Top 10 New Year Resolutions for Your Pet
10. Check Your Pet’s ID Information
Whenever you move or change your phone number, updating your pet’s tag and/or microchip information may not be at the top of your “to-do” list. Take the time to make sure all of your information is correct so that if your furry friend is missing, they can get home to you with ease! If you have recently adopted a new pet or had a microchip implanted, it is very important to register that chip with the monitoring company. Without up to date contact information, it is much more difficult to reunite a lost pet with their family.
9. Be Proactive
Annual Intestinal Parasite (“Fecal”) and Heartworm & Tick Screening tests help to give us further insight into your pet’s health. Tick-borne diseases, heartworm disease, and an array of intestinal parasites could be lurking in your pet (causing damage) without you ever knowing!
8. Grooming Care
Take the time to give your pet a spa day! Regular toenail trims allow for your pet to walk on their paws correctly and reduce the risk of having nails get snagged or torn. Bathing pets when they are dirty and brushing out mats can improve their overall skin health as well. Certain dog and cat breeds require additional grooming care (ear hair plucking, anal gland emptying, shave downs).
7. Annual Wellness Exams
Pets age at a much more rapid rate than people do. Every 1 year for us is comparable to several years for our pets. Because of this, staying on top of yearly or semi-yearly examinations helps us catch any issues before they become a bigger issue. Additionally, routine wellness exams give us the opportunity to update you on new advances in veterinary care and discuss preventive care options to maximize your pet’s well-being.
6. Eating Healthy
Cutting back on table scraps or an abundance of treats can help to manage your pet’s weight. Some table scraps may be too greasy or fatty for your pet and can cause stomach upset like vomiting or diarrhea. Sometimes this can even lead to pancreatitis which is very uncomfortable and life-threatening. Choosing a healthy diet for your pet is a very important step in their overall well-being. Don’t fall into the trap of marketing by fad diets (grain-free for example). Rather, rely on documented veterinary nutritional evidence.
The old saying isn’t true… old dogs can learn new tricks! Enrolling your pet in training courses is a great benefit to both you and your pet. Puppy Kindergarten and basic training classes for puppies can help start your puppy off on the right paw when it comes to obedience and interacting with other dogs and people. Pets who are older can even learn new activities that may help remedy many behavioral issues.
4. Exercise is Important
Exercise is as important for pets as it is for people. While you may think of exercise as being only for weight loss/management (which it is)… it is also mentally stimulating for your pet. This mental stimulation can help to deter bad behaviors like chewing up those brand new shoes you just bought!
3. Keep Current With Parasite Prevention
Parasites can be transmitted at any time of year. Yes, even in the winter! Intestinal parasites such as roundworms, whipworms, and hookworms can be transmitted from other animals or they can be in the soil. There are some species of ticks that can be active even when there is snow on the ground… and heartworm larvae and the Lyme disease organism can develop whenever the temperatures rise above freezing during the unpredictable winter months.
2. Focus on Healthy Weight
Yeah… yeah… we know! This is at the top of the list for most of us at the beginning of the year, too. But it is extremely important for your pet’s health, too. A fat cat is NOT a happy cat. Unfortunately, pets that are overweight have a higher chance of developing diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis. These diseases can dramatically shorten your pet’s life and increase the amount of medical care they may need. Where weight control is concerned: an ounce of prevention is definitely worth a pound of cure!
1. Take Care of Your Pet’s Mouth!
Your pet’s oral health isn’t just about the “stinky breath” (even though that’s pretty important, too). Your pet’s oral health directly affects the health of their whole body! Infection in the mouth can spread throughout the body every time your pet eats/drinks/swallows. This means there could be organ damage caused by your pet’s dirty mouth. A great daily routine of brushing with a pet toothpaste is the best thing to combat this. If brushing is a no-go, have no fear! There are a variety of products we can recommend for your pet’s dental health. In addition to home dental care, regular Comprehensive Oral Health Care Assessments and Treatments under anesthesia are vital to maximizing your pet’s health and increasing their chances of keeping healthy teeth into their golden years.