eating items that they shouldn’t.
Go to the Vet!
A number-one money-saver is preventative veterinary care. Annual veterinary exams can catch health crises early on and can save you a lot of time and money. This includes heartworm preventative treatment, flea and tick control, and a thorough check-up of your pet’s gums, teeth, heart, lungs and internal organs. If it’s been a year or more since your pet has seen a vet, make that appointment today!
Give Your Pet Regular Check-Ups
Weekly home checkups are a great way to nip potential health problems in the bud.
- Check under your pet’s fur for lumps, bumps, flakes or scabs. Check your pet’s ears and eyes for signs of redness or discharge. Make note of any changes in her eating or drinking habits. If something seems off, call your us right away.
- Learn how to clean your pet’s ears, especially if your dog or cat is prone to ear infections.
- Brush your pet’s teeth regularly with a toothpaste formulated for pets, and check his or her gums. In some cases, this can help prevent the need for dental cleanings, which can be expensive.
Spay/Neuter Your Pets
Spaying and neutering your pet will have a dramatic impact on their health. For females, it dramatically reduces the potentiality for breast cancer, and ovarian and uterine cancer disappears. Neutering also reduces chances of testicular cancer in males. Not only will spaying or neutering save you on future health care, but it will significantly diminish your pet’s desire to wander―and will save you the surprise of an unplanned litter.
Routine care for geriatric pets should involve a consistent daily routine and periodic veterinary examinations to assess the presence or progress of chronic disease. Stressful situations and abrupt changes in daily routines should be avoided. If a drastic change must be made to an older pet’s routine, try to minimize stress and to realize the change in a gradual manner.
As a dog or cat ages, health issues may arise, including:
- deterioration of skin and coat
- loss of muscle mass
- more frequent intestinal problems
- dental problems
- decreased ability to fight off infection
Dogs and cats begin to show visible age-related changes at about seven to twelve years of age. There are metabolic, immunologic and body composition changes, too. Some of these are unavoidable. Others can be managed with diet.