Do you vow to make changes for yourself once the calendar turns to January? You might commit to losing weight, taking up a new hobby, or finding a new career. Well, just like you can make a resolution for yourself, you can do the same for your beloved pet. There are a lot of changes you can make for your pet – changes that may help support not only their physical health but their mental health as well.
While you’re no doubt already a great pet parent, there’s a pretty good chance there’s something you can do to make your furry companion’s life even better. Even though we’re already well into the new year, it’s definitely not too late to make a healthy change.
There’s basically no limit to the number of resolutions you can make when it comes to your furry family member. But even if you want to focus on just one pet resolution, that’s great. Here are a few resolutions to consider on behalf of your pet.
More Exercise For You And Your Pet: Regular Walks And Play Time Also Make For Great Bonding
You already know that physical activity is a great way for you to support your health. But what about your pets? Are they getting enough exercise? Could they benefit from more? There are a lot of fun, easy ways to incorporate more exercise for you and your pet. And there are just as many important reasons to do it.
The positive effects of exercise are plentiful. Whether it’s an outdoor activity, such as getting that leash off the hook and going on regular walks, or indoor activity such as plenty of toys and playtime, exercise helps your pet in a lot of ways. It can help your pet maintain a healthy weight, keep their joints working as they should, and more.1
You need to be careful with pet exercise, though. Some breeds of dogs, for example, can’t handle really intense workouts. Pugs and Bulldogs, for example, have short snouts and can easily experience breathing problems that might require clinical care. Puppies and young dogs are still developing. Too much running could lead to injuries.2 Talk to your vet about how much, and what type of exercise is ideal for your pet.
Have a cat? Exercise is important for them as well. If you have an indoor-only cat, put some treats in a puzzle toy, or use other interactive toys that will get them moving. A lot of cats love these toys and can use them to entertain themselves while you’re away from home. Providing plenty of toys may also keep them from becoming overweight.3
Make A Diet Plan To Keep Your Pet At A Healthy Weight
This goes hand-in-hand with getting your pet on an exercise program. The type of food you choose for your pet – and the amount you give your pet – will have a huge impact on their overall health.
Consider making a resolution to improve your pet’s quality of life through diet. You’ll need to make sure the food you buy is appropriate for the age of your pet as well as their nutritional needs. With all of the different dog food varieties on the shelves today, it can be difficult to know which pet food to purchase. Many pet foods are loaded with fillers such as corn that really aren’t doing your pet any good. Talk to your vet about your pet’s specific needs and educate yourself on what your pet should really be eating. Providing you pet with the right nutrition can go a long way towards helping them live a long and happy life.
You’ll also want to make sure you’re feeding your pet the right proportion of food each day. Just looking at your pet’s bowl and filling it up isn’t enough. This approach might make your pet overweight without you even realizing it.4 Talk to your vet to find out exactly how much food you should be giving your pet at mealtime.
Also, keep tabs on the treats. Giving too many of them can also make your pet overweight. This is another area where you should consider
getting guidance from your vet.5
Obesity can have profound effects on your pet’s health. Keeping your pet at a healthy weight and getting them the right nutrients will help ensure you enjoy their companionship and love for many years to come.
Keep Your Pet From Getting Bored While You’re Away
During your work hours, your pets can become extremely bored or anxious. This can, in some instances, result in pet stress. That can lead to destructive behaviors such as chewing on furniture, shoes, and other items around the home.6 Pet teeth are incredibly sharp. You’d be amazed at the damage they can do.
How do you keep your pet from getting bored? One way is to enhance his or her senses. If you have a cat, for example, put a fleece blanket near a window perch. The cat will love the feel and will spend hours simply looking outside at squirrels, birds, and whatever other critters are in your yard.7
You can keep your dog occupied by having a lot of fun toys in your home. You might even consider keeping the television on all day, if possible. There’s even a channel, known as DOGTV, that has programming specifically made for your canine companion. It’s available through several online outlets as well as on DirecTV.8
If you’re so inclined, you can set up pet cameras that send video to your smartphone. That will allow you to see how well your efforts to help your pets avoid boredom are working.
Consider Getting Your Pet A Companion
If you have a single dog or cat, you might also consider adopting a second pet. Not only will you have another companion to share your love with, but your pets will now have each other’s companionship. They can keep each other company so they won’t be bored or lonely all day.
Just make sure you have the resources needed to adopt a second pet. Consider adopting a rescue pet from your local shelter if possible. Also, make sure that the pet is spayed or neutered. If you are rescuing, the rescue organization will likely take care of it. If not, take the animal to your vet.
If you do choose to bring a second pet home, it will be very important that you give each pet plenty of attention. You don’t want one to feel jealous of the other.9 There will be an adjustment period, but be patient. Chances are they will quickly bond and be best friends for a long, long time.
Pet Teeth And Oral Health: Get A Professional Cleaning At The Vet And Start Oral Care At Home
Another great way to help your pet this year is to commit to taking care of their oral health. A pet’s dental health is a lot more important than you might realize. Talk to your vet to see how often your pet will need their teeth cleaned.
Pet teeth aren’t just sharp, they’re also prone to several types of issues. You simply can’t neglect your pet’s dental health. If you do, this can lead to major health problems. Bacteria from the mouth can get into your pet’s blood, putting their organs at risk. If you notice swollen gums, bad breath, or excessive tartar accumulation, get to the vet for a thorough cleaning.10
Bring Your Pet Into The Veterinarian For A Checkup And Follow Their Advice In 2020
This might just be the best thing you can do for your pup or kitty – make a commitment to get a regular checkup. If a clinical professional such as a vet can spot a problem early, that can really go a long way toward keeping it from becoming a major issue.11
Getting your pet preventive vaccinations and other clinical care, such as heartworm medications, fecal exams, and more, can help prevent
potentially severe diseases that will take a lot of time – and cost a lot of money – to address successfully.
There’s no foolproof set of pet data that will tell you how to be the perfect pet parent. All you can do is try to be the best one possible. Whatever pet resolution – or better yet, resolutions – you choose to adopt, do what you can to follow through all year long – and then year after year. You’ll have a healthier and happier pet as a result.