New Year’s Resolutions Are For You On Behalf of Your Pets

By Dr. Doug Pernikoff, DVM

We all look forward to the New Year, in hopes of making promises to ourselves, hopefully, to better our lives in one or more ways. Those are noble goals, indeed! But, even more noble and gracious, would be for us to honor our beloved pets by committing to those new year resolutions that will help to guarantee their health and well-being, too. Let’s look at some valuable goals for 2017 for our pets!

Over 50% of our pets are considered to be overweight. No surprise, given that our human population is in even worse physical condition. The first pet resolution must be our promise to: feed our pets correctly, taking into consideration their present condition, their age, their breed and more; as needed, we must commit to a regular exercise program for them. This action supports our human condition as well. And, certainly, discuss the type and degree of exercise you intend to initiate with your veterinarian, to be sure you are not about to do harm, in trying to help them.

Commit to regular play time with your pets. This does not mean you have to spend 5 hours daily, as it is the quality, not the quantity of time that makes the difference. Find moments throughout your busy week for your critters. Even if you are simply playing catch; teasing with one or more of their favorite toys; or, just rolling around, petting, rubbing or play fighting. Most pets just love the attention.

Regular grooming is a great commitment to your pets. This can simply mean a regular combing or brushing at home. Be sure to keep control of those matts. Often skin conditions can occur below the coat surface. Note that when you bathe your pets, you must brush them out afterwards, or the kinking and matting will follow. As needed, depending on breed, or your own capabilities, it may prove easier to simply select a great groomer and initiate a regular schedule of bathing, brushing, or actual grooming. Discuss the needs of your pets with your selected groomers. Often, your veterinarian can direct you to a suitable groomer for your particular pet’s needs.

Don’t forget to honor your pets with regular veterinary examinations, at least one annually, but two is even smarter. Why? Because in the course of 12 months, many bad things can evolve, especially as our pets age. The visit should always include a physical examination by your veterinarian; appropriate blood, urine, and fecal examinations, not unlike the sort of exam you expect from your own doctors to ensure your own human well-being.

Keep your household safe and free from dangerous scenarios that can entangle your pets into life threatening episodes. Keep poisons, cleansers, fertlizers and other chemicals secured away in the garage or basement, inaccessible to our mischievious and exploring pets. Remember that anti-freeze introduced pre-winter, and removed from our cars in the spring, is especially toxic to our animals. It tastes sweet, and thereby, is attractive to their taste buds. The trash can harbors all sorts of tasty morsels that by volume, may cause an emergency bloating in dogs; or, by food type, say chocolate foodstuffs, grapes, onion and more, can all prove very toxic if ingested by Fido or Felix. Be logical. Protect your pets as you protect your kids. That’s the best rule to follow.

This is a good start for 2017. If you can all promise to do commit to these few actions, we are all on our way to a safe and healthy pet New Year. Talk to your veterinarian and learn more about other actions you might commit to this year. Make it a personal challenge to do the best you can for those special family members, our four-legged buddies.

Have a great New Year.
Full of new dreams and a healthy, loving life.

Dr. Doug Pernikoff
Clarkson-Wilson Veterinary Clinic
Vet Pet Rescue