In our society, the concept of a healthy life is becoming more entrenched: we care about what we eat, we do sports, we take care of our image, we like to feel healthy, etc.
In the case of our animals, it seems that this vision is also gradually spreading, but there are still many people who are not aware (often due to lack of knowledge or bad information) of the importance of food, exercise, hygiene and health maintenance as basic pillars so that our dogs and cats enjoy a long, healthy and quality life.
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Food, a reflection of our state of health
Dogs and cats are carnivorous animals by nature, everything in them is designed for the consumption of meat: their teeth, their digestive system, their physiognomy of hunting animals (especially cats), etc. For this reason, their diet should be based on a sufficient source of quality animal protein, and for this, we have to know how to compare and choose among all the feed offered by the market.
In general, we can ensure that the vast majority, if not all, of the nutritional products sold in supermarkets, are good enough for our dogs to be well fed. They are mostly made up of cereals, animal by-products and fats, instead of quality animal protein, so it makes them think that far from nourishing the animals, they eventually produce diseases such as obesity, kidney failure, allergies, etc. We must always read the labelling, to know the composition of the food of our animals and ensure that the product we offer them is of acceptable quality.
Dogs need walks appropriate to their age, breed, health status and activity level. Many times due to lack of time we do not give them the possibility to enjoy the ride all they need and especially in young and/or active animals this deficit of exercise and stimuli results in both physical problems (tendency to gain weight) and behavior. For dogs, the relationship with the environment is basic, and denying them interact with other individuals of their species can lead to problems when it comes to relating, fear, insecurity, aggressiveness, and certain behaviors related to poor socialization.
Many times, it is not a matter of counting the minutes we spend going out with our dog, but to ask ourselves if during that time, be it 15 minutes or an hour, our dog is enjoying. A walk with a short leash, with pulls, in which our dog does not interact, is not allowed to sniff, and only serves to do his needs and as soon as that happens, go back home, it cannot be considered a positive activity for the dog.
Ideally, several walks a day, in which you go with a long leash (minimum two meters), avoiding jerks, being able to sniff everything you want (to reduce stress or anxiety, and incidentally stimulate your mind), with moments of I play with other dogs that allow him to learn signs, run, strengthen his musculature and burn energy so as not to create a tendency to obesity, even if we had a field or fenced area nearby so he can enjoy loose, it would be even better.
Hygiene, a key health factor
Hygiene routines are paramount in the life of a healthy animal. Like us, we have certain automated actions in our daily routines, such as brushing our teeth, showering, cutting our nails, cleaning our ears … they also require certain similar care, such as:
Brush your hair with some frequency to remove dead hair and better breathe your skin.
Clean their ears with optic products to avoid dirt and possible infections.
In the case of dogs, wash them with some frequency with quality shampoos (cats wash, except in very exceptional cases) and cut the hair to dogs that require it for their scalp typology.
Cut your nails to avoid possible postural imbalances in the tread that may affect your joints.
Maintain your dental hygiene to avoid problems of tartar and periodontal disease.
The vet, our main ally to protect our partner
No one can assure us of the good health of our animals better than the veterinarian. Always keep up to date the deforming protocol (both internal and external) and vaccination, write down the weight at each visit to have a record to go to if we notice that it starts to take extra grams, take care of the joints, skin, ears, or paying attention to diseases associated with age in geriatric animals, are just some of how we will help our dog or cat to have a healthy body that allows him to live for many years at our side.
If we love our animals as another member of our family, as it should be, we should never downplay these key points in the health of our best friends, since the results are very beneficial for their quality of life and for being more years by our side.