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Tips for Raising a Healthy Pet

Feb 26, 2008
One of the most important functions that a pet owner performs for his pet is to ensure that the pet is living a healthy life. Just like people, pets will generally stay healthy with all of the following: balanced, nutritious diet; plenty of exercise; regular check-ups at the veterinarian; and adequate hydration. Many of the most common health problems, like diabetes, arthritis, and digestive disorders, are correlated with pets that are either overweight, undernourished, or not given enough exercise. Therefore, healthy eating and exercise are key.

Some pet foods are better than others. Try feeding your pet with the premium pet foods offered by companies who do valid, scientific research about pet nutrition. Read the labels before you buy to make sure that the ingredients are all high-quality and from trusted sources. This will help to stave off obesity and may regulate bowel movements.

Don't feed your pets "people food"! Many of the foods that humans enjoy are dangerous (even fatal) for pets, and can harm their digestive systems. These foods also contribute to obesity in pets.

Different stages of your dog's life require different kinds of nutrition: a puppy has different dietary needs than a senior dog. Make sure to buy the proper sort of food for your dog, changing as he ages and his needs change. For example, growing puppies benefit from high-protein blends, while aging dogs do best on foods that are low-fat and have lots of fiber.

All pets need to be kept well hydrated at all times. Numerous studies have proven that pets who drink more water are healthier. This is easily accomplished by keeping plenty of water in your pet's bowl. If you're concerned that your pet is not getting adequate hydration, consider buying a drink fountain. These devices, available at most pet stores, might help your pet to drink more.

Exercise is also key to improving and maintaining your dog's (and your own) health. Even just letting your dog out once a day to play in the yard or run around for a few minutes can have major benefits for both of you. If you can establish a routine with a regular playtime, you'll notice your dog's excitement when the time nears.

Applying these strategies is a great way to start raising a healthy, happy pet. If you follow these guidelines consistently, you'll be sure to notice improvements both physical and emotional, even as your pet starts to get older.
About the Author
Ian Spellfield, an occasionally frustrated pet owner, tests and reviews cat urine removal products at his blog Urine Off Reviews.
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