Happy New Year’s Eve! With the start of a new year upon us, you’re probably thinking about your future, making new year’s resolutions, and setting new goals. But, remember, those resolutions don’t just apply to people – you should also set some goals that include your pets.
Kick off 2019 on the right foot with a fresh new start to your pet’s routine. This is especially important when it comes to maintaining your pet’s optimal health. For instance, pet obesity continues to be a growing problem in the U.S., as more than 50 percent of household pets are now estimated to be overweight. So, what better time is there for a fresh start and a new routine?
With a new year and your pet’s health in mind, let’s take a look at a few resolutions you might consider to keep both you and your pet on a path toward a happier and healthier lifestyle:
- Diet – It’s important to feed your pet an age-appropriate diet. The food that your pet consumes is an absolutely crucial component to their overall health and well-being. Like humans, pets have very specific nutritional requirements that keep them strong and healthy. But, those needs do change with each phase of their lifespan. So, keep this in mind as your pet ages, as their diet will need to change accordingly.
- Portioning – If you don’t already portion your pet’s food, it’s time to set the goal of properly measuring their meals. Whether your veterinarian advises appropriately portioned meals due to an already existing health condition or not, it’s always a good idea to measure your pet’s food each and every time to ensure that they aren’t overeating. The simple practice of “eyeballing” portions, as many pet owners do, can unfortunately result in overfeeding and ultimately lead to obesity. This is also an unreliable way of keeping track of your pet’s actual food intake. If you’re not sure of appropriate portion sizes, start by looking at the recommended feeding guidelines on each bag or can of food. You can also consult with your veterinarian.
- Oral Hygiene – The start of the year is a perfect time to remember to take your pet’s oral hygiene into account, as this is one element of your pet’s health that is often overlooked. Dental hygiene, however, is necessary to maintaining overall health. So, make it your goal this year to start regularly brushing your pet’s teeth to keep nasty things like plaque and tartar at bay. Your veterinarian can also advise and help with routine cleanings. And, if you have a particularly stubborn pet, you can always try giving them dental treats.
- Physical Activity – For both humans and pets alike, it’s important to stay active. So, shake up your regular exercise routine this year with some fun new activities. Fortunately, we live in a pet-friendly world, so it’s easier than ever to get out there and share your favorite sports, events, experiences, etc. with your best four-legged friend. However you and your best four-legged companion like to spend active time together, make it a goal to increase playtime each day to maintain their optimum mental and physical health.
- Grooming – This year, get in the routine of daily grooming. Sure, this isn’t always everyone’s favorite activity, but grooming serves many purposes. For starters, it keeps you and your home fur-free, which it’s safe to say is something we can all get behind! Grooming also keeps your pet’s coat healthy and shiny, as it distributes oils from their skin to their fur. And finally, a good grooming is just a great way to bond with your pet because it shows them how much you care.
- Checkups – If you don’t already stick to regular veterinary appointments, this year, you need to make this a priority for your pet, as it’s the surest way to keep them on the right track to health and happiness. Preventive care is absolutely everything when it comes to ensuring your pet’s overall well-being (and yours for that matter). At any point in your pet’s life, any number of medical conditions can pop up without you even knowing it. Things like arthritis and diabetes, for example, often show very few signs before they become bigger problems. Fortunately, with early detection and guidance, you and your pet can learn to manage whatever diagnosis may come your way.
Make 2019 your entire family’s best year yet by setting a few simple New Year’s goals to keep everyone happy and healthy for many years to come.