How many gym memberships have been wasted over the years thanks to unfulfilled New Year’s resolutions? Don’t worry: This year can be different. We’ve compiled a list of our favorite resolutions pet owners should have no trouble sticking to in 2019.
- Create a (fun) exercise routine. Not all dog walks are created equal. Occasionally, you might be on a tight time schedule and need to briskly walk through the evening jaunt with your pet, with no time to stop and smell the roses. Other times, you can enjoy a leisurely stroll around the neighborhood, letting your nosey pooch stop and sniff every couple of steps. Think of how boring it would be to run the same loop every time you go out. Providing a variety of walks in different locations aids in mentally and physically stimulating your pup, and keeps you more interested, too. And, if your cat has been harness-trained, she can join in on the fun as well. If not, schedule indoor playtime with toys and games to ensure she participates in daily activity to keep her fit and healthy.
- Invest in environmental enrichment for your pet. Pets live their entire lives waiting on their best friends to come home. Give them something to occupy their time by investing in a few items to relieve boredom, keep them active, and provide entertainment. Look into food puzzles, interactive toys, and long-lasting treats. Cats love climbing cat towers and finding cozy hiding places. Dogs enjoy the challenge of getting the last tasty morsel out of a treat puzzle. Never too old to learn new tricks, keep your pet’s mind sharp by practicing skills and tricks or learning a fun new game.
- Remember to give heartworm and flea prevention on time. Oh, and don’t skip that yearly wellness examination! Set up a reminder in your phone, stick it on the calendar, or have us give you a call to let you know your pet is due for her prevention. Be sure to make the time to bring your furry friend in for her annual wellness examination to stay on top of any health changes as well. Pets are masters at hiding signs of illness, and a thorough physical exam can help pick up any changes in the early stages.
- Tackle tooth brushing. If you can swing it, daily brushing is the gold standard of dental care. Take it slow to train your pet to tolerate tooth brushing, and be sure to use a toothpaste formulated for pets. In addition to tooth brushing, consider adding dental treats, chews, diets, and water additives to your pet’s dental care regimen. Check the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) for a list of approved dental products for dogs and cats that aren’t too hard (like antlers and bones) so they won’t break your pet’s teeth.
- Shed those holiday pounds. At least 56 percent of pets in America are considered overweight or obese. How does your pet measure up? If your furry friend is carrying a few extra pounds, resolve to help get her to a healthy weight in 2019. While it may be impossible to strap your cat into a harness and take her for a stroll around the block, both cats and dogs can be encouraged to be more active indoors. Cat owners: Choose toys that cater to your feline friend’s predatory nature, such as feather toys, crinkly balls, or any other toy that can be chased. Dog owners: If your pooch enjoys a game of fetch, use a hallway, unfinished basement, or large rec room as the perfect playing field. Exercise may help shed some excess weight, but diet plays a huge role as well. Feed your pet a high-quality food, ensuring that the appropriate portion is measured out for each meal—we recommend using a measuring cup instead of Tupperware, fountain drink cups, or other scooping items. Stick with healthy treats, such as fresh veggies or lean sources of protein, rather than the sugar-laden snacks stocked on pet store shelves. Instead of showing your pet love and affection with extra treats, spend some time playing a fun game.
Having trouble sticking to those New Year’s resolutions? Give us a call for help.