5 New Year’s Resolutions For Your Pet
Veterinarian Reviewed on January 6, 2017 by Dr. Janice Huntingford, DVM
Posted in General
The start of a new year can signal a fresh start for your pet’s health and well being. To start off the year off right, consider making these New Year’s resolutions for your pet! We all need to focus on our health and nutrition and our pets are no exception.
Approximately 50 % of pets in North America are overweight. For the most part we just feed them too much and give too many treats along with too little exercise. If you could do one thing for your pet this year, resolve to measure his or her food. Often pet owners eyeball how much the pet is receiving. If you measure the food, you can be sure the pet is getting only what is required. Ask your veterinarian for help with amounts. The directions on the bag frequently over estimate the pet’s actual requirements. I like to calculate Metabolic Body Weight and use a formula for each individual animal to determine what is really needed including what would be needed for weight loss. Just reducing the amount of regular food in an obese pet can short change protein and essential vitamins and minerals. If your pet needs to lose weight, see your veterinarian for a reducing diet.
1. Resolve to spend more time exercising your pet.
If you normally walk your dog a few minutes a day, try to increase that by 5 minutes weekly until you are walking at least 30 minutes a day. This is good for you and your dog. A well exercised dog is healthy and psychologically happier. Dogs who get appropriate exercise have fewer behavioural issues and act out less. Active dogs burn more calories. If you own a cat, spend that time playing with the cat–cats love attention and can benefit from the exercise as well.
2. Invest in the best food you can for your pet.
We can all improve our nutrition including that of our pets. Remember good food can help your pet with weight loss as well as improve his or her health. Pet Wellbeing is now carrying a great holistic premium food that you could try out for your pet!
3. Invest in your pet’s heath.
Take him or her to your veterinarian at least once yearly. Pets do not need yearly vaccinations but they do require at least yearly exams.If you are interested in natural medicine find a holistic veterinarian who can advise you on natural nutrition, holistic medication and other preventive measures that can help with pet longevity.
4. Teach your pet a new trick
Teach your pet a new trick or spend some time training every day. Consider taking up a dog sport, like agility or obedience training. This is exciting for your pet and you and will make you a better owner. It is also a lot of fun!
5. Adopt a pet
If you do not own a pet, or if you have more room in your family consider adopting another pet from the local humane society or a rescue group. There are many pets that need forever homes.
With a little thought, you and your pet can have the best year ever! Happy New Year!
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Janice Huntingford, DVM, has been in veterinary practice for over 30 years and has founded two veterinary clinics since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has studied extensively in both conventional and holistic modalities. Ask Dr. Jan