Pet Care Through Life Stages

Pet Care Through Life Stages

Our pets are our friends and family. They have the ability to bring us humor, joy, and happiness throughout their lifetime, which can feel tragically short for our liking. That’s why we care so deeply about how we provide for them throughout the various stages of their life. From adopting a new puppy and watching them discover the world, to the old lap cat that enjoys an afternoon cuddle on a sun-soaked chair. Our animals present us with comfort and companionship. So how do we help them get the most out of their time with us?

Pet Care Through Life Stages #petcare #pets #puppy #kitten #dog #cat #family #life

 

Your Dog’s Life Stages

Your canine friend goes through a series of six stages in its lifetime. Every breed will go through these stages at different rates, phasing from one to the other gradually. If you want to get more specifics on your breed and what to expect throughout their life, talk with your veterinarian and their team about what you should know and be prepared for in regards to your pet’s behavior, lifestyle, and diet as they get older. Those six stages are:

  • Puppy
  • Junior
  • Adult
  • Mature
  • Senior
  • Geriatric

 

Your Cat’s Life Stages

Your cat also goes sees a similar six life stages. As with a canine, these stages can differ between breeds, but the gestation of these phases stays relatively similar. These stages are:

  • Kitten
  • Junior
  • Prime
  • Mature
  • Senior
  • Geriatric

Pet Care Through Life Stages #petcare #pets #family #life

Tailor a Wellness Plan

Knowing what your pet needs from the very moment you bring them home can be tricky. We can do all the pet-proofing, buy the best toys, and give them all the tummy scratches they could ask for. Even still, if we don’t do the leg work to understand the lives of our family pets, we’d be doing them a disservice.

Providing the ultimate care means taking the time to understand the awesome, and sometimes tough moments, that our pets will inevitably go through. Work with their primary vet to tailor a wellness plan for your pet based on their breed and age. Learn about what they might be vulnerable to at certain stages in their life. And of course, make a plan for their general wellness.

Pet Care Through Life Stages #petcare #pets #puppy #kitten #dog #cat #family #life

Exercise is Always Important

Make sure that exercise is a part of your pet’s daily life. Don’t skip out on it as your pet gets older. Daily exercise will help prevent obesity and other common health problems that easily effect senior animals. Not only does it help keep their body’s functioning, but it can help stimulate their senses. Remember, a bored animal is not something you want in your house. It can often lead to destructive behaviors and even depression.

If you’re taking your senior dog out for a walk, keep the distance short at first. Make sure your dog is comfortable before lengthening the distance later. Try and keep your outings to the early morning, or later in the afternoon when the sun isn’t at its strongest. Older canines are more susceptible to heat. Make sure to bring water with you as well. Your senior dog may become more quickly dehydrated than you thought possible.

Find toys that stimulate your senior cat’s senses. If they enjoy chasing around a laser, set some time out of your day to get them moving, or “hunting” after that squirrelly dot. It’s easy for senior cats to put on excess weight in their twilight years, and not getting them up and moving can cause unwanted stress on their joints.

 

Preventing Disease

A large part of animal care through the years is keeping diseases at bay. Although ticks and heartworms might be something you worry less about due to where you reside—just as you take care to prevent diseases spread through pests that could harm your own person—it’s wise to make sure similar pest can’t harm your animals, as well. Take necessary precautions on trips to new places, keep a careful eye out for ticks embedded in fur after walks and parasites spotted after bathroom outings.

 

Annual Visits to the Vet

Never underestimate the importance of an annual wellness exam! The ailments our pets may be dealing with could be going unnoticed. Get your pet to the vet at least once a year. You could have the chance to catch something happening with your pet well before they begin to show signs of discomfort or struggle. It’s also important to get any pet that spends time outdoors their basic round of yearly shots. It’ll give you the needed piece of mind that they’ll be safe at the dog park where diseases can be present.

Pet Care Through Life Stages #petcare #pets #puppy #kitten #dog #cat #family #life

As your pet reaches their mature, or senior stage, you might decide to visit their vet more than once a year. By nature, your dog or cat could be hiding signs of the pains or discomfort in their old age. Be sure to keep an eye out for signs they may need an extra checkup. For instance, it may be normal for your dog to pant after a long romp around the park, but if your feline friend begins to pant this would be a concern. Keep an eye out for any unusual behaviors.

 

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Bedtime Yoga Routine

It’s no secret that I love yoga! It does great things for your mind and muscles. I tend to do a daily yoga bedtime routine.

