Zeke and Nola both want pet owners to include their animal companions in their New Year’s resolutions. Although they endorse most of these resolution ideas, the first one which is an important one for their health, they would rather skip.
Weight Control. As with humans, it’s easy to slip your pet too many extra treats and more than its correct portion size daily. It is estimated that over 50% of cats and dogs in the US are classified as overweight! To help combat this issue, you need to correctly measure your pet’s daily intake and treat consumption. Talk with your Vet about the best way to obtain the weight loss necessary (a rough estimate is 25 to 40% drop in daily calories.) For dogs, you can add non-starchy vegetables to their diet like green beans. Increasing exercise is beneficial, too. Also, choose an age-appropriate food (e.g. puppy/kitten, adult, senior) as nutritional needs change over the pet’s lifetime. Add More Exercise. Dogs need to be walked daily (at least five times a week) and/or given plenty of active play time with you or at a local dog park. If you don’t have time or the ability for a good long walk, hire a professional walker to do the task for you. Cats need some activity, too. Suggestions include interactive toys, stalking a laser pointer and playing with a ball, catnip, etc. Anything that triggers a cat’s predatory instinct is a great way to get them moving. Fun & Playtime. Stimulate and enrich your pet’s life by introducing it a new activity during interactive play or teaching your pet a new trick or skill which stimulates its brain. Teeth Brushing. Dental disease affects nearly 85% of dogs and cats over three years of age according to statistics. Ideally, you should brush their teeth daily to help eliminate tartar and prevent dental disease. You can find tutorials online on the proper technique for both dogs and cats. Regular Vet Visits. Younger pets may only need one annual visit for a general health check and vaccinations but pets five & older need a bi-annual wellness check. Regular exams will monitor overall health and help catch potential health issues that could worsen over time. Update Your Pet’s ID Info. Have you moved or changed phone number? Is your pet missing its ID tag with correct contact info? Have your pet microchipped which allows shelters and veterinarians the necessary contact information if your pet is found (make sure that info is current as well.) Daily Grooming Time. Grooming helps remove excess fur and distribute oils from the skin to the fur, keeping it healthy. It’s also a great bonding activity as the majority of pets love to be groomed in a soothing manner that demonstrates that you love them. Zeke, Nola and the other office dogs at the Englewood Review wish you and your pets a happy, healthy 2021!