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Making Your Horse Happy

Have you ever heard the old saying, “healthy as a horse?”  Well, a healthy horse is a happy horse and, as an owner, your mane concern is both.  When it comes to caring for your horse, a proper diet is essential in both physical health and overall wellness.  The most common diet includes grass and good quality hay, along with fresh and clean drinking water, which should be available at all times.  An empty stomach may lead to an increased risk of ulcers, which is why proper feeding amounts must be observed to ensure the health of your horse.  According to the ASPCA, “How much to feed depends on various factors such as condition and activity level, but most horses should eat between 2% and 4% of their body weight in pounds of hay or other feeds.”  If in doubt about how much or how little to feed your horse, consult with a veterinarian.

 

If you should need to change your horse’s diet at any time, it’s important to make the change gradually to avoid health issues that could be devastating to your animal.  Speaking of change, traveling with your horse may require that you bring his/her food and a water supply that is familiar in order to avoid a change or disruption in the digestive process.

 

As is the case with all animals, proper vaccinations are essential in maintaining good health.  In most cases, horses also require regular deworming.  The environment in which your animal lives will have a significant impact on his/her health.  Overcrowding is never a good idea with any type of animal, including horses, and should be avoided. 

 

Hoof and dental care round out the top remaining concerns that every horse owner should address.  A veterinarian can provide guidance on hoof care and can also offer an oral examination every six months to ensure that your horse is not experiencing any painful points or edges on his/her teeth that could lead to discomfort or illness.

 

On a final note to keeping your horse happy, allowing him/her to enjoy daily exercise, companionship and a comfortable living environment that provides adequate sleep opportunities will result in a happier and healthier animal than one that is confined or unable to be with other horses.  Speaking of exercise, owners should be cautious in working with their horse during humid weather.  Horses tend to tolerate cool weather much better and, as such, require plenty of shade on those hot summer days.

 

The information contained in this article is designed to be used for reference purposes only.  It should not be used as, in place of or in conjunction with professional veterinary advice and/or recommendations surrounding horses or their care.  For additional information on safety and health concerns, consult with your local veterinarian. 



How to Keep Most Fish Alive

Fish are very fragile and, once purchased, should be taken home immediately and placed into their new underwater environment.  It’s important to have an aquarium set up and ready for the fish’s arrival to avoid unnecessary delays in getting them settled.  When choosing the proper tank, take a moment to consider the type and number of fish you will be welcoming into your home.  An overcrowded aquarium is not healthy and should be avoided.  Placement of the aquarium is very important as a water filtration unit will need a power source, which means you should situate the tank in an area that is close to an outlet. 

 

Speaking of placement, it’s equally important to avoid placing the aquarium in direct sunlight, which may cause the water to overheat.  If you want to confirm the water temperature at all times, a thermometer and heater are both essential in properly caring for your fish.  In addition to water temperature, cleanliness is a crucial part of your fish’s health.  All new aquariums should undergo a 10% water change every week and all others can be changed with 25% of fresh water being added each month.

 

When it comes to filling your aquarium, it’s important to avoid using tap water that may contain chemicals and other purifiers necessary to treat the water.  The best type of water for aquariums is distilled, which is said to be free of any contaminants or chemicals.  You can check the quality of your aquarium’s water by using a test kit, which can be purchased at most specialty pet or aquatic shops.

 

Once you arrive home with your new fish, allow the bag to float in your aquarium for approximately 15 minutes to allow for temperature equalization before releasing the fish into their new environment.  At that time, you should use a fish net to remove your finned friends as opposed to simply pouring the bag of water, along with the fish, into your aquarium.  It’s important that your new fish be introduced into their new environment in such a way that will not cause a rapid change in their temperature, which can result in stress, sickness or even the loss of your fish.

 

On a final note to caring for fish, ensuring that they are properly fed is extremely important in both their survival and overall health.  Unless otherwise recommended, the majority of fish should be fed twice daily with young fish being fed more frequently.  The most common guideline to avoid overfeeding, which remains a leading cause of fish loss, is to feed only as much food as your fish can/will consume within 5 minutes.

 

The information contained in this article is designed to be used for reference purposes only.  It should not be used as, in place of or in conjunction with professional advice and/or recommendations surrounding fish or their health.  For additional information, consult with a veterinarian or aquatics expert.



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