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How to Keep Pets in Good Health
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Owners know that pets are closer to human beings than many people realize. They are loving and moody, and they are also prone to get overweight or ill, just like humans. As human beings we are responsible for our own health, but as pet owners we have to take responsibility for the health of our pets. A pet is not able to plan their own diet – they eat what they are given. In other words their health is in our hands, and we must help keep our pets healthy.
A lot of what is needed to keep your pet healthy relies on common sense but the are areas where you will need to consult professionals or read up on it yourself. In order to use your common sense it is good to remind yourself what you actually know so that you have confidence in your decisions. If we take dogs as our example, think about wolves, their close cousins. What facts do you know about wolves and how they live their lives? Well wolves, as wild animals that are able to cover a huge distance every day. They show affection to each other (within reason), they seem to enjoy running and they eat raw meat when it becomes available. Of course our domesticated pet dogs are not entirely like their wild cousins. However, it does enlighten us on how wolves and dogs have evolved and the skills they have developed.
So we could look at exercise, for example. Looking at the way wolves live their lives, nobody could imagine that dogs would like to sit and do nothing day in day out. There are of course differences in breeds in the exercise needs of dogs, some needing much more than others. However, in general to keep your dog in good condition they require 2 walks every day. Also it will be obvious if your dog is putting on weight or is out of condition and seems to get tired when only wandering around. Like people they are likely to be eating too much and not taking enough exercise.
Being overweight is unhealthy for all animals including dogs and humans. Think about your dog running with a pack of wolves; how would it fair? Another way to identify any problems in the health of your dog is to look for any behavior changes. If your dog normally loves to walk for miles and then starts becoming tired very quickly it might be wise to take it to the vet. Knowing your pet and recognizing when they are ill or off color is an important part of looking after their health. Unlike humans they cannot tell us when they feel unwell.
This should not be too difficult with dogs, who generally need attention (remember they are naturally affectionate) and need to form a close relationship with their owner. Reciprocating this affection involves paying attention to your dog and taking them for walks. You will then naturally notice if the usual brightness is missing from their eyes, or if anything odd is seeping from their ears or nose.
You must worm dogs every few months, control fleas and maintain their vaccination schedule. The food you give those needs to be measured to their size and activity levels and should be the best quality you can afford.
We have looked most closely here at the domestic dog, but any pet that is kept at home can be better understood by using your knowledge and intelligence when caring for them.
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