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The holidays have passed and it’s time to face reality again. That means it’s time for New Year’s resolutions. As is traditional, we’ve set our sights on losing weight, saving money, and getting organized. But don’t forget about your best four-legged friends! There are plenty of ways for pet owners to help their pets stay healthy and active in the new year. Consider setting these goals for yourself and your pet in 2017.
“I will take my dog on regular walks and give my cat opportunities for vigorous exercise.”
Just like their humans, many of the health conditions our pets face are related to their weight. Overweight pets are at risk for high blood pressure, joint pain, and heart disease, to say nothing of what a bored pup with tons of pent-up energy can do to your home. Walk or play with your pet for at least an hour per day to keep their weight in check.
“I will stop feeding my pets table scraps.”
Even though there are some human foods that are perfectly fine and healthy for pets in moderate quantities, feeding pets table scraps is a habit that nearly always leads to excessive weight gain and all the health complications that come with it. Casually slipping your pup a bite from your plate may seem harmless at the time, but in addition to its harmful health effects, it also encourages bothersome habits like begging and whining that interrupt peaceful mealtimes.
“I will brush my dog’s teeth.”
This is one of the most often overlooked steps in the grooming process. Buy a toothbrush and toothpaste (there are tasty peanut-butter flavored ones, even) from your local pet store and brush your dog’s teeth at least a few times per week. Also, provide hard dental chews to help keep plaque in check in between professional cleanings at the vet. Even cats should have their teeth cleaned 1-2 times per year (though best leave that one to the vet and his staff).
“I will keep my pet’s microchip information updated.”
If your pet is not microchipped, consider having this done in the coming year. And each year, be sure to check your pet’s microchip information and update your address and contact information if necessary. If pets become lost, microchips often play a life-saving role in returning them to their homes and humans. However, it’s easy to forget thecritical step of updating your pet’s microchip profile when you move or change phone numbers.
With these tips, you’re sure to enjoy a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year with your family and pets! Happy New Year from the PetFirst Insurance family to yours.
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