Our furry friends do so much to improve our physical and mental well-being, and they rely on us to take the best care of them that we can. Here’s our list of 10 New Year’s resolutions every pet owner should make in 2019.
- Quit eyeballing your pet’s food. Just like humans, pets are increasingly becoming overweight and obese. Help keep your pet at a healthy weight by measuring her meals in an actual measuring cup. Stop free-feeding, do away with the “one scoop” method, and ditch the cup or bowl as a measuring device. When you free-feed or eyeball your pet’s food portion, you can vastly overestimate the amount of food you’re feeding, which can quickly lead to extra pounds on your four-legged friend. Not sure how much food your pet should be eating? Contact us to discuss a simple way to determine “weight wellness.”
- Choose the appropriate diet. Whether you’re feeding a young pup or a frail, elderly kitty, there’s a diet suited to your pet’s specific needs. Different species, life stages, and health conditions require various key nutrients. And, with hundreds of pet food options, choosing the right food can be overwhelming for a pet owner. Ask us which type of food would be best for your pet.
- Deep clean pet supplies. Take a minute to think back to the last time you washed your pet’s collar, bedding, or bowls. Days quickly turn to weeks, and a cleaning regimen can fall to the side. Attempt to scrub your pet’s belongings at least weekly to combat dirt and bacterial build-up.
- Try a novel activity with your pet. Planning to join a hiking or jogging group this year? Ask if they allow dogs, and bring your best friend along on your next outing. For house-bound felines, slip in some excitement in the form of training sessions, food puzzles, climbing towers, scratching posts, or a variety of toys. Training or playtime sessions are wonderful ways to strengthen the bond with your pet and battle boredom during the dreary winter months.
- Swap out tired toys. We don’t read the same books or watch the same TV episodes repeatedly. Why should our pets play with the same toy day after day? Entice your pet into a more active lifestyle by changing out toys to keep them fresh and entertaining. Each pet has a unique preference during playtime—learn your furry friend’s favorites to pique interest.
- Visit your veterinarian. Annual wellness exams are a must to stay on top of your pet’s health. Some pets require more frequent visits, depending on age and certain medical conditions. Vaccination protocols, deworming schedules, appetite or activity changes, shifts in behavior, or the appearance of lumps or bumps are all part of a standard yearly exam. A comprehensive preventive health plan will be devised, specifically geared toward your pet and her needs.
- Establish a daily grooming routine. Many pets balk at the sight of a brush or nail trimmers but can learn to enjoy the one-on-one interaction during grooming sessions. Detangling mats, finding masses or painful areas, preventing ear infections, and halting dental disease can be accomplished with a solid grooming ritual.
- Take care of those pearly whites. Imagine going years without brushing your teeth. It’s no wonder your pet has some stinky breath and tartar accumulation. At an annual visit, we will assess oral health and any signs of disease, and recommend appropriate diets, chews and/or water or food additives. If indicated, we will discuss the possible need for a full dentistry.
- Fund a pet emergency account or investigate health insurance. Pets are living longer, and with increased age comes an increased chance of experiencing various medical issues. Set up a pet health care savings account to cover routine veterinary visits and any potential injuries or illnesses. If saving isn’t your strong suit, a pet medical insurance policy may be just the thing to help you focus on your pet’s health, rather than the cost of treatment during unexpected health emergencies.
- Update pet ID info. So, you had your furry friend microchipped 8 years ago when she was a puppy. Well done! But, did you update your contact information after moving to your new home or getting that new cell phone number? Have you informed our office about a change of contact information? In case of an emergency, up-to-date contact information on ID tags, microchip registration, and veterinary records is crucial.
Ready to rock your pet-friendly resolutions this year? Give us a call if you need help planning your pet’s health care goals in 2019.