Top 10 resolutions for a healthier, happier pet in 2016!
- Measure your pet’s food daily!
Many owners “eyeball” their pet’s daily food intake, usually resulting in overfeeding and weight gain. The recommended feeding guide on the bag are good place to start; however, your Vet will be able to provide a more accurate diet recommendation based on age, weight, medical condition, and body condition score. Remember, always use a measuring cup and keep treats to a minimal!
2. Choose the appropriate diet for your pet!
Every pet is different and will require a different diet depending on many factors. Young pets have very specific nutrient requirements to ensure healthy growth, while some senior pets have lower energy requirements, but may have other medical issues like joint disease. Some pets require urinary specific diets, while others have kidney disease. Choosing a diet specifically tailored to your pet’s life stage and medical condition is very important!
3. Get active, get outside!
From hiking to kayaking, it’s easier than ever for people to incorporate their pet into their favorite exercise routines. It’s a great way to bond and gets you both out of the house. So don’t hesitate to bring your dog on your next camping trip!
4. Play more, inside the home!
Toys that trigger your cat’s predatory instinct are a great way to get them off the couch and active. Lasers, catnip toys, crinkly balls, and climbable cat trees are fantastic options. Even something as simple as a cardboard box can become a cool cat cave, providing hours of fun!
5. Schedule a wellness exam with your Vet!
Yearly Vet exams are essential to preventive pet health care. Many medical conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, and obesity are common in aging pets and are much easier to manage when detected early. Vet visits are the perfect time to ask for advice on all aspects of pet health such as diet or behavioral changes.
6. Groom your pet daily!
Grooming your pet serves many purposes. It removes excess fur from the coat, helps distribute oils from the skin to the fur, and keeps the coat shiny and healthy. It also serves as a great bonding activity that demonstrates to your pets how much you care about their health!
7. Start brushing your pet’s teeth!
Daily tooth brushing is the best way to reduce tartar and plaque from forming on your pets teeth. Be sure to use a tooth paste made specifically for pets. Water additives, dental diets, and treats designed to reduce tartar can also be a helpful. However, regular cleanings by your Vet is the best way to keep your pet’s teeth and mouth healthy.
8. Teach your old dog, a new trick!
Mental stimulation can help reduce deteriorating brain function in aging pets. Teaching your pet new tricks and practicing those they already know are great ways to keep their brains sharp. Always make your pets do a trick before giving a treat and invest in puzzle feeders that make them “work” for their food.
9. Update your pet’s ID information!
Over the course of a year, a lot can change. People move, get new phone numbers, and change their email addresses. Often they only remember these things once their pet is lost. If any of your contact information has changed in 2015, update your pet’s tags and microchip information today!
10. Donate your pet’s old toys and food to a rescue organization!
Have a favourite local pet rescue organization? Edmonton and area is home to several amazing organizations that are in constant need of donations. Every bit helps. If your pet has old toys they no longer play with or food/treats they no longer care for, donate them!