How Healthy Is Your Pet?

Humans have always kept pets, be it for companionship or out of necessity.

In fact, in times long gone when central heating and other modern heating contraptions were not even on the horizon, people scooted closer to their animals during the long winter months. People kept cattle, sheep, goats, and even pigs close in the wintertime to stay warm.

Nowadays, the focus is shifted somewhat, especially in cities where people mostly keep animals as pets. A man once observed rather philosophically, “Nobody has ever peed themselves out of the pure joy of seeing me but my dog.” Truthfully, it is a tall order trying to beat the kind of devotion and besottedness a pet can bestow upon its owner.

Yet, despite all that, there are still some 200 million stray dogs roaming around. There are about 14,000 organizations in the US alone that take part in rescuing and sheltering animals. The main reason why animals end up on the streets is pet abandonment or being born on the streets in the first place. However, there are also some 4 million cats and dogs that get adopted from shelters each year and an additional 710,000 animals that end up in shelters as strays but are eventually reunited with their owners.

There is no doubt that there are amazingly caring and devoted owners out there, but what does that mean exactly?

What Does Your Pet Need (Besides Cuddles and Treats)?

While cuddling and playing with your pet is the most enjoyable part of the relationship, being a good owner takes more than engaging in the fun part of the story.

There are some 19 million pets in the US living in underserved communities, and 88% of them have not been spayed or neutered, while 69% have never been to a vet.

There are approximately 7.9 million cats and 5.9 million dogs in Canada. According to Canada’s Pet Wellness Report, many owners fail to recognize the importance of taking their pets to a regular vet checkup. That has nothing to do with how owners feel about their pets. It is merely about educating themselves when it comes to practices that are in their pets’ best interests.

The report further states that while Canadians undoubtedly love their pets, overfeeding is the biggest issue. Every vet will tell you that keeping your pet’s weight under control is one of the best ways to not just prolong its life, but also keep it healthy. Yet, as it is the case with humans in general, we seem to give our pets what they like the most, but not necessarily what is best for them. Additionally, Canadian vets say that the price of food is also a deciding factor for many owners.

Another often neglected aspect of pet health is dental hygiene. Dental disease is one of the most frequently diagnosed health issues in cats and dogs. Sadly, only 16% of pet owners in Canada seem interested in learning more about the dental care of their pets.

Last but not least, most owners knew how important it is to play with their pets and take them for walks regularly. Data show that pet owners are healthier because of their pets as well. Still, it seems that Canadians spend less than half an hour per day doing activities with their pets. They spend far more time either surfing the internet or watching TV.


Simply providing food and a warm bed to sleep in is not enough to have a happy and healthy pet. While it can be expensive to pick the top quality food and take your pet to the vet often, there are ways to make sure your pet is getting most of the things it needs to live a long life. Talk to your vet, use that internet time to look up some valuable information about healthy habits for your pet, and make the necessary changes. After all, nothing beats that goofy grin on your pooch’s face when it sees you at the door after a long day.






Leave a Reply