Saturday, 20 February 2021

February 20 is National Love Your Pet Day: How to show your pet some love

Love is a four-legged word: Four ways you can show your pets the love they deserve 

February 20 is National Love Your Pet Day: How to show your pet some love

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Love is a four-legged word! When I discovered February 20th is National Love Your Pet Day my first thought was "I don't need a day to remind me to love Hazel!" I show Hazel love every day! But it made me think about how I show Hazel love. The first thing that came to mind is the unlimited snuggles I give her. Affection is the obvious way we show love, however, there is a better way we show unconditional love for our fur-family. 


Taking steps to ensure our pets are set up for success when it comes to their health improves their quality of life. Providing good quality of life is essentially displaying love. I can't imagine a pet owner that doesn't want their pet to live longer. So if showing love- a four-legged word- is ensuring a healthy life, then what can we do as pet owners? I have devised a four-legged approach to ensuring your pet's health and wellness.


Preventative medicine

Love is about much more than cuddles and spoiling your pet with toys and treats. Preventative disease screening can help you find health concerns before they progress. Early disease detection bloodwork should be done at a minimum once a year until pets are in their senior years. Once a pet is over six, bloodwork should be done at least twice a year. Bloodwork can reveal things that can't be seen by the naked eye. Preventative medicine encompasses a lot of things. Parasite prevention to prevent fleas and ticks is important- especially because ticks can transmit diseases and fleas can cause other uncomfortable health concerns like anemia and flea allergy dermatitis. Preventative medicine includes pain medication for arthritic pets. It also means managing your pet's allergies. It's easier and more cost-effective to prevent disease and illness than to treat disease and illness. 


February 20 is National Love Your Pet Day: How to show your pet some love

Mental stimulation

Pets love to play. Play is a great way to show your love, and it provides mental stimulation which is important to a pet's mental health. Feed your pet one meal a day using a treat-dispensing toy, or a puzzle toy. It forces pets to think and nurtures natural hunting and foraging instincts. Hazel has several treat-dispensing toys and she often brings one to me so I can fill it. Taking your dog hiking on a trail where they can track with their nose is a great way to stimulate the mind. Cats like to play with treat-dispensing toys too, but they really benefit from environmental enrichment. Multi-tier scratching posts to climb is a great option for your feline family members. Cats like to climb and jump. They also like to have safe places they can go away from their people. 


Annual veterinary visits

Hazel loves visiting her doctor! It's so important to make sure your veterinarian does a comprehensive physical exam a minimum of once a year. Senior pets should visit their veterinarian a minimum of twice a year since pets age much faster than humans. Veterinary visits have benefits above and beyond getting vaccines and an exam. Annual visits provide pet owners an opportunity to ask their doctor about proper nutrition, parasite prevention, early disease detection, and ask about potential risks that may have been introduced to the pet's lifestyle. They will take your pet's weight, temperature, and listen to your pet's heart. You can receive advice or treatment for behavioral or anxiety-related issues. I can't stress enough the importance of the annual visit. 


February 20 is National Love Your Pet Day: How to show your pet some love

Balanced nutrition 

"Let thy food be thy medicine," is a quote often ascribed to Hippocrates. It's so true, diet and nutrition have a great impact on overall health and wellness. We all have different ways we give and receive love. Hazel gives love by snuggling and receives love by eating. There is nothing Hazel loves more than food, so I make sure she eats a nutritious diet. I don't succumb to clever marketing ploys. I chose a diet that was formulated by veterinary nutritionists, has been subject to safety and nutritional diet trials and has the right nutrients for Hazel. She also thinks it tastes great! I feed Royal Canin Weight Control to keep her at a healthy weight, which is really important because of her disability. Obesity causes chronic pain and inflammation. It can lead to other diseases like diabetes and lower urinary tract disease. Your pet will live a happier life if they are a healthy weight. 

Each day we spend with our pets we fall in love with them all over again. It's impossible not to. What do you do to show your pets love? Let me know in the comments!


February 20 is National Love Your Pet Day: How to show your pet some love



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