Get Your Pet on the Path to Wellness in 2017

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A healthy dog is a happy dog

Just as in humans, health is the first step to happiness for your pets. Good pet health requires many of the same things for your pets as it does for you.

Your pet’s health is dependent on genetics and lifestyle. Lifestyle is under your control, and you can make the best of your pet’s genetic strengths and weaknesses by providing an optimal lifestyle for your particular pet.

Overall health encompasses physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.

Your Pet’s Health Depends on:

  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Absence of disease
  • Emotional Wellness
  • Mental health

Finding the Perfect Diet for Your Pet

A good diet is the wellspring for good health. If your dog has itchy skin, a change in diet can lessen or eliminate that condition. Some dogs don’t tolerate grains, while others seem to thrive on foods with grains. Quality is important, but it can take some time to find the right commercial, homemade or combination of foods that are best for your pet. A pet nutritionist or veterinarian can help you create the best diet for your particular pet.

Getting Appropriate Pet Exercise

Exercise is an essential building block of good health. It helps to keep your pet at a healthy, fit weight which in turn lessens the likelihood of excess weight induced lameness or disease. Whether your dog needs to run miles or your cat just needs 20 minutes of intense play depends on age, fitness level, temperament and ability.

Regular Professional Health Care Can Prevent Diseases in Your Pet

Whether you choose a traditional or holistic veterinarian, it’s important for your pet to have regular check-ups to catch any irregularities in your pet’s health early.

Ongoing pet healthcare can include massages, chiropractic, acupressure and energy balancing. Some veterinarians provide these modalities in their clinics, or you can use an independent practitioner.

Keep Your Pet’s Emotions Healthy by Eliminating Stress

Stress elimination can take many forms depending on your particular pets. Some pets need more exercise and play, while others need more quiet time. If your dog is stressed while going for walks because of dogs barking behind fences or loose dogs in your neighborhood, your pet may get more out of ‘nosework’ –sniffing out treats that you’ve hidden in your home or yard, or learning tricks through positive reinforcement in the safe environment of your home or yard.

Proper socialization of puppies can help dogs to understand dog language and not become reactive around strange dogs and people. However it’s very important to introduce your pup to balanced dogs and humans, so that they aren’t frightened by aggressive or reactive dogs – which can create an aggressive fear response in your pup. If you’re not sure how to socialize your pup, find a positive reinforcement trainer who may have puppy classes to give your pup a good start at becoming a balanced, emotionally healthy dog.

Dogs and Cats Need Mental Stimulation to Keep from Becoming Bored and Destructive

Cats and dogs are hunters by nature. They naturally like to rip and chew particularly when they are young and teething, so giving them appropriate, safe toys and objects to gnaw and shred can save your furniture and provide the chewing stimulation they need.

If your pets are ‘thinkers’ you’ll want to provide puzzles for them to solve. This can involve ‘nosework’ as described above, puzzle toys with treats as motivations, and treat dispensing toys which can keep them busy licking and thinking about how to get the treat hidden inside the puzzle.

Providing adequate mental stimulation will keep your pet emotionally and physically healthy.

Give Your Pets a Hale Pet Door for Their Health and Happiness

When your dogs can get outside regularly, they’ll stay healthy in all 3 areas of their lives because they’ll be getting all the physical, emotional and mental exercise that they need.

Check out our Hale Pet Door products

 

 

 

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Getting in Shape with Your Pets

Jack Russel Terrier lifting weights

Let your pet be your fitness coach

New Year’s Resolutions come and go, but this is a great time of year to resolve to let go of that extra baggage – for you AND your best friend.

It’s an unfortunate fact of life that Americans and their pets are too well fed, resulting in overweight and obesity. Carrying too much weight can cause health problems from diabetes to heart problems to bone and joint damage for people and their pets.

Try some of these ideas to burn calories and build strong muscles and bones. Always consider your and your pet’s health and conditioning before beginning any exercise regimen. If you’re not sure that you or your pet is healthy enough to workout, contact your physician or veterinarian.

Too Cold and Icy for a Run?

If you live where winter becomes an impediment to your outdoor exercise schedule and your gym doesn’t allow dogs, consider a brisk walk in the park instead of running along icy roads. When you walk in snow, you’ll be using more energy than on a smooth road, so your walk can turn into a calorie burner for you and your dog.

Turn Training into Indoor Fun and Exercise

Whether your dog needs to learn Stay and Come commands or could use some practice, you can turn training into a game while you both get some exercise.

If you have carpeted stairs you and your dog (or cat) can get some extra aerobic exercise. Just ask your dog to Stay while you race up the stairs (or down the hall, or across the yard) then call her to Come. Praise her lavishly while you reward her with a treat and repeat until you’re both breathing hard.

When your pet gets good at Stay, you can turn it into a game of Hide and Seek by using the Stay command or distracting him with a few treats while you hide then give the Come command or whistle to get him searching for you. If you have helpers at home, they can hold or distract your cat or dog while you hide then give the Find and your name command to teach another behavior.

If your pet is in better shape than you, a game of fetch can stretch out muscles and create those feel good endorphins that will make your pet happy and relaxed when the game is over.

Make Getting in Shape Fun

Just the thought of exercise can make you tired, but if you make working out a game for you and your pets, you’ll both enjoy getting in shape.

And don’t forget to get a Hale Pet Door to make sure that your pets are healthy and happy in 2014!