In keeping with the New Year’s theme, today let’s explore man’s best friend. When you have a family pet, you know how easy it is for them to become a part of the family. No matter what pet your family has, it deserves to be cared for at least as well as the other members of your family. Whether you are a new pet owner, or you’ve had the same dog for years, maybe this year is the year to make a resolution to treat your family favorite pet a little better. Although most of these resolutions are most applicable to dogs or cats, they can easily be adapted to fit whichever pet your family holds dear.
Focus on Health: Your pet cannot take care of themselves, in regards to choosing foods and exercise routines. That responsibility falls squarely on your shoulders. So, make this year the year you take a few extra steps to ensure your family pet is heart healthy by choosing the best foods for your pet and ensuring they get enough running around time.
Some simple tips to remember this year: skip the table scraps for Fido (or at least minimize the snacks). Human foods are usually too fatty, greasy and sugary to be healthy for your furry friend. Remember to stick with food specifically designed for your pet to ensure they get the nutrients they need to stay healthy.
Schedule in daily walks, jogs or jaunts at the park for your dog. A simple rule of thumb: the bigger the dog, the more energy they need to burn off. Not only will getting your pet out and about for at least one hour per day, keep your pet healthy, it may even help you get closer to your weight-loss resolutions this year.
Schedule the vet: Your dog, cat or other family pet needs to see their doctor for regular checkups, just like you. Did you know dogs and cats can get diabetes, cancer and other diseases? These illnesses can be prevented or maintained through proper care and regular visits with their veterinarian.
These visits can be particularly important as your dog ages. Many pets face other problems including pain, weakness and loss of vision. Your vet can help make your pet’s life more comfortable with proper medication and treatment.
Own it: Every year thousands of dogs are taken to shelters after they become separated from their owners. While the shelters are there to protect all animals, including family pets, it can put extra strain on already full animal homes. To help ease the burden and to make it easier to find your family pet should they wander away, consider getting a microchip for your pet.
The microchip is inserted under your pet’s skin. The chip contains your personal contact information as well as information about your pet (usually information about their shots etc.) If your pet becomes lost, the shelter can scan them for a microchip and contact your immediately. While you should always have a color and identification on your pet, the microchip is helpful if your pet loses their collar or escapes from your home or yard while he isn’t wearing it.
Spay and Neuter: If your pet is old enough, it may be time to get them spayed or neutered. This procedure ensures that your pet is not accidentally impregnated. With an overpopulation of dogs and cats, many who take shelter on the streets, spay and neutering can help reduce the risk of stray animals roaming the streets. Additionally, most pet owners find that the spaying and neutering process also eliminates the dreaded “in-heat” season for their pets.
Obedience training: Obedience training is great for all dogs. If you live in a neighborhood with other children, it may be necessary to get your pet trained so they know how to behave around people you trust. Your dog can learn to differentiate between threats and visitors, which is essential if you want your mail or packages delivered without the mailman feeling harassed.
Take a little time this year to give your pet a little extra love. Make sure they eat healthy, get enough exercise and receive the proper medical attention to help ensure a long and healthy life with your family.