The end of the calendar year is when we tend to look back and think of the things we wish we’d done. How many of us wish we’d had more time to spend with our pets? Or neglected to take them in to have the vet check that new lump? Life can be so busy, and it goes by too fast. How about setting some goals that you and your pet together can achieve together? Here are our suggestions for Top 5 New Year’s resolutions.
1. Pet New Year’s Resolutions: Healthy Weight
In 2016, the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention determined that, out of 42 million dogs surveyed, 54% were overweight or obese. With cats, it was 59% of 50 million in the survey. These numbers have been steadily rising over the last five years. Many veterinarians consider it the greatest health risk faced by their patients, because it can cause many of the same ailments we have when overweight. And if you think a couple extra pounds on your cat isn’t very much, think again. It’s actually a huge amount, relative to the small physical size of a cat.
2. Pet New Year’s Resolutions: Preventive Medicine
Regular visits with a health professional are essential for both people and pets. Yearly exams are a must for pets, even if vaccines are not due. That physical exam gives your vet the opportunity to check your pet for minute changes that can become a problem if left untreated. When your pet enters its senior years, an exam every six months is very important, since changes can happen more quickly as they age. The yearly visit is also needed for heartworm and organ-function testing, so monthly medications can be continued safely. And don’t forget to get your shots!
3. Pet New Year’s Resolutions: Get More Exercise
Exercise = playing together! We know we need to exercise, and we know our pets do too. So find ways to play that you both enjoy. Walking is a fabulous and easy choice. Regular walks, at least three times a week for 20 minutes, can have enormous benefits for our entire bodies, even our mood. Agility courses, hiking, or running can amplify that exercise level even more. Interactive play for indoor cats is very important for their physical and mental health. Common complaints with indoor cats, such as destructiveness, inappropriate elimination, and laziness can all be helped with regular play sessions. It can be just as good for us.
4. Pet New Year’s Resolutions: Treat Them to Spa Days
Grooming sessions can be fun and help you bond with your pet. If they resist, begin with short sessions, like trimming the nails on one foot a day, then gradually work up to longer sessions. Start when you first get your pet, no matter how old they are. Have a favorite toy specific to grooming time. Praise them often, especially when they are cooperating with what you’re doing. And of course, TREATS! Anything to make grooming time pleasant for them will do the same for you.
5. Pet New Year’s Resolutions: Get Prepared for Emergencies
Create an emergency kit and plan for you and your pet. We never know what’s going to happen: wildfires and hurricanes and other emergencies are always possible. Having a plan in place can save lives. Keep cat carriers assembled and in a handy spot. Have a DDC Veterinary DNA Profile done for your dog, which is like a fingerprint, in case they get lost and need to be identified. This a great upgrade from microchips.
Tip of the Tail
DDC Veterinary values our customers, and we serve the needs of dog breeders all over the world. We are always ready to take your questions about how and when and what to test for in your kennel. It is a privilege to help you and your dogs thrive.