Whole Pet Health – A Guide For Pet Parents

National Wellness Month

August is National Pet Immunization and Wellness Month. Learn more about the importance of holistic care, including routine vet visits, for your furry family members in this month’s YPCC pet blog!

Holistic Pet Health

No doubt about it, our pet’s are family. Arguably, they’re the favored family members at that. But in what ways are you actively treating your fur-baby as a part of your family? Do they go to the “doctor” and the “dentist” regularly? Do they have a healthy exercise routine? How are they being mentally stimulated or maintained? Is their diet truly healthy?

These things and more, when compiled, are what defines holistic care. The whole mind, body and health of the animal or individual.

The Stick On Regular Shots

When we think of pet health, our first thoughts often gravitate towards that of our pet’s veterinarian, and the care they receive at their annual visits. You’d be surprised to know however, that these annual visits are only attended by about 40% of pet parents.

While the rabies vaccine is the only vaccine required by law, there are several other routine shots that really shouldn’t be eschewed from, unless medically necessary. Your vet will guide you through the different vaccines available, their pertinence to your region, and if they should be administered based on your pet’s health or age.

One example of this is the lime / lepto vaccine. Given annually, this vaccine is administered to ward against Lyme disease, which is transmitted by parasite. While this vaccine may not be necessary in cooler climates, within North Carolina it is seen as one of the more essential vaccines. This is due to NC state’s propensity for natural parasites, such as the tick, that can spread blood-borne illness to their hosts. Therefore, while the warm climate in NC warrants this vaccine, those who reside in areas that are less hospitable to these parasites may not require it. Always consult with your veterinarian prior to making any changes in your pet’s care plan.

Maintaining Your Pet’s Mental Health

While the idea has become more popularized in the last decade, the importance of positive mental stimulation for your pet can’t be overderstated! Just like with us as people, your pet’s mental health is directly affected by the presence, or lack thereof, mentally engaging stimuli.

Just like if we were to go to the gym every day (aka dog walks), but never engaged with anything that challenged us (ex books, puzzles, games, music), we would become rather vapid individuals. It’s easy to see how this could quickly become mentally damaging. So why limit your furry family members to the same sort of resignation?

Thankfully, there’s a plethora of readily available games, puzzles, feeders, and more that pet parents can utilize to help their pet’s stay both happy and well balanced.

Food For Thought(s)

Arguably one of the most important “tool” in anyone’s proverbial arsenal against illness, is a proper diet. Gut health is commonly touted as the “key” preventative measure to ailments both physical, and mental.

Proper diet starts with a balanced meal. For pets, this can range vastly based on age, allergies, health conditions, and even breed type. For example – while cats are obligate carnivores (meaning they cannot physically digest anything apart from meat products), most dogs can have some limited healthy grains incorporated into their diet. The presence of dietary grains is natural for wolves in the wild, to a limited degree, when they consume ruminants and other small herbivores. By consuming a portion of their prey’s stomach contents, they obtain the natural carbohydrates necessary for a properly balanced diet.

When selecting a quality pet food, bear in mind what you’re investing in is not simply face-value food costs, but by extension a key component to your pet’s continued health. While “an apple a day may keep the doctor away” the same holds true for your furry family members.

Regular Exercise

Just like with us, regular exercise helps keep your pet’s body healthy and their mind refreshed. Maintaining a regular walking routine for your dog, or play-sessions for your cat, goes a long way towards keeping their weight in check, their joints supple, and their minds active. As a pet sitting & walking business, YPCC enjoys helping your furry family members do just that, every day!

Grooming & Pet Hygiene

Once again, the correlations between your personal health routine as a pet parent, and what your pet requires, are nearly synonymous. Regardless of coat length or breed type, all pets require regular grooming. From teeth to tail(brushing), your pet’s health depends on what you as a pet parent provide them.

Regular inspection and care for your pet’s coat, eyes, ears, teeth and nails can be performed by your groomer, or even personally at home. General recommendations on maintaining your pet’s hygiene include a full groom, with bath and coat cut if needed, every 4-6 weeks.

In Closing

As a pet care business, we understand the importance of caring for your pet as if they were our own. Whether you need pet sitting, walking, or just some friendly advice, we’re here to support you and your furry companions every step of the way. Together, let’s ensure your furry friend leads a happy, healthy, and tail-wagging life!