There are many perks to running a homestead, which is why so many people start their own each year. You get to eat eggs from your chicken coop or watch your crops grow in your field. Many homesteaders raise various animals as well, like sheep or cows.
Alongside your farm animals, you might also have house pets. Dogs and cats fit right in on homesteads. They have plenty of space to run and explore without leaving the safety of your property. Still, it’s good for every homesteader to know that pets require different considerations than livestock.
Here’s how to keep your homestead pets healthy all year. You won’t need to disrupt your busy schedule or refrain from adopting the fluffy best friend you have in mind. Follow these tips, and you’ll have a happy home filled with love from your four-legged friends.
1. Schedule Annual Checkups
Humans need an annual checkup with their doctor, and so do pets. You might think regular vet visits are a thing of the past after your puppy or kitten gets their first shots and vaccinations. You’ll take a break for a few months, but then you’ll need to go back once a year.
Talk with your preferred vet about what kinds of vaccinations your pet needs and how frequently to visit. Stopping by once a year will keep your furry friend healthy and prevent future health complications.
2. Deworm Pets Regularly
While your pets run around on your homestead, they interact with different living things. Besides traditional farm animals, they may encounter wildlife like raccoons or foxes. They’ll also meet smaller creatures, many of which they won’t even see.
When dogs and cats come into contact with contaminated soil or stool on a homestead, they can develop unknown intestinal worms that cause weight loss, bloody diarrhea and vomiting. Cats are especially susceptible to this if they kill possibly infected rodents and drop them at your doorstep.
Deworm your pets regularly with prescribed medication from their vet for constant protection against this common occurrence.
3. Ensure Proper Nutrition
If you let your indoor animals roam around your homestead, they’re more active than other pets that sit inside all day. They’ll need an adjusted diet according to their activity level, so give your pet’s food formulated just for thems. Protein is necessary to maintain their energy and weight, while carbs and fatty acids round out their diet. Talk with your vet if you have any questions about possible allergies or alternative supplements.
4. Consider Your Floors
Your pets may love the outdoors, but your home is their home, too. Don’t forget about their indoor comfort, especially when it comes to your floors. Consider what materials you have in your home and think about how your pets interact with them. Do they slip and slide across hardwood? Do they have bathroom accidents frequently on your carpet?
You may want to think about flooring and pet interaction to decide if they need something better. Convert your floors to make your pets more comfortable as they run around your house or sleep on the ground. You’ll also enjoy an interior home upgrade, which may add more value to your property if you plan to sell in the future.
5. Watch for Harmful Chemicals
Pesticides are common on farms and homesteads, but they’re not good for pets. Before you spray something like rodent poison in your barn, see if there are pet-friendly alternatives. You won’t have to worry about keeping your animals indoors for a while after you use them, and the sprays may end up being safer for livestock or crops as well.
Try to Stay Proactive
Always try to stay ahead of the game when it comes to caring for your pets. Remember to take them for annual checkups, feed them the food they need, and think about their comfort levels both outside and inside. Anyone can use these tips to make their homestead a safer and healthier place for their pets.