New Year’s resolutions do not just have to be for humans, but they can also be made for your pets. The start of a new year can be a great time to refresh your pet’s routine.
1. Get Healthy
Obesity is on the rise for both humans and pets. Many make a New Year’s resolution to get healthy and lose weight, and what’s even better is including your pet! Getting your pet healthier, means you can also get healthier. Cats and dogs who are overweight have an increased chance of developing heart disease, diabetes, and joint problems. Going on a daily walk, or playing outside for half an hour each day are easy ways to increase both your and your pet’s regular exercise.
2. Eat Better
Unfortunately, many owners “eyeball” their pet’s daily intake and feed them from the table. This causes pets to overeat and gain weight. However, measuring your pet’s food every time and foregoing table scraps are easy ways to cut back the calories. Most pet food containers include a feeding guide to determine the best amount to give. Be sure to research your animal’s food and choose the best option for them. If you decide to change food sources, check in with your veterinarian on the best way to switch your animal over. Additionally, while it is a good idea to cut back on overeating, pets typically need more food during colder temperatures because they move more to keep warm and you should consider this before making drastic changes.
3. Schedule a Vet Visit
Just like humans, pets should also have yearly check-ins. After age one, it’s recommended that animals see their veterinarian at least once a year for a physical and general examination. Yearly visits allow your vet to can determine if your pet needs vaccinations, any dietary adjustments, any odd or unusual behavior and can run tests if needed.
4. Focus on Dental Health
Dental health is typically not a focus for pet owners, but there are many reasons why keeping your pet’s teeth healthy is important. A pet with healthy teeth will not only have better breath but also caring for their dental health will help prevent other health concerns. If your pet has a build up of bacteria under their teeth and gums, the bacteria can travel to organs such as the liver, heart, and kidneys. Maintaining proper dental health will prevent serious health concerns and also make your pet look and feel better. Oral cleanings should be performed at least once a week, but chewing ropes, bones, rawhides and dental treats are other ways to stay fresh.
Keeping your pet healthy is important and the New Year is a great time to update and refresh their routine.
Lisa Landman is a strong advocate of adopting pets and has six rescue dogs! Want to see photos of her dogs? Check our her dog gallery or Twitter!