As the new year begins, we all, naturally start to make new plans — discussing, planning, and preparing on how to take better care of ourselves, things to improve on, and mistakes to not repeat in the coming year. And it is only fair to extend the same concern to our little fur buddies.
Just like the human healthcare world, pet healthcare is also ever-evolving with veterinarians discovering new issues and respective solutions for them every other day. Most of the pet care recommended in this article is based on studies from the previous year tackling the given problem. For example, a rising issue amongst dog owners was behaviour-related concerns, and effective ways to counter such problems have been tried and tested by vets and brought to you so that you can start enforcing the same into your pets’ lives so that both can be happy and grow concurrently.
In the last decade, the concept of pets from being something to play with to someone who is a part of your family has grown tremendously. In most homes, all over the world, pets these days are treated as individuals, and in many cases, people consider their pets to be their children.
However, it is experts' belief that this emerging codependent relationship between pets and their owners is resulting in a significant disfavour to their pet companions. The disfavour roots in the absence of boundaries between the two, thereafter leading to destructive behaviours.
One simple and effective way to handle this is incorporating ‘positive reinforcement training’ into your pet’s schedule.
But what is ‘positive reinforcement training’?
This is when you actively ignore your pet’s bad behaviour but instead reward them when they’re being good. This will instil in them the idea that doing ‘good things’ gets them treats.
To offer this training, you can enrol your pets into pet daycare or sign them up with a personal pet trainer. Remember that positive reinforcement is not just rewarding good behaviour. It also comes with other aspects such as monitoring general well-being, gene regulation, nutrition, and personal condition.
The approach of positive reinforcement is by far, the most appropriate (and effective) method of training and improving your pet’s behaviour. It is backed by scientific evidence – so you can guarantee it is the most ethical pet care.
It is also linked with encouraging the following in both pets and their paw parents
Pets are a part of our family and it is only fair to extend the same care to them as we do to our other family members, and this includes paying special attention to their dietary requirements. Like humans, different pets have different needs, for example, most cats are lactose intolerant. Apart from this, there might be other ingredients that your pet’s body does not agree with.
The best way to understand this is through regulating their poops and noting if there are any changes and reporting the same to their veterinarian immediately.
It is also extremely important for paw parents to study the ingredients on the packs of their store-bought food, and avoid any which has any amount of artificial ingredients.
Keeping in lieu of pet health, many modern-day owners are now moving away from traditional canned food towards alternative food products, such as organic, freeze-dried, and home-cooked meals.
However, it is advisable that you consult your vet before making any such changes to your pet’s dietary schedule. They can even recommend food that would be helpful and different methods to facilitate the change, as some pets can be really picky about what they eat.
Ever since we were children, we were asked to brush our teeth twice a day, sometimes even thrice. However, dental care of pets is barely talked about when talking about pet healthcare. Studies show that cats are like to have dental issues within the first seven years of their lives, whereas dogs will experience dental problems within the first three years of their life.
As a pet parent, you should begin routine dental checkups for your pets from an early age, at least twice a year to avoid any complications in later life.
(If you haven’t yet, don’t worry, 2023 is a great year to start).
Loads of animals, especially cats, tend to take after their owner’s mental health conditions. This is not to say that they WILL face these issues, or they can absolutely NOT face them if their owners are mentally healthy.
It is always better to keep this in mind when taking care of your pets. Common mental illnesses in cats and dogs include anxiety and depression. A great way to maintain your pet’s mental health would be through positive reinforcement training, pet grooming, pet spas, and similar other healthy pet activities.