*This is a collaborative post*
A crucial part of caring for your cat or dog is ensuring that all of their needs are met. While providing them with a well-balanced diet, water and exercise are important, proper hygiene is equally important for maintaining optimal health. From brushing their teeth to giving regular flea and tick treatments, be sure to practice these 5 hygiene measures for cats and dogs:
1. Brush Their Teeth
Like humans, dogs and cats are susceptible to bad breath. While your furry companion’s breath may not seem important to their health, the condition of their teeth and gums is.
Both cats and dogs have teeth that are nearly identical in composition to human teeth. The exception, of course, being the shape. This means that cats and dogs can develop gum disease, infection and decay because of bacteria or tartar build up.
In these cases, the mouth may become painful which can affect your pet’s ability to eat and in extreme situations, infection can spread to their bloodstream. To prevent dental problems, veterinarians recommend brushing daily. They do recognize that this can be a difficult feat if your pet is uncooperative, but you should aim for three times a week at a minimum.
2. Wash Their Food and Water Bowls
It can be easy to get in the habit of quickly refilling your dog or cat’s food and water bowls each day. Unfortunately, this habit typically means that the bowls are not cleaned after use.
Even if your pet eats a dry food, they transfer bacteria through their saliva as they eat and drink. These bacteria can spread rapidly and contribute to the growth of mold, especially when chunks of food are left to sit for several days. This mould or bacteria will remain in the bowl for the next meal and can cause illness. To ensure your pet stays healthy, aim to clean their food and water bowls at least every other day.
3. Groom Regularly
A sizable portion of pet owners make the mistake of believing that their cats and dogs can properly groom themselves. While it’s true that a cat may not need to be bathed as a dog does, grooming goes well beyond bathing. Regular brushing is important for both cats and dogs to avoid matting and tangling of the fur.
Be sure to research how to properly brush your breed, however, and utilize the correct type of brush.
Likewise, regular nail trimming is crucial to both types of pets. If the nails are left too long, it can become painful for the animal to walk. Unkempt nails also pose a risk to owners who may be unintentionally scratched by their pets.
4. Administer Flea and Tick Treatments
Cats and dogs are at an equal risk for being preyed upon by parasites like fleas and ticks. Since these pests bite and cause discomfort, it is important to offer protection to your pet. Some owners opt for medicated collars or topical treatments, while others find chewable tablet treatments like Comfortis to be much easier to administer. When choosing which product is best for you fur baby, you may want to look at some Comfortis reviews, or reviews on other comparable products, before discussing with your vet about which to prescribe.
Despite the fact that fleas and ticks are more prominent in the warmer months, your pet should be provided with year-round protection.
5. Schedule Regular Checkups
Although your pet may appear to be healthy and vibrant, regular checkups with the vet are still important. Your vet is specially trained to detect problems that you may be unaware of and can offer advice on further hygiene measures which may be necessary for your pet. Take your pet to the vet at least once a year for a checkup. As your pet ages, more frequent checkups may be necessary.
By practicing these simple pet related hygiene strategies, you can drastically improve your pet’s physical and mental health.
Lannie, writer for Allivet. Allivet provides affordable pet supplies and pet medications, all of which can be purchased online.
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