Our Favorite Pet Resolutions to Start the Year Strong
January 5th, 2015 by Cherished Companions Animal Clinic
Thinking about New Year’s resolutions? Don’t forget to make a few pet resolutions for your pet family too!
Here are three resolutions to enrich your pet’s quality of life for many months to come.
Pet resolution #1: Commit to frequent pet exercise.
Exercise is so important for your pet, and the earlier you can start, the better.
When your cat or dog is a healthy weight, you can dramatically lengthen his or her lifespan. Just as important, your pet will feel better. For example, if you can help an overweight dog lose just 10% of his or her body weight, you can greatly improve the dog’s joint health and overall comfort!
As with human exercise, it’s important to start pet exercise gradually and build up your pet’s endurance. Here are a few examples:
- Cats: If your cat likes to chase a laser pointer, start out for one minute per day, and then gradually increase “play time” up to four or five minutes several times per day.
- Dogs: If your dog has never been hiking before, start out with short hikes and build your way up to longer hikes. (Don’t start out with a five or six miler!)
Let your pet tell you how much exercise is too much. Ideally, your pet should be back to his or her own self the next day: happy and active.
If your cat or dog appears to be wiped out well into the next day and is reluctant to exercise or play, you may have done too much.
One final tip from our Castle Rock veterinarians to set your pet family up for success… Be realistic. Choose activities you know that you and your cherished companion can commit to on an ongoing basis. If you have a dog, decide whether you want to exercise with your dog (such as walking, jogging or hiking) or ensure your dog is getting exercise (such as playing catch).
Pet resolution #2: Make good food choices for your pet.
Looking for other ways to improve your pet’s health? Commit to feeding your cat or dog a well-balanced pet food this year! A good diet can enhance your pet’s quality of life in many ways, including:
- Improving your pet’s digestive tract
- Keeping your pet’s kidneys from having to work as hard
- Helping to prevent diet-associated diseases (such as diabetes, obesity and bladder stones)
- Giving your pet a healthier coat of fur
- And so much more
The great news is you don’t have to break the bank to get high-quality pet foods. There are some very good pet foods (in a mid-price range) that provide the well-balanced diet your pet needs.
One of our favorite pet food brands is iVet. Why? In addition to being rich with nutrients, iVet doesn’t get any of their ingredients from foreign countries. No grains from China. No recalls. It offers great peace of mind.
Pet resolution #3: Get your pet into a regular dental routine.
Dental disease − also known as periodontal disease − is the most common illness in adult cats and dogs. It can cause chronic pain and lead to more serious (and expensive) health issues.
If you’re proactive, though, the disease is 100% preventable!
One of the best ways to be proactive is to commit to giving your pet some type of dental care each week. You’ll improve your pet’s breath, and you’ll help keep hard plaque from building up around your pet’s gums, slowing down the progression of periodontal disease.
While brushing your pet’s teeth is the best option, we know there are adult cats and dogs that will have nothing to do with a toothbrush. (In February, we’ll share some other dental care options that may be easier to provide at home.)
Our recommendation is to find out what your cat or dog will tolerate and then commit to doing it as often as you can. It takes 48 hours for the bacteria in your pet’s mouth to harden into plaque, so if you can provide some type of home dental care to your cat or dog every one to two days, it really helps.
If you’re new to the world of pet dental care in Castle Rock, our veterinarians are happy to discuss the different options with you. Plus, next month, stay tuned for an article on pet dental products.
Cheers for pet resolutions! Here’s to a happy and healthy year!
Cherished Companions Animal Clinic is a veterinary clinic in Castle Rock, Colorado. Specializing in the care of cats and dogs, our goal is to help you and your pet feel more comfortable, keeping your stress to a minimum.
This article is intended to provide general guidance on New Year’s pet resolutions. If you have specific questions or concerns, please contact your local veterinarian. (If you live in or around Castle Rock, we welcome your call.)
© 2015, Cherished Companions Animal Clinic