The start of a new calendar year can signal a fresh start for pets as well as people. This is a great time for making some changes that can benefit your pet’s health and well being and strengthen your bond.
- It’s a good time to evaluate your pet’s diet, especially if he or she is slightly overweight. Is it appropriate for his life stage? Many pet owners eyeball how much they feed. Take the time to measure the food and to monitor how many additional treats he receives, which can add a significant number of calories to his daily intake. Use a measuring cup.
- Incorporate more play time or a new activity even if only for a few extra minutes a day. It’s great exercise for your pet and a great way to bond. Get them a new toy. It’s great fun for both cats and dogs. Cats love to chase things and it stimulates their predatory instincts. There is a multitude of outdoor activities you can do with your dog, but even varying up where you walk can be a fun change of scenery and be stimulating for your dog. Get them moving more.
- Brush your pet’s teeth. This helps to reduce plaque and tartar build up, which is very important in preventing periodontal disease. Use an enzymatic toothpaste made especially for dogs and cats. Water additives, dental diets, and treats designed to reduce tartar can also be a helpful tool in keeping teeth clean.
- Teach your pet a new trick or get an interactive dish or toy where he has to work to retrieve some food. This is mentally stimulating for any pet regardless of its age. In fact, studies show that mental stimulation can help reduce cognitive deterioration in aging animals.
- Update or replace pet ID’s and microchip data base information if they have either been lost or if you have moved or changed your phone number recently. There is so much to do when you move that updating pet ID information is often overlooked. A microchip is an excellent tool for getting your pet home, but completely useless if you can’t be located due to outdated contact information.