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How to Keep Your Pets Healthy at Home

We adore our furry friends! The size of the pet industry shows it—sales of pet products and services was over $55 billion last year, and in 2014  the figure is projected to be over $58 billion! With all of the hundreds of different health and wellness products on the market, it can be challenging to figure out what you need for your pets. That’s why we have written this article! After reading our advice on how to keep your pets healthy at home, you’ll have all the information you need to give your pets a long, happy life.

Read on for tips on pet foods, foods that are dangerous for pets, and other items to keep your pets happy and in good health.

What to Feed Your Pet

A healthy life starts with a healthy diet. With the right kind of food your pet will look and feel great, and have the energy to play or go for a walk outdoors. There are a lot of different brands that offer good quality food with all the vitamins and minerals your pet needs. Here are a few tips for feeding your canine and feline family members!

Dogs

A quality dry and/or canned food contains everything your dog needs for a healthy life. Commercial and smaller brands offer great food for each stage of your dog’s life. Puppies have different nutritional needs than adults and seniors, so choose one that fits the age and lifestyle of your pup. Same goes for treats. Treats that keep your dog entertained, such as Kong, can give your dog something to do while your family is at work or school all day. Other treats can keep their teeth clean or their joints in good shape. Just remember to give treats sparingly—weight problems in pets have become as big of an issue as with humans! Check with your veterinarian if you have questions regarding what treats are OK for your dog.

Cats

In addition to dry food, you may like to feed your kitties’ canned food for a little variety. Canned is also a good way to keep cats hydrated because it has a higher amount of moisture. Again, choose a food that complements your pet’s life stage and lifestyle. As for treats, use sparingly just like with dogs. Treats should make up no more than 10% of your feline’s diet. Cats love tuna, and you can definitely give it as a treat, or canned cat food. Your cat will love you for it!

Here are a few brands of pet food you may want to check out:

  • Purina Pro Plan
  • Natural Choice
  • Iams
  • Science Diet
  • Blue Buffalo
  • Wellness

What to Never Feed Your Pet

It’s fun to give our pets different kinds of treats, it makes them (and us!) happy. You may want to share some of your dessert with Fido, but doing so could cause major problems. Many of the typical foods we like to eat are toxic to our pets so before you share table scraps or other things you think are goodies for your pet, make sure it’s not listed below.

Keep your pets away from the following foods:

  • Chocolate
  • Coffee/Soda
  • Alcohol
  • Bones
  • Grapes
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Artificial Sweeteners
  • Onion/Garlic
  • Milk
  • Salt

Ingesting something toxic could cause vomiting, diarrhea, choking, central nervous system issues, or even death. A trip to the emergency vet could ruin your (and your pet’s) day, and can be very expensive, so be careful not to feed them something that could make them sick. Believe us, your pet will be more than happy to receive a pet specific treat than they would some potentially dangerous table scraps.

Other Essentials for a Healthy Pet

Now that you have a handle on your dog or cat’s diet, let’s look at a few other essentials to add to your repertoire. The items below will supplement your pet’s healthy diet and keep them looking great!

Vitamins

Quality dry and canned pet foods contain all the essential vitamins and nutrients your pet needs. However, if you opt for a homemade diet, or your pet is very active, you should consider vitamins to make sure they’re getting enough of what their body needs. And if your furry friend is finicky, don’t worry! There are plenty of ways to get them to eat their vitamins, including different flavors such as peanut butter or liver, so you’re sure to find something they’ll like. You can even get powdered or liquid vitamins instead of pills! Getting the nutrients your pet needs is easier now than it ever was before.

Dental Care

Just like for humans, a teeth cleaning regimen is key to good health in your pets. Did you know that dogs and cats can get gum disease? Periodontal disease affects not just the teeth, but can damage your pet’s kidneys, liver, or brain. As you can see, regular dental care is important for healthy pets! Pick up a toothbrush and toothpaste that’s made for your dog or cat—never use your own toothpaste since the fluoride can be extremely poisonous. In addition, treats specifically for dental care such as Greenies are a great way to help your pet scrape away tartar. Other treats such as rawhide chews, hard rubber or nylon chew toys, or milk bones also help.

Grooming

Regular grooming will keep shedding under control, and keep your pet’s fur free of tangles. You should also use a nail trimmer or grinder to keep your pet’s nails at a comfortable length. Depending on your skill (and your pet’s behavior), you can trim them yourself or go to a groomer.

You’ll need a bristled hair brush and comb for regular brushing. If shedding is a problem, try a Furminator! It can not only reduce shedding, but prevent your cat from getting those gross hairballs. And don’t forget a shampoo and conditioner! Pet shampoos and conditioners are specifically formulated to work with their skin and fur. Avoid using your own shampoo, it can dry the skin and can cause bacteria, parasites, or viruses.

Flea and Tick Control

Fleas and ticks are a nuisance, and ticks can carry Lyme disease. No matter the time of year, it’s important to prevent and treat them. Your pets will thank you!

There are many forms of flea and tick control on the market. You can try collars, powder, oral medicine, topical medicine, and/or shampoo. Make sure you follow the directions for anything you use—you don’t want your dog or cat to eat the product because it contains medicine and can be extremely dangerous if consumed! If you have a naturally curious furry friend, try an oral medicine instead of a powder or collar.

One Stop Shop for Everything You Need for Your Furry Friends

Now that you know what you need to keep your pets healthy at home, it’s time to get to the store! For everything you need for a healthy pet in one trip, come on down to Shoppers Supply. Our friendly staff will help you select the right food, treats, and all the other essentials you need for your pets. Visit our Apache Junction or Chandler location today!