New Years' Resolutions for Your Pet
- Get a Check-Up!
How long's it been since your pet's last check-up? It's important for pets to have vet appointments. You can make sure they're up-to-date on vaccines and your vet can check on your pet's overall health. Losing a pet can be heart-rending. A regular check-up is a quick way to spot any health issues early before they become risky problems.
- Get Them on the Right Diet!
Many pets also eat a little bit too much. Owners are kind and like to spoil the animals they love. That's not a bad impulse, but it can mean that pets get to unhealthy weights. It's difficult to find information about ideal weights for many breeds, and that information can be off based on small differences in height and size. A vet can best gauge how much your pet should weigh, and what small adjustments in their diet can get them into their healthiest shape.
- Dental Care Goes a Long Way!
A pet needs food and has fewer ways to adjust than people if they develop a bad tooth. Extracting a tooth can be difficult and stressful on a pet – as well as potentially expensive. It's far easier to take care of their teeth at home. Brushing a few times a week goes a long way toward keeping their teeth healthy.
Getting started might be a little tough. Pets are often skittish around new activities. Make sure you've asked your vet the best way to start, go slowly, and use a lot of positive reinforcement to make the activity relaxing and stress-free for your pet.
- Stay Active Together!
It's easy to make your pet's resolutions line up with your own. One of the most popular resolutions for people every year is to exercise more. It's also one of the resolutions that people break the most. Exercising with your pet means that even if you don't want to go out, they'll want to. It's a great way to change exercise from a chore to an activity that you get to do with an animal you love and want to stay healthy. Obviously, this one's best geared toward dogs.
- Check What Exercise is Good for Your Pet!
Being active just means increasing activity. Maybe it's an extra walk a day. Maybe it's going for a run. Make sure to ask your vet first about whether specific exercises are OK for your pet to do, and what weather they can do these exercises in. A German Shepherd may love running...unless it's hotter than 80 degrees and sunny out. Then they can overheat. A boxer may have tremendous spurts of energy, but a hard time breathing on a steady run. Knowing this information can do a lot to making your exercises together healthier and more fun for both of you.
- Make Time for Play!
Most animals are extremely social. This goes double for common pet species. Bird owners may not realize that their birds require dedicated social interaction time every day. Dog owners may have a spirited breed full of energy who's always getting into trouble – because they don't have enough outlets for that energy. Making time to play is something every pet loves. Your schedule may be busy, but it's also one an effective way to relieve your own stress. It doesn't just enrich your pet's life; it enriches your own, too.
- Train Them Up!
Do you have an animal that needs some training? Time to get it for them. It might be basic obedience training so they listen better and understand what you want them to do. It might be agility training for an energetic dog to get dynamic exercise.
If you do any kind of advanced training, there are competitions for many things. They might measure hunting skills, jumping, or complex agility tasks, among many other things. Win or lose, it's a great way to take part in a sport that gets your dog plenty of exercise.
- New Toys!
Cats, dogs, birds, and other animals all like new toys they can play with. They love new places to explore and may decide they have a new favorite. Some pets just like to carry their toys around with them gently. Others like to chew on them. Some will climb on them, others will offer it to other pets they love. Toys keep pets engaged and interested, and that's important for their physical and behavioral health.
- Have an Emergency Plan!
One of the best things you can do for your pet is to know that they'll be safe if something comes up. Emergencies happen. If your pet has a health issue, you know where to go and what to do. What happens if you have an emergency? Do you know your pet will be taken care of?
Have a friend, family member, or neighbor you trust who can check-in and care for your pets if you can't make it home right away for any reason. Have an evacuation plan in case of fire or common natural disasters for your area.
Have a carrying case handy, just so you know where it is if you have to use it at a moment's notice. Hopefully, you never have to. Whatever happens, you want to know that your pet is well taken care of until things are back to normal.
Head into the new year with the right mindset - and a checkup to ensure your pet is healthy and well. Contact us for more information.