According to a Harris poll 95% of Americans consider their pets members of their family. We’ll do almost anything to keep our family members happy, right? Well, making sure your furry best pal is cheerful and contented is fairly simple with a little bit of effort and love. Here are some easy ways to keep those tails wagging and meows meowing.
1. Proper nutrition
Growing up, my family dogs were given “scraps” and, on one occasion, a whole filet mignon (Happy Birthday, Dusty). While my mother felt comfort food was a way to show our pets that they were loved, it probably didn’t do any favors for their health and, by extension, mental well-being.
Feeding a pet the type of food that’s appropriate for their size and breed helps him maintain a healthy weight, which is one of the best ways to keep him happy, prevent obesity-related illnesses and keep him alive longer. Although most pets can usually meet their nutritional needs if they’re kept on a balanced diet of nutritional, healthy pet food, some pets need supplements for underlying and breed-related health issues.
It’s also VERY important to keep your pet hydrated, even in the Fall and Winter months. Dehydration is common, especially when you have more than one pet so always keep an eye on the water bowl!
As is the case with their two-legged owners, regular exercise is an important part of keeping your pet healthy and happy. Walks, runs and active play aren’t just a good way to keep your pet physically fit but also provide much-needed mental stimulation. Balls, toys and “treat hiders” can keep most dogs and cats entertained for hours. And what dog doesn’t love a walk with their beloved owner? Changing up your exercise routine to expose your pet to new scenery and smells is a good idea, especially if you’ve both been cooped up inside.
3. Regular checkups and preventative meds
An annual trip to the veterinarian for a wellness check is the best way to stay ahead of a number of common diseases and health issues. Regular health screens for your pet lead to early detection which can save a pet’s life. And don’t forget dental health! Removal of plaque and extraction of infected teeth is an often-overlooked and vital part of being a good pet owner. While dog bones help, they are not a substitute for a doctor’s visit.
Preventative medications (talk to your veterinarian for guidance) can keep your pet free from potentially fatal issues, like heartworm and tick-borne illnesses. And regular flea treatment is important for all active four-legged friends as a flea-free pet is a happy pet. If you don’t have a regular veterinarian that you trust, go here to find a vet near you to reach out to for consultation.
A very effective alternative to traditional prescription drugs for pets is CBD. Purelix Wellness offers several types of products created specifically for pets. Our tinctures are created with an organic, THC-free blend of CBD and extra-virgin olive oil and can be administered either directly under your pet’s tongue for extra-fast sub-lingual delivery to the system or drizzled on food to be ingested orally.
Although clean, good smelling pets are usually easier to be around for their humans, cleanliness is also important to the mental well being of your pet. Keeping her nails trimmed, brushing her coat at least once a week and giving her regular baths are a bonding exercise for you both and are a way to keep her comfortable. Long toenails on pets impede natural gaits and dirty coats often lead to skin disorders. Set a grooming schedule that is appropriate for her breed, coat and average time outside and stick to it. Too much for you to handle? Do what I do and find a professional groomer to do the dirty work, just make sure you do your research before choosing a professional.
Some pet owners choose to enhance their pet’s comfort by using CBD topicals on their skin and coat.Purelix unscented salves and creams can be applied directly onto the effected area and have been found to ease the discomfort caused by allergies, “hot spots” and other dermatological issues.
My cousin used to have a shirt that said, “I Kiss My Dog on the Mouth”. Now, not everyone has to share the levels of obsession me and my family members have for our pets but affection is a very important part of establishing a bond with animals, especially dogs. Hugs, petting, ear scratches, belly rubs and, yes, even kissing your pet (on the head, if you must!) are great ways to show your pet that you love him. And strengthening the emotional connection you have with your pet also promotes their positive interactions with other animals and humans.
According to the American Animal Hospital Association, “Early socialization [in dogs] and appropriate exposure to various people and situations at a young age decreases the odds of antisocial or fearfully aggressive behaviors as an adult.” Like their human counterparts, a pet’s formative years — from a few weeks old to about 16-18 weeks — is the most vital period for socialization.
Good old fashioned trips to the dog park make four-legged members of society happy members of society. There are websites if you’re unsure what parks or beaches are pet friendly! These outdoor venues are wonderful for socialization but taking your pet on visits with friends and family is also a great way to get them seeing and meeting other pets and people.
If your schedule makes impromptu outings impossible, consider taking your pooch to doggie day care or make play dates with other pet owners. We do both for our human babies….why not the same for our beloved pets?
Most of us feel more comfortable with some sort of schedule and prefer knowing what’s going to happen in our day. Science tells us that pets tend to like a plan as well. Veterinary Behaviorist Dr. Wailani Sung says, “Keep in mind that in nature, canines have periods of rest but also periods of activities. If the owners provide more structure to their dogs’ days, that can be really helpful for dogs to know what is coming next. Almost all animals follow a schedule during the day and night; it is what we encounter along the way as we move through our day that keeps it different.”
8. Spay / Neuter
Getting your pet “fixed” has numerous benefits for your pet, both physical and emotional.
- Spaying female pets helps prevent uterine infections and breast tumors which are malignant or cancerous in about 50% of dogs and 90% of cats.
- Neutering male pets prevents testicular cancer and some prostate problems.
- Spayed females won’t go into heat so won’t yowl, howl or urinate because of breeding cycles.
- Neutered males aren’t instinctively encouraged to roam far from the house in search of mates and are calmer and safer as a result.
- Male pets who are neutered generally are less aggressive and territorial.
- As an added bonus for YOU, spaying or neutering is far less expensive than caring for a litter of puppies or kittens!
9. Pet safety
There are several important ways to keep your pet safe both inside and outside your home. Always use collars with ID tags if your pet goes outside at all or travels and, for that extra layer of safety, consider microchipping your pet. Inside, be sure your home is free of safety hazards and keep poisonous toxins out of reach. And remember that some things that are favorites of humans aren’t good for animals. Chocolate, caffeine, gum and alcohol are all examples of these dangers!
10. Special treats
Animal trainers have used treats as a training tool for ages but regular pet owners know that special food treats are a great way to say “good boy” or “good girl” to your best friend. Most veterinarians suggest treats should make up no more than 10% of your pet’s daily calories so healthy options are key.
A great alternative for pet owners who want to offer the benefits of CBD in a treat we recommend a CBD chew. Our Purelix Dog Chews contain phytocannabinoid-rich ingredients, are water-soluble, THC-free and offer a popular natural bacon flavor. These tasty treats taste good AND provide the same broad-spectrum, high-quality CBD contained in our other products.
Let your pet know every day how important he or she is to you. Animals have great instincts and can pick up on their humans’ feelings…a happy, affectionate, grateful owner usually results in a happy, healthy pet.