Resolutions to Help Your Pet Live Longer

Here are 3 New Year’s Resolutions that can help your furry friend live a long, happy and healthy life. Not only can your family veterinarian help you with these tips, but there is also a lot you can do from your own home.

1. Preventative healthcare

The easiest way to keep your pet safe from disease and illness is to ensure they are already protected against them.

Regular physical exams and vaccinations by your veterinarian are essential. By performing a complete exam and any necessary diagnostic testing, your vet can detect early signs of disease and pursue treatment as soon as possible. Vaccines are important because they protect your pet from several contagious diseases. Many of these diseases are deadly, and by vaccinating your pet, you considerably lower their likely hood of contracting them.

Another form of preventative healthcare is spaying and neutering your pets. Cats and dogs can have serious complications later in life if they are not spayed/neutered, such as Pyometra and Mastitis. It also prevents accidental pregnancy, overpopulation and behavioural issues (aggression, roaming, marking etc.).

2. Nutrition

Proper nutrition is a huge part of keeping your pet healthy and happy for as long as possible. Your veterinarian can recommend a diet that is specific to the needs of your pet.

Veterinary brand diets are complete and balanced diets that provide everything your pet needs for proper nutrition. These diets are customized for your pet’s age, weight and activity level. Prescription diets may also be recommended for your pet if they have certain conditions such as urinary issues (crystals) or skin allergies.

It is also important to be aware of the dangers of human food for our pets. There are several foods that are safe for us but can cause severe health problems and even death in our pets. Some of these toxic foods include chocolate, grapes and raisins, onions, macadamia nuts and Xylitol. Make sure anything containing these toxic foods is kept far out of reach from pets, and call your veterinarian right away if your pet ingests any of these toxins.

3. Exercise

Exercising your pet can improve their quality of life in several ways. Obesity in dogs and cats is a serious problem that affects their health in a negative way. Regular exercise has many health benefits aside from just weight loss.

Exercising your pet is a time for you to bond and have fun with your pet. Taking your dog for walks regularly and playing with toys with your cat, improves not only their physical but mental health as well. Pets may also act out if their energy is not properly used, including unwanted behaviour such as damaging things around your home out of boredom.

Many forms of exercise mimic the natural activities your pet would do in the wild. Socializing and hunting are a couple of things that pet owners can provide for their pet, by taking dogs to parks where they can socialize, or using toys as “prey” for their cats to hunt. This can significantly improve the happiness and quality of a pet’s life.

Following these 3 New Year’s Resolutions should ensure your pet has the best year yet. Happy 2018 from everyone at Briarwood Animal Hospital!

Written by Briarwood Animal Hospital