I experimented with different poses until I found my optimum destressers (is that a word? I don’t think it’s a word). To each is their own but I’ve told a few friends about my nightly bedtime routine and they’ve tried it and said they sleep like babies (some of them very loud bear like babies).

The stretching of worked muscles and ease of a tired mind come together like a harmony of well, great things. If you find some of these poses are a little too much then cut back the stretch or cut it out all together. You’ll also want a quality yoga mat to prevent injury as well.

Bedtime Yoga Routine #yoga #bedtime #sleep #catcow #child #spinaltwist

The idea is to relax enough to fall asleep and rest your mind enough to stay asleep. You’ll wake up refreshed too (that’s your body’s way of thanking you)!

Down Dog

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The preparatory position is with the hands and knees on the floor, hands under the shoulders, fingers spread wide, knees under the hips and typically about seven inches (17 cm) apart, with the spine straightened and relaxed.

On a deep exhale, the hips are pushed toward the ceiling, the body forming an inverted V-shape. The back is straight with the front ribs tucked in. The legs are straight with the heels reaching to the floor.

The hands are open like starfish, keeping the forefinger and thumb pressing down on the floor/mat. The arms are straight, with the inner elbows turning towards the ceiling.

If one has the tendency to hyper extend elbows, keeping a microbend to the elbows prevents taking the weight in the joints. Turning the elbows up towards the ceiling will engage the triceps and build strength. The shoulders are wide and relaxed.

Line up the ears with the inner arms which keeps the neck lengthened.

The hands are shoulder width apart and feet remain hip-width apart. If the hamstrings are very strong or tight, the knees are bent to allow the spine to lengthen fully. The navel is drawn in towards the spine, keeping the core engaged.

The hips move up and back. Focus is on the breath while holding the asana, with deep, steady inhalation and exhalation creating a flow of energy through the body. On an exhale, the practitioner releases onto the hands and knees and rests.

Childs Pose

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In this asana, the body faces the floor in a fetal position. The knees and hips are bent with the shins on the floor.
The chest can rest either on the knees or the knees can be spread to about the width of a yoga mat, allowing the chest to go between the knees.

The head is stretched forward towards the ground – the forehead may touch the ground.

The arms may be stretched forward in front of the head or backwards towards the feet.

Cat Cow Pose

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Begin with your hands and knees on the floor. Make sure your knees are under your hips, and your wrists are under your shoulders.

Begin in a neutral spine position, with your back flat and your abs engaged. Take a big deep inhale.

On the exhale, round your spine up towards the ceiling, and imagine you’re pulling your belly button up towards your spine, really engaging your abs.

Tuck your chin towards your chest, and let your neck release. This is your cat-like shape.

On your inhale, arch your back, let your belly relax and go loose. Lift your head and tailbone up towards the sky — without putting any unnecessary pressure on your neck.

This is the Cow portion of the pose. Do this for several breaths.

Seated Spinal Twist Pose

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Begin seated on your mat with your legs extended in front of you.

Bend your right knee and place your right heel as close to your right sit-bone as you can.

Then bend your left knee and cross your left foot over your right knee. Plant it on the floor so your left ankle is next to your right knee.

Reach your left arm behind you and place your palm on the floor. Then bend your right elbow and cross it over the outer side of your left knee.

Keep your elbow bent, or if you can, hold onto your left toes. Keep your left hand on the floor for stability, or bring your left arm around your lower back. Reach for your shirt, or if you can, hook your fingers on the top of your right thigh.

Gaze behind you and over your left shoulder.

Continue pressing your right arm into your left knee, and use each inhale to lengthen the spine and each exhale to rotate further to the left.

Do this for at least 6 breathes.

Corpse Pose


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Lie flat on your back, preferably without any props or cushions. Use small pillow below your neck if absolutely required.

Close your eyes.

Keep your legs comfortable apart and let your feet and knees relax completely, toes facing to the sides.

Place your arms alongside, yet a little spread apart from your body. Leave your palms open, facing upward.

Taking your attention to different body parts one by one, slowly relax your entire body.

Begin with bringing your awareness to the right foot, move on to the right knee (as you complete one leg, move your attention on to the other leg), and so on, and slowly move upwards to your head, relaxing each part of the body.
Keep breathing slowly, gently, deeply and allow your breath to relax you more and more. The incoming breath energizes the body while the outgoing breath brings relaxation.

Drop all sense of hurry or urgency or any need to attend to anything else. Just be with the body and the breath. Surrender the whole body to the floor and let go.

After some time, about 10-20 minutes you should feel fully relaxed.