It’s a New Year, and by now you probably have New Year’s resolutions ready to recite to anyone who asks. But have you considered what your pet might say if they could make New Year’s resolutions? Do any of these ring true?
“I want to find ways to spend even more quality time with my person.”
“I am looking for something new and exciting to do!”
“I need more exercise.”
“This is my year to obtain my ideal body weight!”
“I’m ready to keep up with my veterinarian’s wellness care recommendations so I can stay as healthy as possible for my owners!”
As a pet owner, you hold the key to helping your pets obtain these goals (as well as many others!). For starters, try and set aside time each day to spend some quality time doing things they enjoy. Whether you are hugging them, holding them, petting them, brushing them, playing fetch with them, letting them chase a laser pointer, or working on training commands – all of these actions are easy ways to show your pets how loved they are.
For pets that have a lot of energy, curiosity or play drive, rotate their toys and find toys that are challenging and stimulating to play with. Or, work on new commands or skills – many dogs and cats can surprise us with the repertoire of tricks they can develop!
Exercise is important for dogs and cats. Tailor the amount of activity to the health, age, and medical condition of your pet. For example, a young healthy dog might play fetch for an extended period of time, yet an older, arthritic dog may only be up for a couple of (slower) rounds. Or an asthmatic kitty may do better batting a dangling toy versus running around the room chasing a laser pointer. Always feel free to check in with one of our veterinarians for suggestions and guidance on types and duration of exercise for your pets.
With the rise in pet obesity, there is no time like the present to help your pet get to an ideal weight. Whether we increase exercise, decrease calories, minimize treats, prescribe a weight loss diet, or use a combination of approaches will depend on the animal and amount of weight he or she needs to lose. Obesity is a problem that can be fixed – let us help you come up with a plan that works for everyone.
Finally, regular wellness care can prevent many health problems from ever occurring. Help your pet keep up with things like monthly heartworm prevention, intestinal parasite deworming, flea and tick prevention, vaccinations, and annual exams. Prevention is so much easier (and better for your pets!) than having to treat preventable conditions.
Can you think of other healthy goals for your pet in 2016? Whatever they might be, Lawndale looks forward to partnering with you throughout 2016 to help make this a great year for your pets!
Author: Dr. C. Noureddine, DVM, MS