Resolutions for pets can bolster pet health

Ringing in the New Year with a list of ways we’d like to improve our lives is a time-honored tradition. Whether it’s eating healthier, exercising more, or quitting a bad habit, there are endless ways to start 2019 off on the right foot. Pets can also benefit from lifestyle tweaks aimed at enhancing health and happiness. That’s why we’ve identified some New Year’s resolutions for pets that can help you both live your best and happiest lives together.

New Year’s Resolutions for Pets and Their Owners

  1. Brush daily. Good dental care is a cornerstone of your pet’s health. And, brushing your pet’s teeth on a daily basis is the single best way to keep its oral health in tip-top shape (and prevent expensive dental procedures in the future!). Check out our pet dental care blogs for a variety of information on pet dental health.
  2. Provide a nutritious diet. Re-evaluate your pet’s diet to make sure it is the the right product for your pet’s age and activity level, and contains the right nutrients. Portion size is also important for weight management, as is limiting treats and avoiding table scraps. We are happy to help you determine the correct food portions for your pet.
  3. Commit to winter fitness. For optimal health, pets need daily exercise, regardless of how frightful the weather is outside. Commit to daily walks or indoor play sessions (on those really cold days). For dogs, consider our doggie playcamps with our resident obedience instructor. Remember, play and exercise for your pet is important and translates into exercise for you, too!
  4. Keep your appointments. Regular wellness checkups ensure that early signs of health problems aren’t missed. They also give you the chance to ask questions and discuss any other concerns you have for your pet with your veterinarian.
  5. Stay current on vaccinations. Keeping your pet up-to-date on immunizations will not only offer protection against diseases, it also protects and improves the health of all pets in our community by helping stop the spread of communicable diseases. Our veterinarian will work with you to determine the vaccination schedule that suits the individual needs of your pet.
  6. Pay attention. Pets are hard-wired to hide signs of illness and injury, but problems can be detected by observing changes in their eating or activity habits, and their general behavior or appearance. You know your pet better than anyone else, so reporting any changes (big or small) can help alert us to underlying health issues before they get out of hand or become expensive to treat.
  7. Observe year-round parasite prevention. Protection from fleas, ticks, and heartworm isn’t a seasonal decision. Providing your pet with year-round parasite prevention medication is the only way to guarantee he or she remains free from otherwise preventable diseases.
  8. Learn a new trick. A new year is the perfect time to take on the fun challenge of teaching your pet a new skill (or brushing up on basic obedience). Both dogs and cats can learn new tricks at any age, and the extra time together will strengthen the bond you share with your pet.
  9. Keep them looking good. Regular grooming, whether at home or from a professional, is about so much more than just having a clean pet. Grooming prevents matted fur, removes oily buildup and debris, stimulates blood flow to the skin, keeps the paws healthy, and can alert you to possible skin or ear issues, abnormal lumps and other potential problems hidden by your pet’s haircoat. Keeping your pet groomed also makes it easier to keep your home and furnishings clean and smelling fresh.
  10. Have fun! The daily details of pet care are important, but so is remembering why you adopted your pet in the first place: To enjoy life together! Make this the year you commit to having more fun with your pet – engage in play with a favorite ball or toy, explore a new walking path or hiking trail, take an agility or barkour class together, or teach your cat how to walk on a leash. Lastly, just make sure to carve out some special companion time with your pet every day.

What are your favorite New Year’s resolutions for your pets? We’d love to hear them the next time you’re in to see us! As always, please contact the team at Lone Tree Veterinary Medical Center with any questions or concerns.