New Year’s Resolutions for You and Your Pet
Check their diet
Many owners measure their pet’s food simply by “eyeballing”, and often don’t properly measure how much they are putting in the bowl. This makes it easy to overfeed our pets, and possibly cause weight gain. It’s important to check your pet’s intake and make sure they are eating the right amount for their age and size. Recommended feeding guidelines are listed on the back of food bags, and this is a good place to start to determine how much your pet needs. Older pets and those who are desexed usually
have lower energy needs than younger, intact animals. Your pet may need a change in diet as they age or if they have a particular medical condition, which may be helped with a particular type of food suited to their age and nutritional needs.
Be creative with activity
For dogs, think about changing up your walking routine or add in an extra walk each day to keep them active and give them time outdoors. With everything from dog yoga to hiking, it is easy to incorporate your pet into your own exercise routine, with many possible options besides walking! It is a great way to bond, will get both you and your dog out of the house and both of you will reap the benefits of healthy physical activity. You could also engage your dog in other dynamic activities, like agility. Try a few classes and you may find they love it, as well as it keeping them happy and healthy.
For cats, we often don’t realise how important it is for them to play regularly. Interactive play is a great way to bond with your cat, gives them good exercise and can reduce behavioural problems by keeping them stimulated. Your cat may need more play time depending on their age and health.
Keep them stimulated
Even small changes can make a big impact to your pet’s everyday life. This could be a new toy or changing up how you feed them. Puzzle feeders or finding another creative way to deliver your pet’s food can increase their mental stimulation and daily life enrichment, and encourage good behaviour. It can also help make sure they don’t eat too much or too quickly.
Check their teeth
One of the best things you can do for your pet in the new year is establish a good at-home dental routine. Start by seeing your veterinarian for a dental check to evaluate your pet’s teeth, and have them cleaned professionally. They can then help you with how to continue your pet’s dental health at home. Both dogs and cats can benefit from having their teeth brushed, as this can significantly improve their long-term dental health. Start with a slow introduction, such as one side a day, and work up to brushing
their teeth a few nights per week. Positive reinforcement is important when you do this, as you want to make teeth brushing a positive experience for your pet.