This year, why not set some goals for your furry friends too! Dr Ben Willcocks has some ideas and inspiration.
With the beginning of the New Year, everyone is thinking about resolutions and how to make this year better than the last. Did you know, however, that New Year’s Resolutions aren’t just for you? This year, let’s set some goals for our furry friends, too, and help them make the most out of 2014!
1. Weight loss
Weight loss is a big goal around the beginning of the year, regardless of the species. If your pet is considered overweight or obese, now is a great time to make lifestyle changes to help him or her get back on track. Obesity in pets is associated with other diseases such as diabetes and heart conditions. Help your chubby pets attain the gift of health this year.
2. Get a fresh, new look
Around this time of year, a lot of people are cutting their hair, updating their wardrobes, and re-defining a new version of themselves. Why not include your pet in all the fun? Maybe you can try a lion cut for your feline or get your dog a cool, new sweater. After all, they are part of the family too.
3. Show me those pearly whites
Dental hygiene is important for everyone, but did you know that dental diseases can spread throughout your pet’s body and can lead to more serious conditions? If you haven’t made the dental health of your four-legged friend a priority, now is the time.
4. Go on an adventure
A great goal for the New Year is to do something you’ve never done before. Why not include your dog? If you’ve never taken him camping, perhaps now is the time. Maybe your peppy Papillon has never experienced a day at the spa. Why not treat her this year? Most importantly, remember to have fun and create memories with your animal friend.
5. Take your pet to the Vet
If you haven’t been taking your pet for its regular check-ups, consider changing that this year. Getting recommended vaccinations and check-ups are a great way to prevent future health problems. If you don’t have a regular vet, do a search in your area for clinics that come highly recommended and are within your budget. Ask your pet owning friends for a recommendation.
6. Prioritize play time
Play time is a great way to incorporate exercise into your pet’s daily routine. It is also a great time to bond with your pet. If you have a busy schedule, look into fun toys to keep your pet engaged indoors and outdoors.
7. Incorporate exercise
Exercise is an important key to health. While play time is a great way to encourage calorie burning for your pet, a simple daily walk or jog is just as effective. If you enjoy hiking, bring your dog with you. If you enjoy sunbathing, take your dog to the beach and entertain a game of fetch. Be mindful of sunburn though, for both of you!
8. Consider pet insurance
If you haven’t looked into pet insurance, it may be a good thing to consider for your family this year. Do you have a Labrador that may be prone to hip problems? What about a chunky cat that may be prone for diabetes? Hospital and medicals bills for our pets can be pretty pricey. Pet insurance may be a way to help ease the financial burden in the event of an emergency or unexpected medical condition concerning your pet.
9. Update your pet’s identification information
The last thing anyone wants to hear is that their pet has gone missing. With the proper identification processes taken beforehand, however, the chances of you finding your lost pet increases drastically. This year do take the time to make sure your dog’s tags contain your current contact information. Does your dog have a microchip? This may be something to consider. Is your contact information current with the pet registry? This is another thing to think about before a potential incident occurs.
10. Get plenty of cuddle time
Some of the best memories with our furry ones happen when we are cuddled up together, watching the dramatic end of that really good movie. This year, make sure to spend loads of time creating cuddle memories with your furry little guys.
Do you have a question for Dr Ben? Ask him here