Top 5 Suggested Habits to Form as a Pet Parent from the Start

31 Jan 2022 | Written by Tori Holmes

Have you heard the expression that it’s easier to build new habits than change existing ones? Well, it also applies to habits you form as a pet parent! Making an effort to build good habits as a new pet parent will help ensure that your pet enjoys a long and happy life.

Invest in healthy, earth-friendly food

The food you feed your pet plays a huge role in their overall health, so you want to start them on high-quality food from day one. Freshpet is a great choice for pets in all stages of life, as we’re committed to keeping the ingredients as close to their natural state as possible. This makes each recipe easy to digest, more nutritious, and of course, delicious.

What’s more, Freshpet recipes are also more earth-friendly than other pet foods. More than half of the fresh ingredients that go into our recipes are sourced from within 200 miles of our kitchens and every bit of waste is reused, recycled, or transformed into energy. When it comes to packaging, we chose materials that are strong, light, and efficient, plus are completely free from BPA. To put it into perspective, we only use 2-10g of packaging per 30lb dog whereas other wet foods use between 80-120g of packaging per 30lb dog.

Don’t neglect dental care

Periodontal disease – also known as dental disease – is one of the most common diseases that vets see in both cats and dogs. Dental disease can cause serious issues like infection, halitosis, difficulty eating, and loss of teeth – all of which require veterinary care to deal with. Fortunately, it can be easily prevented and managed through regular dental care at home, but the earlier you start the better. Not only will this mean your pet’s teeth stay at a healthy baseline, but younger pets also tend to become accustomed to teeth brushing more easily than their older counterparts. All you need is a veterinary formulated toothpaste and toothbrush or cotton pad and you can start brushing their teeth for a few seconds at a time, a couple of times a day. Eventually, you can work your way up to daily brushings of 60-seconds or more! For answers to your top dental health questions, take a look at this blog by Freshpet vet, Dr. Aziza.

Approach training as a lifelong process

We know that physical activity is critical to our pet’s health, but we can forget that mental activity plays a big role as well. During your pet’s early years – especially for dogs – much time is spent learning the basic commands such as sit, stay, and come. But after mastering these commands, the training they receive tends to drop off. If pet parents change their mindset from seeing training as a means to an end to a lifelong process, they’ll never have to worry about their pet lacking mental stimulation. Not only does continued training allow you to teach your pet some pretty cool tricks and keep their brain busy, but it also helps to build a lasting relationship between you and your pup. For tips on using positive reinforcement training with your pet, take a look at this blog – hint: it involves your pet’s favorite Freshpet treats!

Consider their impact on the environment

Making small changes to the way we care for our pets can go a long way in reducing the impact that they have on the environment. For cat pet parents, one thing you can do from the start is to skip clay-based litter and instead, opt for a more earth-friendly option. There are a number of options available on the market these days that use ingredients such as paper, walnuts, wheat, wood, pine, grass, and corn. Corn-based litters in particular, which are made from finely ground corn kernels or cobs, are growing in popularity and can now be found at most pet stores.

For dog pet parents, simply rethinking the way you approach toys is a great place to start. Playing with toys is critical to adding enrichment to your dog’s life, but instead of buying a new toy every time try getting creative with items you have around the house. For example, a knotted old t-shirt can make a great pull toy and you can use plastic containers to make frozen treats for hot days.

Stick to a regular veterinary care routine

Our pets are good at hiding the signs that they’re unwell, which means that illness can go unnoticed until it becomes serious. This is why it’s critical that you bring your pet to the vet for a wellness exam at least once a year. If you get into the routine of scheduling regular veterinary visits, your vet will have an understanding of your pet’s baseline health. This makes it much easier for them to catch and diagnose issues as soon as they arise.

By forming these five habits from the start, you are well on your way to helping your pets live their best, happiest, tail-wagging lives.

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