At Kingston Animal Hospital, we believe that home care is just as important as veterinary care. Here are a few things that pet owners can do at home to help keep their furry and friends happy and healthy.

Feed a Proper Nutritious Diet

/pet-owner-walking-dogReceiving a nutritious, balanced diet can be a key component to sustaining pet health, happiness, and longevity. Often times, bargain priced pet food is full of “fillers,” non-nutritious and potentially hazardous to your pet. e can help you find the best diet for your dog, cat, or other small animal. We can also direct you to appropriate diets based on stage of life. And don’t forget to keep your pet at a healthy weight! Carrying extra pounds puts unnecessary stress on the heart, lungs, and joints.

Don't Forget Oral Hygiene

As with humans, dental hygiene and at home preventive oral care in pets is an integral part of maintaining wellbeing and health. Animal periodontal disease is one of the most common, yet most easily prevented, pet conditions we see today. Not only is it extremely painful for your pet, but the infection can also spread to other organs, causing additional complications, pain, and veterinary expenses. As simple prevention that you can do at home, we recommend brushing your pet’s teeth once per day.

Give Your Pet Plenty of Exercise

Just like us, pet’s need exercise to maintain optimal health. Regular exercise such as walking, playing fetch, swimming, and chasing a toy will help keep your pet’s weight down, keeps joints well-oiled and muscles strong, and improves cardiovascular health. Adequate exercise also helps to keep undesirable behaviors in check. A tired pet is a happy pet!

Provide an Enriched Environment

Make sure your pet has access to stuff that pets like to do! Cats enjoy sitting by a window to watch the birds, climbing to higher places, and hunting for prey. Some things you can offer are bedded window sills, “catios,” kitty towers made with sisal for scratching, and toys that your cat can chase.

When talking about dogs, consider what the breed was designed to do. There’s a reason high-energy breeds like shelties and border collies excel in agility classes! Food dispensing toys like Kongs are great for those dogs who are too smart for their own good. As our own Dr. Mark likes to say, pets will thrive when they have a sense of purpose!