I’m a veterinarian and here are my FIVE tips for a happy pet

WE all love our pets and furry friends.

So here are the best ways to make sure yours is the happiest possible, because according to Patt Veterinary Hospital, it really boils down to five top tips.

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A purring cat is a good sign of a happy cat.Credit: Getty

Show them affection

You can probably tell when you’re petting your pet the wrong way because you know them better than anyone.

However, if they withdraw or back away when you go to pet or cuddle them, you may need to rethink your approach.

If you have a dog, it’s best to pet it by the shoulders, neck, and chest.

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As for cats, they generally appreciate scratches along the cheeks and under the chin, as well as long strokes on the back, but their tails are best avoided.

Clues to look for that your pet appreciates affection are purring, wagging its tail, and leaning toward you.

A good way to find out is to place your hand near your pet and let it guide you to where it wants to be a pet.

Never move your hand against the direction of your pet’s fur.

Also try to avoid putting your hand directly on your pet’s head as this is their blind spot and they may find it threatening.

Instead, approach your pet from the side to make you appear friendlier.

Be sure to avoid paws, muzzle, paws, and belly unless your pet offers them or allows them to you.

Watch their food

It can be extremely tempting to give in to your pet and give him endless treats.

But giving in too often can be detrimental to your pet’s health.

Too many treats can cause them to gain weight and this can put stress on their joints and organs.

An overweight pet is also at higher risk for skin infections, heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis.

Instead of rewarding your pet with treats, try high-pitched verbal praise like “well done” or “good boy/girl.”

Also show a little love with a pet in the place they love, or even offer them a healthy treat instead.

For dogs, carrots, green beans, broccoli can be a welcome snack.

Because cats make them hunt for their treats by hiding them around the house.

Remember to continue to measure your pet’s normal food and feed them at the same times every day.

Invest in their health

Pets can be expensive, especially as animals continue to live longer.

Paying for the vet, toys, food and beds can have adverse consequences.

Pet insurance can help pay for any medical care your pet may need.

Pet policies are very similar to human policies in that they cover vet costs if your pet becomes ill or injured, saving you money.

Having insurance means you can make important decisions about your pet’s future with what you want rather than what you can afford.

Pet insurance gives veterinarians the freedom to provide the best possible care, so your pet can recover faster.

Go to the vet regularly

It can be easy for you to think you’re missing the signs that your pet is sick.

An annual full body exam at the vet can help catch any major health issues early.

The veterinarian should assess your pet’s heart, lungs, eyes, ears, mouth, skin and coat, and overall body.

They may also send samples for lab tests, such as blood work, urinalysis, or fecal screening, just to make sure your pet’s organs and insides are working properly.

Spend quality time together

Spending time with your pet strengthens your bond and provides multiple benefits for your health and theirs.

Bonding with your pet can help reduce stress and anxiety.

It also means increased opportunities for exercise and socializing.

It’s important to remember that your pet spends a large part of their day waiting for you to come home.

So make the most of their daily walks, practice a few tricks and give them a treat, spend a day off together watching TV, and just make sure you give your pet plenty of attention.

Praise your pet with more than just treats

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Praise your pet with more than just treatsCredit: Getty
Lots of cuddles and quality time can make your dog happier than ever

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Lots of cuddles and quality time can make your dog happier than everCredit: Getty

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