New Year’s Resolutions: Healthy Pets

Pet Resolutions 2016

The new year is just around the corner, and we’re sure you have a personal resolution in mind. But what about making one for your pet? Many of the same resolutions you make for yourself you can also apply to your animal.

Before you make your pet resolution for next year, read what Dr. Hufnagel recommends for keeping your pet healthy, and check out other pet parent’s resolutions.

Three Pet New Year’s resolutions to consider from Dr. Hufnagel

 

Resolution 1: Exercise more.

exercise moreThe physical health benefits of regular and moderate exercise are obvious. Exercise in pets, as well as humans, aids in weight management, keeps muscles toned and joints limber, and benefits cardiovascular health.

Often overlooked is the mental health benefit of regular exercise. Pets respond well to structure and regimentation, so schedule exercise regularly twice a day, even if only for 10 to 15 minutes.  Try to induce panting with the exercise.

Dogs are obvious candidates for walks outside the home. A change in scenery and forced exercise is much better than simply letting the dog out into the back yard.

Most cats will enjoy active toys, like chasing a laser pointer around the room, batting at a toy at the end of a fishing pole or playing with any variety of commercial chase-a-ball toys. Again, try to exercise your pet enough to induce panting.

Resolution 2: Lose weight.

Obesity in pets is caused by a major malnutrition problem. While exercise is certainly helpful, reducing or controlling daily calorie intake is the most effective way to manage weight.  Obesity contributes to diabetes and arthritis in both dogs and cats.

Use of a measuring cup and feeding individual meals is much better than simply keeping the food bowl full for free-choice feeding.

Eliminate junk food treats. If sugar or a sugar source is listed within the first three to four ingredients on the label, then you know you have a junk food. I also suggest breaking up a treat into small chunks. Pets don’t care if the treat is big, but rather they simply respond to the treat event. Feeding fewer treats — even healthy treats — but increasing the number of treat events is a great way to psychologically soften the blow of reducing calorie intake.

Certain fruits and vegetables can be offered to pets. Even many cats enjoy melon or cantaloupe-type fruits. But be careful: DO NOT OFFER RAISINS OR GRAPES, as this fruit can induce kidney damage in some animals.

Resolution 3: Improve dental health.  

Dental disease continues to be the most overlooked preventative health problem in the pet population. Dental plaque produces tartar and gingivitis, which then progresses to periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is quite uncomfortable and painful, and the bacterial infection of the mouth will also have negative impact on other parts of the body. Dogs and cats require dental x-rays and cleaning similar to humans.

Once daily brushing of teeth is by far the least costly and most effective preventative tool for pets, as well as humans. Brushing of the teeth of dogs and cats requires a slow training process. Ask any of our staff for training instructions.

2016 New Year’s resolutions from our pet parents:

Christy with Maya

Christy with Maya

Christy would like to spend more time taking her dogs Champ and Zeus with her to the dog park because they really enjoy it. Her hope for her cat, Maya, is that she is able to gain more weight with the medical treatment she is receiving at Pet Medical Center.

 

Jeremy with Faeden

Jeremy with Faeden

Jeremy’s New Year’s Resolution for Faeden is to get a teeth cleaning from the veterinarian.

 


Melissa with Ivey and Rosie

Melissa with Ivey and Rosie

Melissa’s goal for these lovely ladies in 2016 is to exercise more with walks around the neighborhood and Lake Hefner.

 

Kamille with Willow

Kamille with Willow

Kamille’s New Year’s resolution is to make Willow her hiking and running buddy.

We at Pet Medical Center of Edmond are so thankful to have all of you as a part of our extended family, and we wish you a happy 2016.