Focusing on Our Furry FriendsFocusing on Our Furry Friends

More than half of the US households have at least one pet, and now that spring is here and we are all home, it’s time for you and your pet to get into a regular routine.

Active play with your pets; it encourages the human-to-animal bond and provides healthy movement and cardio endurance for both of you! Some dogs love playing fetch with a stick or ball—it is a natural canine behavior called prey-carrying. Fetching also stimulates the reward centers in the brain which makes dogs feel happy, and that’s why they are willing to play fetch over and over again.

Fleas and ticks are always present. If you take your pet outdoors, make certain they are properly protected since controlling external parasites is the most reliable way of ensuring the highest level of health for your pet and the well-being of your family. While ticks and fleas are more problematic for our pets, protect yourself as well—we too can become victims of blood-sucking insects because we are also warm-blooded mammals, just like our animals.

Cats love to play too! Like all mammals, cats engage in play as youngsters and continue to enjoy playing as adults. A kitten’s life is all about play, and their play is all about prey. From a very young age, cats like to stalk, pounce, bat, and toss around small objects—behaviors that are vital for survival if they live outdoors. Play stimulates a cat’s appetite; it also helps eliminate boredom, and maintain physical fitness. Cats respond to movement, so offer them small, lightweight objects to play with like ping pong balls or empty toilet paper tubes.

As they age and joints become arthritic or stiff, animals are more comfortable if they have an appropriate bed or pad for sleeping. Many pets are allowed to sleep in their owner’s beds, but you also might like to know that it is possible to find orthopedic beds for arthritic or thin-legged animals, self-warming beds that reflect body heat back to your pet, and thermostat-controlled electric heated beds for outdoors that can also be useful for thin or tiny indoor animals as well.

Happy pets makes for happy humans, so we hope you have lots of fun together not only in the fall, but during all the months of the year.

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November 2020

Volume 18, Number 11

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