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Healthy Pets in 2018 and Beyond: New Year’s Resolutions for Your Pet

Do you remember your New Year’s resolutions from last year? That would be your 2017 resolutions? We hear crickets. It’s not uncommon for New Year’s resolutions to fall by the wayside come February, even though we want to eat better, exercise more, and take more time to enjoy life, friends, and family.

This year, why not keep those good intentions alive throughout 2018 by including your pets in some of your resolutions? The team at Pet Medical Center put our heads together and came up with a short list of ideas for New Year’s resolutions for your pet.

Feed the Best Diet You Can

A balanced, high quality diet can not only improve your pet’s health, it can also lengthen their lives. Diet can help prevent heart disease, kidney disease, and even diabetes mellitus from emerging. Unfortunately, it’s confusing to know what a balanced, high quality diet truly is, but we can help!

Talk to your veterinarian at your pet’s next preventive care exam and we’ll help you choose a diet that makes sense for your individual pet.

Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise can go a long way to helping our pets feel better and live longer. Exercise can keep joints and muscles flexible and strong, control weight, and help to prevent heart disease and obesity. Preventing obesity in pets helps to prevent diabetes, one of the main risks of an overweight pet.

Additionally, a regular exercise routine can even foster a stronger bond between you and your pet, benefiting you both.So get going!

Establish a Regular Grooming Routine

Not every pet needs daily brushing, but there are many other good reasons to establish a routine of a daily once-over for your pet. Brushing can remove excess hair, not to mention those hairballs on your living room floor! But, that’s not all!

Grooming will make you familiar with your pet’s normal, healthy body, so you’ll recognize changes that occur right away. The quicker we recognize changes, the quicker and more successfully we can treat small problems before they become big problems, a win-win for everybody.

Try Something New

Enriching your pet’s environment can mean many things and can go a long way toward making their life happier. Boredom in pets is never good, and can result in undesirable behaviors like chewing, pacing, digging, and scratching furniture. Boredom can also cause inactivity, over-grooming, and overeating.

Cats can benefit from items in their environment that elicit their natural hunting, climbing, scratching, and hiding behaviors. Dogs benefit from doing tasks they have been bred for.

Enrichment for dogs:

  • Use a food puzzle for meals to slow down eating and make it more engaging
  • Rotate out their toys regularly to stimulate them with novelty
  • Try a new game or teach a new trick
  • Get involved in your local flyball, lure coursing, agility, or herding group

For cats:

  • Give vertical options (cat tree, towers, perches) for cats to climb
  • Provide different hiding places for your cat
  • Hide furry mice, crinkle balls, and other toys where your cat can find them
  • Find a new way to play interactively with your cat, like a feather toy
  • Try a puzzle feeder to encourage her to use her problem-solving and physical skills

There you have them, a few ideas to get you started on implementing New Year’s resolutions for your pet. Isn’t it amazing how similar our own resolutions might be to our pets? So go ahead, post these goals on your refrigerator, call us if you need any help with them, and see how much your pet’s health and happiness has improved at this time next year.