If there’s anything Canadians love more than anything, it’s their pets.
Did you know that September was Responsible Pet Ownership Month, or that October is National Pet Wellness Month? (Yes, they’re actually a thing.)
With so many different awareness dates for our furry family members, it can be easy to lose track. But really, shouldn’t we be thinking about the wellness of our pets every day? After all, they are well and truly a part of the family.
So, let’s do a quick check-in. Here are five things to consider when thinking about the wellness of your dog or cat.
How often do they get exercise?
We all get busy, and it can be easy to fall into the habit of giving our pets the bare minimum (just bathroom breaks). But making sure they get enough exercise is about more than just keeping them from peeing on the carpet: it promotes joint and muscle health, it burns calories to support a healthy weight, and it helps keep them calmer throughout the day by tiring them out.
If you decide your pet needs more exercise, it’s easy enough to address. Most indoor cats can get enough exercise if you play with them throughout the day, so perhaps invest in a couple of new toys to toss around. Just be sure to rotate their toys to help keep them engaged.
Most dogs need at least 30 minutes of exercise and at least one daily walk. Or better yet, take them to one of Montreal’s many dog parks.
Are they getting enough water?
Lots of pets suffer from dehydration, with symptoms including loss of appetite, panting, dry, sticky gums, and thick saliva. The consequences can get quite severe if not properly addressed, and if a pet’s body gets to the point where normal fluid intake fails to make up for water loss, the situation can be life-threatening.
Water is necessary to maintain blood volume for delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the body’s organs. Dehydration also results in a loss of electrolytes, such as sodium, chloride, and potassium. Cats can be particularly prone to not drinking enough water, which can lead to conditions like Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) and struvite crystal formation.
There are a few things you can do to ensure your pet is getting enough water. Put out extra bowls around the house and travel with a collapsible bowl when you’re on the go. You can also incorporate wet food into their diet. Wet food recipes, such as Petcurean’s NOW FRESH recipes for cats and dogs, contains up to 82% moisture, compared to kibble which contains 8 to 12%, which makes it a great way to help your pet get enough water.
If you’d like to get a free sample carton to try, click here to download your coupon and claim today.
Are they enjoying their food?
Sometimes pets get bored with their food. It might seem like they aren’t hungry, but just like humans, our pet’s dietary preferences can change over time. Combination feeding can be a great solution, which means incorporating wet food with their dry food. But make sure you look at the daily feeding guidelines on their bag of kibble and adjust the amount of food you give to offset the additional calories that you are adding with the wet food.
It’s also important to consider the type and size of pet that you have when choosing what to feed them. Cats and small breed dogs especially have well-earned reputations for being picky eaters. Look for wet food recipes such as Petcurean’s NOW FRESH minced, pate, and stew recipes for cats or NOW FRESH shredded and pate recipes for small breed dogs.
The unique textures are enticing and include bone broth for a meaty flavour both cats and dogs love.
How is their oral health?
Your pet’s teeth should be free of plaque and tartar, and they should not be jagged or broken. Their tongue should be moist, free of lumps, raised spots and cuts, and their gums should be free of gingivitis. If something looks off in there, take your pet to the vet.
Your pet’s diet can also help when it comes to maintaining oral health. Small breed dogs, in particular, can be notorious for “doggy breath.” Look for kibble that is specifically formulated to promote oral health, such as Petcurean’s NOW FRESH Small Breed. The small clover-shaped kibble contains sodium tripolyphosphate, parsley, and peppermint to support oral health and fresh breath.
The act of chewing kibble also helps to keep their teeth clean as they crunch down on it, which is another reason why feeding a diet that includes both wet and dry recipes is a great idea. They both have unique benefits that complement one another.
When was their last checkup at the vet?
Your pet should be checked out by your vet at least once per year. If it’s been longer than a year, make an appointment as soon as you can.
Need help finding a great vet? Ask friends whose dogs are involved in dog sports (like agility or flyball) which vet they use. Folks with very active dogs tend to have vets they trust and love. You can also ask your local animal rescue groups — they also tend to have their fingers on the pulse of the best vets are in town.
As pet parents, we want the best for our beloved cats and dogs — just like we do for the rest of our family members. By taking just a few minutes to think about the wellness of your pet, and making adjustments as needed, you can make a big difference in their overall happiness and health!
Click here to get a coupon for a free carton of one of Petcurean’s NOW FRESH wet food recipes for cats and dogs.