New Year, New Pet Resolutions

The New Year is here! It’s another opportunity to fill 365 days with meaningful, happy memories. But, to achieve this happiness, you must plan. It would help if you were specific about what you want and how to attain it. The resolutions you make today should guide you throughout the year. And, since you care for your pet, you want to ensure the same for him. Come up with resolutions for him too.


Here are some resolutions you can take up for your pet:


1. Schedule Regular Exams With the Vet


A visit to the vet is mostly about an injury, vaccination, or treatment for an illness. But, pets may also develop health conditions that can be treated and reversed when caught early. Animal experts say that pets age faster than humans do. They say visiting the doctor once a year for a pet is like a human seeing the doctor every six years. This interval is quite long, and in between, many health conditions could creep in. Regular exams allow you to be ahead of a health issue and to treat it early. This year, aim to schedule routine checkups for your dog. Also, when you notice any unusual symptoms and behavior, speak to a vet immediately.


2. Lose a Few Pounds


A healthy weight is critical to your dog’s overall wellness. But, in America, 56 percent of the dogs are thought to be overweight or clinically obese. Obesity poses a range of health risks for your pet. For example, your pet could develop arthritis, cardiovascular problems, and atrophy of the muscles. Conditions like these are a serious threat to your pet’s life. All pet owners would want their pets to live a long, happy life. As such, be mindful of your dog’s or cat’s weight. Watch what you feed it, both as treats and meals. Avoid foods that contain added sugars, salt, and artificial preservatives. Check with your vet for guidelines on proper nutrition, portion sizes, and exercise routine. The vet should develop a feeding schedule based on your pet’s age, breed, and health.


3. Exercise More Often


If you want your dog to shed a few pounds, exercise is a crucial element of your plan. Also, exercising will have your dog feeling happier, less bored, and less stressed. Exercising is known to release endorphins that give pets energy and blissfulness.


Instead of making your dog walk for miles on end, this year, opt to make the workouts fun and involving. Be the coach and design fun games and exercises. Playing with your pet will give you more time to bond, to the benefit of both parties.


4. Teach Something New


Learning a new thing makes the year feel worthwhile by the time it ends. Learning is a sign of growth for humans, and it is the same for pets. Resolve to teach your dog or cat a new skill this year. Be warned that this requires a great deal of persistence and patience on your side. But, once he or she catches on, you will be so proud.


Teaching a new skill involves three factors: an incentive, a command, and a reward. Start with showing your pet the toy or treat to catch its attention. Next, indicate the task you wish your pet to do. Be consistent with the wordings of your commands each time. Once the pet responds to the command, give positive reinforcement by presenting an award. The reinforcement encourages repeated good behavior.


5. Take Out the Old Toys


Just like humans need to declutter occasionally, you must do the same for your pets. Examine your pet’s toy collection and take out the old, scruffy toys. Most times, these are infested with germs and could pose a health risk to your pet. Replace the old toys with some fun new ones.


The five resolutions above should get your pet on a new course that will improve its health and make it happier. For low-cost vet services, visit the Community Pet Outreach in Lewisville, Texas. You can also call us at 972-848-8930 to request an appointment.

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