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10 Ways to Keep You and Your Pet Happy and Healthy

It’s never too late to build wholesome habits — both for you and your pet. Choosing to eat better, drink more water, exercise and take care of yourself will lead to a healthier you. In turn, it’ll keep your pet — whether it’s a lazy dachshund or revengeful feline — healthy, too. Healthier means happier, right?

Follow the ten tips below to keep you and your pet in tip-top shape.

1. Eat Nutritious Food

Eat food with nutritious ingredients to boost natural energy. Read labels to ensure you and your pet’s diets don’t consist of fillers and additives.

Choose a dog or cat food brand with proteins, fatty acids, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins and water. These ingredients are key to a happy lifestyle.

2. Get Some Sleep

Both you and your pet can benefit from a nap. The quality and length of sleep a dog or cat gets can impact their health and behavior. Stress hormones build up in sleep-deprived dogs, making them more irritable and prone to sickness — just like humans.

Adult dogs should sleep 12 to 14 hours per day. If you catch your dog napping, he’s not lazy, just healthy.

3. Drink Some Water

Like you, animals can get dehydrated. Healthy digestion, circulation and body temperature, among many other functions, are all driven and supported by water. Hydration — drinking lots of water — is vital.

Dogs, cats, birds, gerbils and every other pet should have 24/7 access to clean water, whether it’s in a bowl or bottle.

4. Play a Game

Play is one of the most overlooked but essential parts of life. Playing helps us and pets alike by decreasing stress, improving mood and helping us bond with others.

Play fetch with your dog. Teach your parrot how to say hello and goodbye. You can also entice your kitten with a ball of yarn.

5. See the Doctor

Set appointments and keep them. Regular check-ups will keep both you and your pet in good shape. You can also detect health complications early on.

Dogs, for example, can develop certain canine diseases. Infected animals can transmit rabies, which comes with symptoms like seizures and aggression. When left untreated, it can be fatal. Other common illnesses include bordetella, distemper and Lyme disease.

6. Break a Sweat

Take your dog for a run or walk to exercise and gain health benefits. Don’t have a pooch? No problem. Pop in a video at home and dance with your cat. If the fish are your only audience, they’ll enjoy the show.

Incorporating cardio into your daily routine will promote healthy joints and stronger muscles. Remember to hydrate afterward!

7. Keep Everyone Safe

Pets do their fair share to keep us safe. Dogs bark at mail carriers and passersby. Cats plot revenge but don’t act on it. Gerbils give out a shriek of warning if there’s an intruder. In return, what can we do?

To start, get microchips, ID tags and collars for dogs and cats. You should also get rid of toxic substances inside your home. For example, some houseplants are poisonous to dogs, such as aloe vera and English ivy. Some that take root outside, like daffodils and daylilies, are also harmful.

8. Socialize With Others

Get out there and meet new people. While you’re at it, bring your dog with you. Just like humans, animals thrive on making connections. Socializing your dog trains him to accept new people, other animals and places. Try heading to the park to make new friends.

If you have a pet that can’t leave the house, invite trusted besties over for new partners in play.

9. Spend Time Alone

Everyone needs their own space and alone time, even your pet. Too many people, a new baby or too much noise can stress your animals out. Give them a safe place to hide to keep them at their happiest.

This principle applies to all pets, from dogs to fish. Give your hamster or gerbil an igloo to disappear into. Add faux branches where your bird can nest.

10. Find a Purpose

High-energy pets need something to do, especially dogs. Many canines were bred for jobs, such as hunting and herding. Activities like playing fetch, going on walks and retrieving bones are all satisfying as they give a dog purpose.

Give gerbils and hamsters something to chew on, like bark or seeds. If you have a bird, look for a small bell to clank. As a pet owner, making your furry friend happy will help you feel fulfilled.

Want to Keep Your Pet Healthy? Start With Yourself

Ultimately, your pet’s health and happiness depend on you. If you eat nutritious food, drink plenty of water and lead a wholesome lifestyle, chances are your pet will too. Start with yourself first. Your pet’s health and happiness will naturally follow.