New To Pet Parenting? 5 Ways To Support Your Pet’s Health, Vet Shares

Unlike humans, pets don’t always show visible signs of ailments and people who are planning to adopt or become new pet parents are sure to be unaware of such tendencies. Here are some simple ways to take care of your pet' health and well-being.

New To Pet Parenting? 5 Ways To Support Your Pet’s Health, Vet Shares Effective Ways to Enhance Your Pet’s Well-being

Welcoming a new furry friend into your life is a beautiful moment, but it is also the starting point of your time as a pet parent. The multitude of responsibilities are known, but covering your bases as a parent is no easy task, especially when it comes to understanding what you must do to best support your pet’s health. Equipping yourself in advance with the right know-how, especially around preventative care can ease this seemingly ‘ruff’ journey. 

Dr Thomas Heathcote, Chief Veterinary Officer, Small Animal Hospital- Tata Trusts Initiative shares his top five essential practices for pet parents to support your pet's health and happiness. 

5 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Pet’s Well-being

From prioritising regular veterinary check-ups to understanding your pet's dietary needs – here’s your preliminary induction shared by Dr Thomas into pet parenthood.

1. Prioritising regular veterinary check-ups

Only one-third of dog parents (35%) and cat parents (32%) in India are adhering to advised quarterly check-ups – highlighting the necessity for pet parents to grasp the significance of routine veterinary consultations in ensuring the well-being of their beloved companions. Regular veterinary check-ups are more than just appointments – they are opportunities to ensure your pet's long-term health.

2. Ensuring the best diet plan tailored for your pet

Nutritious meals that enhance your pet’s immunity is half the battle won. A balanced diet is recommended to both satisfy their appetite and also support their overall development and immunity. Improper nutrition can lead to a spectrum of health issues, right from obesity and lethargy to more serious concerns – understanding your pet's dietary needs and providing them with a suitable diet including proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and an ample supply of fresh water is crucial. Additionally, incorporating healthy treats such as pumpkin puree and cooked oatmeal can also be a good way to target specific concerns such as improved digestion and coat health – ensuring optimal health and vitality.

3. Mind and body first: Daily playtime is non-negotiable!

A sedentary lifestyle poses numerous risks for pets, with obesity being the primary concern leading to issues like joint problems, diabetes, and heart disease. To counteract these risks, incorporating interactive play, walks, and exercises into their daily routine is crucial. Not only do these activities help pets burn calories and maintain a healthy weight, but they also stimulate their minds, keeping them engaged and happy. This is particularly important for pets in urban settings where space is limited, making monitoring their physical activity essential. Furthermore, exercise releases endorphins, natural stress-relieving hormones, which reduce anxiety and promote mental well-being – making daily playtime a non-negotiable aspect of your pet's daily routine.

4. Keeping a check on oral and skin conditions

Oral and skin health are often overlooked but common concerns that can impact your pet's well-being. Poor oral hygiene can lead to dental issues and even have systemic effects on vital organs such as the heart, liver, and kidneys, while skin conditions can cause incessant discomfort – with many conditions deteriorating over time. Brushing your pet’s teeth every day and timely dental examinations will promote good oral health and prevent potentially expensive surgeries down the road. However, it's crucial for new pet parents to avoid using human toothpaste, which may contain harmful ingredients like xylitol – even small amounts of which can cause hypoglycemia, seizures, liver failure, or even death in cats and dogs. 

5. Pawsitive companions: Behavioural work and habituation for pets

Training your pet is about more than just obedience – it's about ensuring their safety and well-being. Fear-aggressive behaviour can make veterinary examinations challenging, and by prioritising your pet’s behavioural training, you're ensuring a happy and fulfilling life for both you and your furry friend.