We all tend to make resolutions around this time of year, and most of them revolve around our health and wellbeing over the next 12 months.
We join the gym, we start dieting, some of us give up the booze. But what about those that we spend so much of our lives with?
No, not our partners or family, but our pets. They need looking after throughout the year, and often they rely on us to do it for them.
So as well as making a few resolutions for ourselves, here are a few things you can do for your fury friend that will ensure it is fit and healthy, not just for January, but for the rest of the year.
1. Get Plenty of Exercise
It’s recommended that dog owners should take their pets for a brisk walk of at least 20 minutes twice a day. Not only will this maintain a higher level of fitness, it can also curb bad behaviour and strengthen your relationship with your pet as mental stimulation can be just as advantageous as physical exercise. But if this is not possible (if you have a cat for example) your pet can get as much exercise inside the home as those who have outdoor space to run. Toys such as motion-activated mice, balls not only mentally stimulate cats and dogs but also keep them fit.
2. Maintain a Balanced Diet
Your pet’s dietary needs change as it ages and it’s always wise to discuss the best diet for your pet with your vet at each stage of its life. But when feeding an animal, make sure their food contains things like protein for muscle maintenance, fibre for healthy digestion, vitamin-rich fish oils for a healthy coat and skin and vitamins and minerals to boost the immune system. You could even include things like vitamin supplements or stem cell enhancement products in their food.
3. Observe Your Pet’s Weight
If your pet is overweight they are at risk of diseases such as heart, bone and lung diseases, skin conditions not to mention various forms of cancer. So over feeding an animal and giving them the wrong kind of food can cause serious problems. It may be tempting to keep offering your cat or dog treats or feeding them more and more in order to keep them happy, but this isn’t necessarily doing them any good. And remember, animals like dogs and cats are carnivores and their diet should be a healthy balance of animal muscle meats, organs and bones.
4. Regular Veterinary Examinations
You shouldn’t wait for your pet to be sick before taking it to the vet. A regular examination at least once a year will insure it is healthy and up to date on immunizations and other preventive treatments, as well as spotting any potential problems there may be.
5. Parasite Prevention
Things like fleas, ticks, heartworms and intestinal parasites can cause everything from discomfort to life-threatening illnesses for your pet, so keeping up with parasite control is vital when it comes to maintaining the health of our furry friends. In this case, prevention really is the best medicine, so make sure your pet is regularly treated. Regular faecal examinations and deworming treatments can help to keep serious medical problems caused by parasites at bay, but if you are unsure about the best treatment for your pet, consult your vet.