It’s time to leave all our bad habits in the past and start anew, or just keep all bad habits and add new ones (just kidding). Let’s help our pets with these resolutions to keep them healthy and happy.
Lose that weight! – You’re sitting on your chair with a sandwich on your right hand and a cold drink on the other. You suddenly feel a tug on your leg. It’s your dog looking at you with big doleful eyes, almost begging for a bite of the sandwich. Who can resist not feeding their pet after that? That’s where it starts. Many pet owners simply can’t help but overfeed their pets until they resemble a stuffed sausage with tiny little legs. Some may say it’s because it makes their pet happy or it’s just a little bite. For our pets, if there is food in front of them, they will eat it. Resolve to feed our pets food designed for them. Pet foods are made to make sure that our pets get proper nutrition without becoming a walking pillow. It’s also important to make a schedule of feeding, 3 times a day, breakfast, lunch, and dinner with proper portions.
Most important reminders like resist from giving pets “snacks”. A greasy bacon strip is not a snack! Consider providing them with healthy pet snacks instead. Nutrition is only a part of the plan for a healthier and leaner furry companion. Exercise is a very important factor for weight loss. A simple leash and your legs are all you need to take your pet for a walk. Walks can trim the belly and strengthen the body of your companion and yourself (it’s a double benefit)! For pet owners with no time for walks they can provide toys that encourage play time and movement, essentially tricking your pets into exercising with entertainment.
Finally, the most important and best resolution is to play with your pets often. It not only keeps them happy, it also helps in their overall wellness.
Train your Puppy – a disobedient dog does not always mean it’s a bad dog, they just weren’t given enough rules to follow. So, resolve to give your puppy some tough love and show it the proper way to be a good dog. Whether it’s training on your own or taking them to a specialist for training, it’s always good to start early as they say an old dog can’t learn new tricks! Start with basic training as a puppy. Doing so will help the dog remember the rules and get used to it as it matures. With enough love support and attention, a rowdy puppy can turn into a gentle dog.
Tame the Fur- One of the many joys in the world is to pet a fluffy dog. Their soft silky fur provides relaxing comfort for the very loving pet owner. However, this comes at a price, more evident to pet owners with long haired pets like shih tzu’s and heavy coated dogs like the Siberian husky whose unkempt fur can cause great discomfort or skin irritation as their thick fur accumulate heat. No need to despair because a good grooming provides comfort for the pet provided the groomer not only considers aesthetics but also pays attention to cleanliness of the pet for his health and comfort.
So, for the new year consider starting the habit of taking your pet to a groomer regularly. You can also learn some simple grooming techniques so you can do it yourself at home. Either way, grooming provides benefits both the pet and the pet owner will enjoy. Remember, a nice smelling dog is nice to hug!
Preventatives and routine procedures- Pet parents should resolve to start looking after the well-being of their furry pets, which is the best way to prevent illness. How, you may ask? Well, the answer is preventative medical procedures. Vaccination is an important way of preventing viruses that cause illness to our pets. These vaccines prevent parvovirus, parainfluenza, distemper, and the most terrifying rabies viruses from infecting our dogs.
Vaccines such as 5 in 1 for dogs cover the most common viral infections and should be done as early as possible. One must also remember to update the vaccines with boosters to maintain their effectiveness and make sure to follow the vets’ instructions and vaccination schedule.
Heartworm and flea/tick/worm preventatives are also important as they prevent parasites from latching on to our beloved pet. Heartworm infections cause problems in the respiratory tract of dogs. Ticks, and fleas cause illnesses such as ehrlichiosis and flea allergy dermatitis. It is important to kill these parasites and prevent further infestation by providing anti parasitic medications as instructed by our vets. Like vaccinations, the earlier done the better and it is important to follow the vet’s medication schedule.
Neutering and spaying your pet prevents any diseases such as testicular and prostate cancer. If your pet is an outside dog, this procedure prevents unwanted pregnancies.
The benefit of microchipping is very straight forward, it is a quick way of locating your beloved pet should they get lost. One scan of the microchip provides all the information needed to reunite a beloved animal friend to their worried owners.
Consider safeguarding your pets from viruses, parasites, illnesses by following the tips mentioned in this article and create a way of finding a lost loved pet.
By: Antonio Miguel C. Antazo, DVM