It’s that time of year again when we are inspired to start anew and improve our lives by working on eliminating some of the bad habits we have acquired over the years. Here are 3 great New Year’s resolutions that will not only benefit you but your beloved pet as well! We are more likely to stick to resolutions when someone else is counting on us… even when it’s our pet!
1. Pet obesity
Pet obesity is at an all time high and our sedentary lifestyles are partially to blame. Why not start out slowly and commit to walking your dog on a daily basis? Try to increase the time and distance you walk every few days. Perhaps intermingle interval training along the way by walking, running, walking, running,… Your dog is likely to love this fun bonding time with you and you will both benefit from improved cardiac health and trimmer waist lines 🙂
2. Eating Healthier
Are you planning on eating healthier this year? Have you ever considered how many calories each treat you offer your pet has in it? Did you know that just one ounce of cheddar cheese for a 20 lb dog has the same caloric impact as 2-½ hamburgers for a human!? As a starting point, try offering your pet a smaller piece of a treat… treats can strengthen the “human-animal bond” but only a tiny morsel is all that is required to accomplish this. Your pet’s meals should provide all the calories needed to sustain a healthy body. All the extra treats just provide additional calories that will be converted and stored as fat. As you try eating smaller and healthier portions for yourself, remember the benefits for your pet too! Petting your pet is a very valuable reward for them…and it’s 100% calorie free!
Tip: Try offering your dog an ice cube as a treat. They are fun, calorie free treats many dogs love
3. Health Checks
Involving trained professionals to help you achieve your goals will likely result in better success. Have you neglected your health by avoiding annual physicals with your own doctor? As you reach for the phone to set up this very important health check for yourself, please remember the other creatures in your home. Cats, rabbits, guinea pigs and birds are just some of the often overlooked pets that would also benefit from regular veterinary visits. Did you know that many of these wonderful pets are hiding illness or living with painful conditions that deserve treatment? This year as you reach out to your family doctor to monitor your health why not reach out to your Veterinary Team? They are a wealth of knowledge and are eager to help you keep all of your pets in tip top health!
We wish you complete success with all of your resolutions. Feel free to share some of the resolutions you’ve set for you and your pet this year either here on the site or on our Facebook page. We love getting your feedback!
Cheers to optimal health and happiness for you and your pets in 2016!
Allan Donais, DVM