New Year’s Resolutions for You and Your Pet
Now that it is comfortably into the New Year, we may find that some resolutions are easy to stick with, some were never started, and others may have already been left behind. But here are a few resolution suggestions to help benefit you & your PET!! Some are easier than others to stick to but let’s see if we can make slight improvements this year to have a healthier pet for 2018!
· BUY A MEASURING CUP!!
· Measuring your pet’s food every time, instead of “eye-balling” the amount will control the amount of calories they are receiving. Pet food bags have a guide on the amount of food your dog/cat should receive based on weight. Or you can also speak to one of our veterinarians on feeding guidelines during your next visit!!
· WATCH THE TREATS!!!
· Treats are loaded with extra calories! “Cookies” are “treats” are just that cookies for dogs/cats. Not that they cannot have treats but all in moderation.
ü DO THE MATH: A dog weighing around 20 lbs would need a caloric intake of about 500 calories daily. (petobesityprevention.org)
§ A medium milk bones has 40 calories per treat, same as an oreo cookie! If your pet is receiving about 5 of these a day, that is 200 of their daily allotted calories, plus the regular feedings!
§ A cat weighing about 10lbs would have a daily caloric need of about 250 calories. Friskies tender treats has about 2.5 calories per treat, 20 of those little treats daily is 50 calories plus their daily feedings.
· Try some low calorie treats such as carrots or plain rice cakes.
· EXERCISE!! Take a daily walk!
· There are many health and social benefits to walking your dog daily. Some ways the walk can benefit YOU & YOUR DOG is cardiovascular fitness, lower blood pressure, stronger muscles and bones and decreased stress. Even if your dog has a yard to run in the walk can still be beneficial!
§ Not only will walking your dog benefit their heath and weight, but it can also help benefit them socially and behaviorally. Use walks as a training opportunity “sit” “stay” “heel”.
§ An exercised dog has an opportunity to release pent-up energy, which could help decrease destructive behavior.
§ Walking your dog also helps increase the bond you both share!!
· Today there are many ways to offer your pet exercise from DOGA (pet yoga) to hiking or playing fetch. Just throwing the ball with your dog 30 minutes a day will have benefits for you both. If you are unable to find time, consider a dog walker a few times a week to walk and entertain your pet regularly.
· CATS NEED EXERCISE TOO!! While walking your cat is not an option, there are other ways to offer your cat exercise.
§ “Catch the light” shine the red light or a flash light on the floors and walls and let your cat chase it around!
§ “Playing cat & mouse” toss a few play mice around the room and let your cat hunt them. Or put them on a string and let your cat chase them!
· SCHEDULE A ROUTINE CHECK UP!!!
· Has it been a while since your pet has had a wellness exam? There are many benefits to the wellness exam that most may not realize. Since our pets cannot vocalize (with clear vocabulary) that something is wrong, we rely on the wellness exam to check things from nose to tail and note any changes. Also during this visit while you speak with our veterinarians you may mention something that doesn’t seem alarming but may be an early sign of disease or illness. While 6 month check ups are ideal and recommended, having at least a yearly wellness exam will give your pet serious health benefits. Make it a point to get your pet regular check ups in 2018.
There are many resolutions that are made yearly; this year lets pick some that also benefit our pets!!