By: | | Dogs, Cats

Cats, dogs, and other pets enrich our lives and complete our families. Their only flaw: they don’t live nearly long enough. In five simple ways, you can help your pets live longer and healthier for more woofs, meows, and bow-wows.

1. Feed a Better Diet

The cheapest dry food at the supermarket might save you few bucks at checkout, but it can contribute to health problems that will cost you a fortune at the vet’s office.The cheapest pet foods contain fillers like corn and wheat. Many cats and dogs are not able to digest grains efficiently, and may have a dry, coarse coat, loose stools, or excessive hairballs. Grain-free kibbles generally contain more protein sources. Research the best possible diet for your pet, and talk to your vet about transitioning. From frozen and dehydrated raw, to homemade meals, to freeze-dried treats, there’s hundreds more options available than ever before. High quality diets are typically more palatable for your pets, and result in a softer, shinier coat.

2. Support Dental Health

By two years of age, 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats have some form of periodontal disease.Your pets’ dental health affects their whole body. Untreated dental infections can lead to a weakened immune system, heart disease, even diabetes and cancer.Daily brushing is best for dogs and cats, but few pet owners can manage it. A water additive, dental treats or chews can help supplement regular brushing. Your vet may also offer dental examinations and cleanings to help keep your pet’s mouths clean and healthy.

3. Get Yearly Vet Checkups

During yearly vet visits, your vet will typically run a heartworm test, renew any prescriptions, and check your pet’s stool for intestinal parasites. During visits, you should ask your vet any questions about your pet’s habits, diet, exercise and other concerns.

4. Spay and Neuter

The best age to spay and neuter your pets is widely debated. Some argue that it may aversely affect growth during your pet’s first year, especially for large breed dogs that may need their hormones intact to grow properly.Once they’re adults, though, you should seriously consider having your pets fixed. Dogs have been studied to live an average of 7.9 years if left intact, and 9.4 years if spayed or neutered. Fixing your dog lowers their risk of infection. Additionally, pets that are fixed are less likely to roam in search of a mate, lowered their chances of getting struck by a car or killed by other outdoor dangers.

outdoor cat in a tree
Outdoor cats get lots of exercise, but they’re vulnerable to getting lost, stolen, or killed.

5. Exercise Your Pets

A diet with more protein is usually better for your pet, but may be higher in fat, and much tastier – resulting in unhealthy weight gain. Slimmer animals have long been shown to live longer.

Exercise your pets and strengthen your bonds with more walks for dogs and more interactive play for cats. It’s easy to throw a ball for your dog; it’s more difficult to convince a chronically lazy cat to feel the burn. Toys, cat towers, even a kitty exercise wheel can get your cat off the couch.

Helping Your Pets Live Longer in Maryland and DC

Ready Pet Go is your local professional pet care provider serving Silver Spring, Takoma Park, and DC. Dog walks and pet visits are our way of helping you provide the best possible care for your pets. Get in touch at 240-221-5335 or send us an email to get started.