iStock_000037649576_LargeYour pet can’t check out the Jenny Craig specials or sign up for the gym, but you can be sure there are many ways you can help your pet start the year off right. Whether fighting the battle of the bulge or overcoming the urge to crawl under the blankets and snooze the long winter away, your pet probably comes up against some of the same challenges facing many of us.

If you are thinking of your own resolutions, now that we have launched into 2015, why not include a few health and wellness adjustments that will benefit your pet, too?

Here are some ideas….

  • Vaccinations – Has your pet’s medical records file started to collect cobwebs? Check your pet’s vaccine and booster records and ensure everything is up-to-date.
  • Weight Management – Have you been helping your pet pack on the pounds this season with a little table food or extra treats? Pet obesity encourages an array of diseases and health challenges that can impact your pet’s quality of life. Always feed your dog or cat the recommended serving size and ditch the fattening treats, or call us for additional dietary recommendations.
  • Exercise – Whether you choose to stroll leisurely or go for a jog to the park, your best canine will benefit from the additional exercise and socialization. So, take a hike or toss that ball! (And, be sure to bundle up your dog, too.)
  • Identification Tags – Oh, boy… have you let your pet wear tags listing an address or phone number you haven’t had for ten years? Time to make those new tags with updated info, including your cell! Better yet – microchip your pet!
  • Grooming – Keep your pet looking smashing this year and encourage great health, too. Did you know consistent grooming helps keep your pet’s ears, eyes, coat, and skin healthy and increases the odds of catching any problems early? Win:win.
  • Dental Care – While you’re busily brushing your cat or dog, don’t forget to break out those pet toothbrushes and give those pearly whites some shine. Dental care is essential to your pet’s health and good oral hygiene has even been linked to longevity.
  • Training – Ideally, training should begin during those puppy years, but life isn’t always ideal and sometimes dogs enter our lives as adults with numerous behavioral challenges. If you’re tired of yelling NO NO NO at the park or in the home (or, well, everywhere), consider enrolling your pooch in obedience training classes.
  • Friend in Need – If you have room in your home and heart, how about giving your pet a companion by choosing to adopt another dog, cat, or other deserving critter? You’ll be making a difference in a shelter pet’s life and encouraging your own pet to play and socialize.

Of course, the list of options to increase your pet’s energy, spirit, and overall health is endless. Perhaps the most important aspect of maintaining pet health is simply by paying attention. By spending time with your dog, cat, rabbit, or other pet, you get to know those subtle signs of pain, discomfort, or anxiety, as well as pleasure and exuberance. And, they love your time more than anything in the whole world.

So, start those fur friends on the right paw this new year! We look forward to seeing you and your pet at his or her wellness appointment.

Happy 2015!