You’re a great pet owner. Of course you are! You wouldn’t be here reading this if you weren’t a loving, caring pet parent. But we can always be better, and there’s no better time to make some changes than a new year. So as 2021 blows in, here are a few things you can do to be an even better best friend to your best friend.
Go for more walks. No dog, cat or human ever suffered by getting more fresh air and exercise, and even if it seems like the day is too packed to squeeze in another walk, there’s always a 15-minute stretch somewhere. If you need more inspiration to increase your constitutional count, check out this post.
Schedule a vet check. Most veterinarians agree that healthy adult dogs and cats need yearly checkups (more if they’re senior, puppy, kitten or suffering from any health issues). If it’s been a while since they’ve had a checkup, call and schedule one today, even if your pet shows no signs of health issues. The goal of an annual exam is to detect subtle signs of disease or other health issues as soon as possible. It’s also a good opportunity to discuss any concerns about your pet’s behavior and general well-being. An ounce of prevention…
Get some new toys. Kids aren’t the only ones who love getting new things to play with. Take the flip of the calendar as an opportunity to throw out those old, stinky ropes and squeaky toys and reload with some new dog and cat toys. Even if you showered your pets with presents just a few weeks ago, the new year is a good time to start fresh. Literally.
Go to a professional groomer. Or have one come to you! If you’re a home-bather and DIY toenail clipper, we applaud you. But a professional groomer can work wonders for a dog or cat’s entire aesthetic. And they can do the really dirty work, like squeezing those anal glands and de-gooping those paw pads.
Get new tags. This is a perfect time of year to update your pet’s id tags (and maybe a new collar and leash, while you’re at it!). These tags can easily be overlooked, and the last thing you want is for a pet to go missing with outdated info around their necks. Plus, they’ll appreciate nice new neck gear.
Consider their diets. This can coincide with your newly scheduled annual checkup, but discuss your pet’s diet with your veterinarian. There’s probably nothing wrong with it, but as pets age up and/or experience new health issues, they might need to switch food. Your veterinarian will guide you on your pet’s culinary journey through 2021.
Think teeth. National Pet Dental Health Month is coming up in February, so it’s a great time to get ahead of the game and schedule a professional cleaning. According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, up to 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats that don’t receive proper dental care may show signs of periodontal (gum) disease by the time they’re three years old. Chomp on that!
Be prepared. Here’s how to build a “go-bag” for your pet.
It’s a new year, a time to refresh and reboot. When thinking about how to create a new you, don’t forget your pets. They’ll be the first to notice the change!