During this time of year, many of us set new goals and perspectives for the year ahead. As you make your New Year’s resolutions, consider your pet as well! Here are some great ideas to promote a happier and healthier year for you and your animal companions.
Many pets can suffer from overeating and a lack of proper nutrition. This year think about your pet’s diet. Use a measuring cup to ensure your pet is receiving the right amount of food at every meal. Your veterinarian can help advise you on portion size and select food specific to your pet’s life stage and needs to keep him or her in optimal health.
Puzzle feeders can be a great way to provide daily enrichment to your pet. Simply switch up your pet’s meals with a puzzle feeder every so often to improve your pet’s day-to-day life.
In this day and age pet owners need to be careful of internet food fads for their dog or cat. They often are filled with propaganda to sell you a product as better and safer for your pet that may actually cause harm. One dog food company started the whole fad of feeding grain-free diets as a healthier diet. We have seen an increase in cases of a serious heart disease known as dilated cardiomyopathy or DCM associated with the feeding of grain-free diets. The increase in DCM is found in many breeds of dogs that normally do not have DCM until fed these diets. If the diet is stopped quickly enough the symptoms and disease are reversed. However not every dog which is fed a grain-free diet will develop DCM. The CDC has issued an alert for pet owners to be careful and to consider the risk.
If you’re resolving to get into better shape this year or just become more active, consider taking your pet with you. Adding more walks or adventures outside can help boost your pet’s spirits with the smells and sounds of the great outdoors. It is just as healthy for them as it is for you!
Make sure to take precautions for extreme temperatures, rocks, salt or other foreign objects that can disrupt your adventures with your pet. This will help get out extra energy and become a great bonding experience.
Providing regular grooming, whether it is bathing, brushing, or trips to the salon for haircuts depending on the breed, can be helpful to your pet’s quality of life. Don’t forget the importance of trimming nails and brushing teeth as well. Dental disease is just as common in animals as it is in humans. Dental exams can help you develop a regular cleaning plan to care for your pet’s teeth.
Learn New Things
Agility training or learning new tricks can help your pet develop new skills while providing much-needed enrichment and stimulation. Be patient with training and work together with your pet to develop new skills. At the end of their training, it will be fun to show off your pet’s newfound abilities to friends and family.
Visit the Vet
It is important to maintain regular check-ups at the veterinarian at least once a year to keep your pet healthy and catch any problems before they get out of hand. Preventative care includes regular exams, dental cleanings, parasite control, and more which can help save your pet in the long run. For older pets, consider visiting the vet every six months.
For more information on how you and your pet can start the new year together happy and healthy, contact Cornerstone Animal Hospital today.