Your pets are part of the family, and you'd do anything you can to help them live the longest, happiest, and healthiest life possible. In today's post, we'll give you a helping hand by sharing 7 quick tips to help your pet live longer.
1) Feed a Species-Appropriate Diet
The best foods to feed your pet are living, raw, fresh and species-appropriate. These foods support your pet's health throughout their lifetime, and protect them from illness and disease. The good news is that these days, it's actually quite simple to choose a species-appropriate raw food diet that will keep your pet happy and healthy for years to come.
A good diet should consist of ingredients such as muscle and organ meats, raw eggs, and fresh fruits and vegetables. It should also be nutritionally balanced and complete, and contain all the necessary vitamins and minerals your pet needs to stay healthy. For more information about choosing a species-appropriate diet for your pet, check out our post on the topic.
2) Provide Plenty of Exercise
Regular exercise is important for pets of all ages, providing a range of mental and physical health benefits that improve their overall quality of life. Benefits of exercise include weight control, stronger bones, improved digestive health, and enhanced metabolism. Exercise also removes toxins from the body and prevents premature aging.
If you have a dog, walking them daily is one of the best ways to ensure they get enough exercise. As a general guideline, dogs should spend at least 30 minutes exercising each day. However, your dog's needs will vary depending on their age, breed, size, and general level of health.
If you're a cat owner, make sure to provide plenty of opportunities for your feline friend to exercise. PetMD suggests spending 10-15 minutes a few times each day engaging your cat in activity.
3) Enrich Their Environment
Environmental enrichment is the process of improving an animal's environment to help them engage in natural, instinctive behaviors and enjoy a higher quality of life. It's focused on stimulating the brain to avoid the negative consequences that can result from a lack of sensory input. As well as preventing behavioral problems, environmental enrichment reduces stress and promotes overall health. This means it helps your pet live a longer and happier life.
A great way to enrich a cat's environment is by providing interactive toys and puzzle feeders that trigger their natural hunting instinct. It's also a good idea to place items such as scratch posts, cat trees, and tunnels or boxes for them to hide in around your home.
If you have a dog, make sure to introduce toys with different textures, colors, shapes, sizes, and smells to excite their senses and keep them engaged. We also recommend taking your dog for walks in different settings such as the beach, forest, or park to prevent boredom and routine. Our previous post, Environmental Enrichment for Pets - What It Is and Why It Matters, has more useful tips to help you keep your pet mentally stimulated.
4) Take Care of Their Teeth and Gums
According to the American Veterinary Dental College, oral disease is the most common clinical condition in adult dogs and cats. In fact, by just three years of age, most dogs and cats show some evidence of periodontal (gum) disease.
Aside from the pain and difficulty eating that results from periodontal disease, there's also a risk of more serious conditions developing. Bacteria from the mouth can enter the bloodstream and cause health complications throughout the body. Studies have even associated periodontal disease with serious disease in organs such as the kidneys, liver, heart, and lungs.
We recommend starting a teeth cleaning routine as early in your pet's life as possible to prevent health problems that can potentially shorten their lifespan. Our previous post, Taking Care of Your Pet's Teeth and Gums, is packed full of tips for maintaining your pet's oral health.
5) Naturally Protect Them Against Fleas and Ticks
Bites from fleas and ticks are uncomfortable and irritating. But they can also put your pet at risk of serious illnesses that can threaten their health and longevity.
Fleas can cause illnesses such as Flea allergy dermatitis (FAD), cat scratch disease and anemia. Ticks can also spread dangerous diseases like Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever – which can be fatal.
Unfortunately, chemical oral flea and tick preventatives and spot-on products can cause a range of health problems including skin irritation, vomiting, and even seizures. For this reason, we recommend protecting your pet against fleas and ticks with an all-natural preventative.
Did you know that 100% natural, human-grade coconut oil acts as an effective flea and tick repellent? Find out more in our post, How Coconut Oil Can Protect Your Pet Against Fleas and Ticks.
6) Add Omega-3 Fats to Their Diet
Omega 3 polyunsaturated fat acts as an anti-inflammatory and helps protect against conditions such as heart disease and cancer. Omega 3 oils also support bone health and protect against arthritis, keep eyes healthy, and are important for brain function.
Examples of omega 3 fats include krill oil, sardine oil, and salmon oil. Omega 3 fats such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) must be supplied directly from food sources. Krill oil is rich in EPA and DHA. These anti-inflammatory fats are found naturally in seafood. When selecting salmon oil, opt for wild-caught as opposed to farm-raised salmon, as farm-raised salmon oil may contain unhealthy levels of mercury.
7) Supplement Their Diet with Virgin Coconut Oil
Virgin coconut oil has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties that prevent infection in your pet's body. The medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) in the oil also support your pet's overall health and maintain healthy bodily functions. This means that supplementing your pet's diet with virgin coconut oil helps them live a longer and healthier life.
When giving virgin coconut oil for health, look for a high-quality, true-cold-pressed, therapeutic-grade virgin coconut oil. Choosing a high-quality therapeutic-grade virgin coconut oil will ensure you are getting an oil that is highly beneficial for your pet's health. Therapeutic-grade virgin coconut oil typically contains higher levels of beneficial lauric acid compared to cooking-grade coconut oils.
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