As a proud pet owner, most people naturally want the very best for their furry, four-legged friends. It is likely your emotional investment began the moment you, and your new found companion, looked into each others eyes for the first time.
If you happen to be a stickler in keeping high, physical health care standards for yourself and your family, then ensuring that your pet has a safe, healthy, and happy life is certainly going to become a top priority too. With a return to summer, which everyone enjoys, including our pets, it can also bring to mind some seasonal health concerns regarding our extended, family members.
This does not have to wreak havoc on your personal finances, however, as five important common sense strategies can head off several unnecessary, and expensive trips to your veterinarian. These natural approaches should leave everyone in the household feeling happier, especially your pet! And, they are economical in the long-term.
Safety Tip 1
Keep pets cool
Hot temperatures combined with high humidity interferes with an animal’s natural ability to pant, which is how they cool themselves. This kind of weather is very hard on your pet. Unlike humans, who can cool themselves by sweating through pores in the skin, canines and felines only have sweat glands in noses and paw pads. Hence, a dry nose is a warning sign of a feverish or dehydrated animal.
Always provide your pet with a daily, fresh water supply. This applies to any season, but it is especially important in the summer months. If your pet is recovering from surgery, illness, or has become severely dehydrated, there is even special electrolyte-enhanced water available for dogs. Search for those in larger pet or health food stores.
Your pet will be happier, and much more comfortable, being left at home on a shopping trip. If you feel you must take them out on a hot day, never leave them in a vehicle with the windows down, even for a few minutes.
Getting wet in a creek, lake, or child size wading pool can help keep your dog cool. Be mindful, though, to rinse off your dog’s fur after a swim in the ocean, or a chemically treated pool.
Long-haired animals need daily brushing or combing to avoid heat-trapping matting or tangling of coats. Regular hair cuts or trimmings during hot weather, can help keep pets cooler. Just be careful, if your doing it yourself though, don’t shave the animal. Skin that has never seen sunlight will burn easily!
Safety Tip 2
Stinging, biting, and blood sucking insects can affect your pet’s health, happiness, and behavior. A bee sting can inflict as much pain and swelling on your pet as it can you. Pull stingers out with fingernails or tweezers. You can dab the affected area (except around the eyes) with a diluted solution of half apple cider vinegar or tea tree oil, water mix. Exception: do not use these disinfecting mixtures on a small dog, puppy, or cats.
When it comes to repelling, and protecting, your pet from common parasites like fleas, ticks, lice, mites, and mosquitoes, look for safe non-toxic products containing ‘neem’. Most of these products are a bottled liquid mixture. There are several creative ways of using them from mixing them up to use as a dip, mix in your dogs shampoo, or even soaking a cloth collar can repel the health hazards of external parasites, naturally.
Safety Tip 3
Both owner and pet benefit, tremendously, from a mentally and physically active lifestyle. Regular physical interaction with your pet provides not just physical benefits, but emotional ones as well. All kinds of physical activity can be incorporated as game playing with your pet friend. It will promote healthy muscle stimulation, and sharpen cognitive mental functioning.
Just remember, in hot weather months, use the keep your pet cool rule. Schedule these types of activities in the cooler parts of the day.
Safety Tip 4
Control ear infections
Ear infections can be a common problem in the summer with long-eared dogs, or water loving ones. Most ear infections are caused by yeasty types of bacterias.
An ounce of prevention technique, that works rather in humans too, is mixing up a solution of equal parts of white vinegar and isopropyl rubbing alcohol. Store in a dropper bottle and dispense a few drops into each ear after water exposure to the ears. The alcohol helps dry out the ear canal, and the vinegar lowers the pH, making the inside of the ear a less than ideal environment for bacteria to thrive in.
Safety Tip 5
Whether you wish to increase an older pet’s energy and vitality, get better control of internal (worms) or external parasites, or relieve problem allergies, all of these can be done from the inside out through diet improvement.
Powdered probiotic and enzyme supplements can be added to your pet’s food. There are several quality brands available, exclusively, for dogs and cats. Both, good bacteria and enzyme nutrition supplementation, help to strengthen your pet’s immune system and stimulate better digestion, assimilation, and elimination.
Most commercial brands of processed pet foods, either dry or canned, provide a minimal amount of basic nutrition, due to over processing or are missing many different nutrients entirely. The same is true if you are feeding your pet home prepared food. If you are going to feed your pet real food, it will be much better tolerated if it is fed raw. Raw meat, milk, or eggs is best.
Many alternative health care strategies that are available to humans, also exist for pet health. Health care specialties such as acupressure, massage, and spinal manipulation, that work well for people, can also help your pet, just search for a practitioner who specializes in animal therapy.
Several of these, seasonal, all-natural safety tips just make good common sense to be implementing on your pet year round. As a responsible pet owner, remember, your pet solely depends on you to keep them healthy, happy, and safe. And, now you know how to do this just a little bit better.