Pets are such a huge part of our lives and we always want to keep them as happy and healthy as possible. Here are just three ways you can contribute to your pet’s health and quality of life.
As fall approaches we think of cooler weather and shorter days. The days already are noticeably shorter and many of us are going to work or coming home in the dark. But don’t stop those walks with your furry friends. They need to get out as much as you do. But with the darker, shorter days, those walks may now be taking place when there is less light in the mornings and evenings. Take additional precautions by making sure that they have reflective gear just like you. You can now find reflective tags, collars, harnesses, leashes and vests for your pet online and in some pet stores. So don’t miss out on those enjoyable walks with your pet, the fresh air, exercise and relaxation in communing with nature – just take extra precautions.
Homemade Pet Food
There are many debates regarding homemade pet food vs. store bought pet food. With all the recalls and concerns over ingredients in commercial pet foods, more and more people are considering homemade pet food. The general consensus is that homemade is better, but there are some serious considerations.
Potential drawbacks to homemade pet food:
- Takes time to prepare those meals.
- Educate yourself on which foods are safe for your pet to eat (some foods like grapes, avocados and chocolate can be fatal).
- Find recipes and ingredients for homemade pet food and which recipes your pet will eat.
- Finally, it is very, very important that you feed a well balanced diet in order to keep him healthy. So you will also need to learn about what constitutes a balanced diet for your pet as this varies depending on the age, health and species of your pet.
To many though, the advantages outweigh the drawbacks, some examples:
- Never worrying that the food you’re feeding will turn out to be tainted by a bad ingredient, pesticide or harmful chemical.
- You know exactly what your pet is eating.
- He’ll likely have a longer life span.
- He will be less tasty to fleas and other bugs.
- He’ll have a shinier coat and fewer skin problems.
- He’ll have more energy.
- It will be easier to keep him at a healthy weight.
All in all, if you’d like to make homemade pet food and your pet is a healthy adult dog or cat, do your research (there is lots of information and recipes out there) and go for it. If you have a puppy or kitten or a pet with special diet or needs, please check with your veterinarian. If you have questions or concerns after doing your research, check with your veterinarian.
Outdoor Access and Enrichment
Finally, with the shorter days and cooler weather it is tempting for us to snuggle down and begin our annual hibernation rituals. Don’t keep your pet cooped up with you. By providing them easy access to the outdoors during the day even when you aren’t home and in the mornings and evenings when you may not feel like being outside with them, you give them an opportunity to work on their own physical and mental health. Being able to go outside and relieve themselves when the need arises it much healthier for animals than being forced to “hold it” all day until you can let them out. Additionally the “great outdoors” are great for a reason. There are so many sights and sounds and smells to stimulate your dog’s senses that it keeps them more active and mentally engaged. A win-win for everyone. If your pet doesn’t currently have easy access to your yard, check out the line of Hale Pet Door products and see if one would be right for you and your home.