Happy New Year from your friends at Animal Health Center! Start the new year off on the right paw by developing some wellness-oriented New Year’s resolutions for your pet. Your cat or dog depends on you to help them stay healthy and happy. The good news is that there are many easy-to-follow resolutions that you and your pet can do together! Make 2023 the best year yet, developing healthier habits and discovering new ways to help your pet live a full, healthy life!
Resolve to get your pet more active
In 2018, an estimated 60% of cats and 56% of dogs in the United States were overweight or obese (petobesityprevention.org). Even a few extra pounds on your pet can cause weight-related health problems, such as joint issues, diabetes, liver disease, breathing issues and more!
A great way to keep your pet in shape is to be sure he or she stays active. And, helping them stay active also helps you to stay active! Resolve to wake up an hour earlier each day to fit in a morning walk with your dog or get out the “fishing pole” to keep you and your cat on your feet. Find little moments throughout the day to get moving, and take your pet with you!
Resolve to stop giving your pet table scraps
Watching what your pet eats will also help them to stay trim, and will make sure they are getting all the nutrients they need to stay healthy. Human food ingredients, if given to your pet properly, can provide your pet with a huge nutritional boost. But, the table scraps you may traditionally offer your pet, such as rejected trimmings from your steak dinner, the crust off your pizza, or the bones from your holiday feast, often hold little nutritional value and are very high in fat, sodium and calories.
These extra “treats” throughout the day can lead to your pet overeating. They can also cause digestive upset such as gas, loose stools and diarrhea. Leftover bones also pose a choking hazard as they can quickly become lodged in your pet’s throat or intestine.
If your resolution is to eat healthier in 2023, make it a resolution for your pet as well! Swap your pet’s fattening treats for veggies, say no to their begging eyes at dinner time, and be sure you are feeding your pet vet-approved kibble or wet food.
Resolve to stay on top of their monthly preventatives
Fleas, tick-borne diseases and heartworm disease are easy to prevent but are often difficult, painful and costly to treat. In 2023, resolve to stay on top of your pet’s monthly preventatives year-round, even in the colder months, to keep them fully protected from parasites and the illnesses they cause. Although fleas, ticks and mosquitos are known to thrive in warmer climates, they do not disappear when the temperature drops!
Resolve to spend more time with your pet
Your pet’s world revolves around you, so be sure to give them the time and attention they need to stay happy and mentally stimulated. When was the last time you took advantage of their unconditional love, emotional support and companionship? Even the most fiercely independent cats have a soft spot of love and nurture for their owners. Carving some time out of your busy day to talk, play and exercise your pet will make both of you happier. Whether it’s spending time together while being active, working toward teaching them a new trick, or playing with them and their toys, your furry family members will love every minute of it!
Resolve to make 2023 your pet’s healthiest, safest year yet!
If it’s been a while since your pet has been to the vet, schedule a wellness exam with one of our five Animal Health Center locations, today! We will make sure your pet is up-to-date on their vaccines and will run some tests to make sure there are no underlying health issues that need to be addressed.
And lastly, from all of us at Animal Health Center, have a Happy New Year!