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It’s a new year and we’d like to encourage you to consider some pet-friendly New Year’s Resolutions!
1. MAKE A DATE WITH YOUR VETERINARIAN
Early visits with your veterinarian are important so they can be on the lookout for unusual health concerns. They have the ability to catch problems in their infancy before they become large problems, which not only helps your pet, but also your pocketbook. These visits are called wellness exams, and we do require them before we can provide new vaccinations. During these visits, doctors will check your pet’s mouth, gums and teeth; ears; eyes and vision; skin; and joints.
2. CONSIDER BECOMING A FOSTER PARENT
Your pets may love meeting new short-term friends and you’ll be helping a shelter animal before they’re ready for adoption.
Our foster parent program is made up of community volunteers who take animals into their homes, give them care and help them find their forever homes. The shelter provides food, blankets, towels, crates and medical care for the animals. The only expense to the foster family is time and love. Learn more here.
3. MAKE SURE YOUR PET IS EATING THE RIGHT TYPE OF FOOD
Your pet’s dietary needs change as they age; we encourage you to read the labeling on your bag to see if it is age and health appropriate. Certain breeds of dogs may be more susceptible to health conditions, so choosing the right food can help set your pet up for success. Age is also an important factor to consider; growing puppies and kittens need more calories and different nutrients than a less active, older dog or cat. If you have questions, your veterinarian would be more than happy to recommend specific brands for your pet.
4. REGULARLY CLEAN YOUR PET’S BOWLS, TOYS, AND BEDS
Pet bowls are one of the filthiest items in homes in America and need regular cleaning. You can toss feeding bowls, rubber and some fabric toys in the dishwasher (top shelf). The great majority of soft toys can be washed in the washing machine. Regular cleaning of bowls and toys will get rid of harmful germs and bacteria that can upset your pet’s stomach. Cleaning pet beds regularly also prevent bacteria from spreading as well.
5. GROOM AND BRUSH YOUR PET REGULARLY
It’s important to get your pet into a good habit of being brushed, not only to avoid painful mats but it also allows an opportunity to check their skin which can be an early indicator if they have underlying health problems. Another added bonus: brushing hair also distributes the natural oils in your pet’s skin and fur which helps to keep their coats looking shiny and healthy. Don’t forget to check your pet’s paws to see if anything is stuck in there!
6. BUMP UP YOUR EXERCISE ROUTINE
Take your dog out for more walks and general playtime; a tired dog is a happy dog! Exercise also reduces anxiety, deepens the connection between owners, and strengthens their joints. Cat owners can incorporate toys such as wands, lasers, and catnip to encourage play.
7. MAKE SURE YOUR MICROCHIP IS UP TO DATE (or get one if you don’t have one!)
We see microchips with outdated addresses, phone numbers, and ownership details on a weekly basis. That means, of course, that the chip can’t do its job and assist in quickly reuniting a pet with its owner. But it can also create much more complicated issues if ownership of a microchipped animal has changed. You’ll need to update the microchip each time you move, get a new phone number, or adopt a new animal. You can find links to the websites of some manufacturers and databases here. http://www.petmicrochiplookup.org/
8. MEASURE YOUR PET’S FOOD DAILY
If you’re using the eyeball method when deciding on how much to feed your pet, they can become overweight very quickly and they can subtly pack on the pounds which will affect their long-term health. Find a measuring cup for the food to keep in their bag or bin, or cut a solo-cup to fit the amount of food they need to ensure they’re on track.
9. BRUSH YOUR PET’S TEETH REGULARLY
We recommend brushing your pet’s teeth regularly; if you don’t, there could be significant health risks! Brushing your pet’s teeth will help prevent the build-up of plaque and tartar, and will also go a long way in preventing gingivitis and gum disease. Check out this video of how to brush your dog’s teeth. Ideally, you should brush your dog’s teeth every day, but aim to brush their teeth once a week if possible.