It's A New Year: Helpful Resolutions for Pets and Parents
Making new year’s resolutions may not be for everyone. Those that do make them usually abandon the effort due to lack of focus, busy schedule, or no accountability. But what if those resolutions included our pets? By focusing on helping our best furry friend enjoy a healthier, happier lifestyle in 2022, we also benefit as pet parents.
Here are some easy, fun ways to help your pet (and you) achieve success this year. *
1. Walk Dogs Daily
We can all pack on pounds during the holiday season. Exercising is always more fun with a friend, so head outdoors with Fido and get your heart rate up.
2. Feed Healthier Diet and Treats to Pets
Ask our doctors for food recommendations appropriate for your pet’s species, age, breed, and lifestyle. Feed the recommended amount, and limit treats to small goodies in limited portions, breaking up treats you need to. Add in some healthy items, such as bits of carrots, apples, and blueberries.
3. Take Care of Your Pet’s Teeth and Gums
Practice good oral hygiene. Tooth brushing is the best way to keep tartar and plaque at bay; just be sure to use toothpaste meant for dogs and cats. Water additives, dental diets, and treats designed to reduce tartar can also be helpful tools in keeping teeth clean. Also, remember to schedule an annual dental cleaning for your pet.
4. Groom Your Pet
Brushing your pet serves many purposes. It removes excess fur from the coat, reducing the amount you find on your clothes and furniture. It helps distribute oils from the skin to the fur, keeping the coat shiny and healthy. Lastly, daily grooming is a bonding activity that demonstrates to your pet how much you love them by taking care of them in a very soothing manner. For deep cleaning, de-matting, nail trim, and professional grooming, schedule an appointment with our groomers.
5. Attend Training or Obedience Classes
Your dog doesn’t have to be rowdy to attend training or obedience classes. Many dogs enjoy the challenge and the bonding time gained from attending these classes with their owners. A refresher course every couple of years is also recommended by training experts. Visit our training website page
for an updated class schedule.
6. Go on an Adventure or Try a New Activity with Your Pet
Do you have an adventurous dog breed? Take a hike at a new park or trail. You don’t necessarily have to take a road trip with your companion, a visit to the local pet store to check out the critters in cages and aquariums can be a whole lot of fun. Many stores and home centers allow pets. This can make for a fun, new adventure. Just remember to keep them on a leash for their safety as well as others.
8. Make a Date with Your Vet
Yearly vet examinations are a key component of good preventive care and are also the perfect time to ask for advice, update your pet’s food, or get an expert opinion on any behavioral issues that may be affecting your bonding with your pet.
9. Update Pet ID information
Over the course of a year, a lot can change. People move, get new phone numbers, and forget to update their pet’s tags. Often, they only remember once the pet is lost. If any of your contact information has changed in 2021, don’t wait — update their tags and microchip information. It’s the best way to ensure a lost pet makes their way safely home.
10. Teach an Old Dog a New Trick
Studies show that mental stimulation can help reduce cognitive deterioration in aging animals. In other words, keeping your senior pet’s brain active can make it healthier. Puzzle feeders, which force a pet to think through a task to be rewarded with a treat, are also an excellent way to keep a pet’s mind engaged.
Keeping your pet happy and healthy are great resolutions that you and your pet will appreciate all year long.
Amanda McQueen, Special to The County • December 29, 2021
Wishing you and your pets a safe and Happy New Year!
Julie Grimes, DVM