A new month, a new year—no time is better to focus on your pet’s health, happiness, and care. You may have already made a list of resolutions for yourself, but what about for your four-legged friend? While we believe your pet’s health care should begin on day one, their wellness plan may require some tweaks as they age. If your pet’s overall health could use a boost, it’s time to make some adjustments. Keep your furry pal healthy and happy into 2021 and beyond by focusing on the following three areas of total-body wellness.
Keep your pet healthy with proper nutrition
The adage, “You are what you eat,” also applies to your four-legged friend. Proper nutrition is a cornerstone of your pet’s overall health and, since more than half of the U.S. pet population is overweight or obese, most pets could use some help in the diet department. Also, as your pet ages, their nutritional needs change. While puppies and kittens need more fat and calories for rapid growth, your typical adult pet requires the least amount of these nutrients, with another shift when they hit senior status. If you’re unsure how many calories your pet should eat each day, and whether their food is a healthy choice, schedule a nutrition consultation with Dr. Bassler. She will guide you in choosing the best food for your pet’s specific needs, score their body condition, and customize a plan that will help your furry pal shed any extra fluff.
Keep your pet healthy with physical activity
To help your pet maintain a sleek physique, physical activity and proper nutrition go hand-in-hand. Exercise is key for helping your pet burn the extra calories in those treats you “drop” beneath the dinner table, and also provides excellent mental benefits. Pets who participate in daily exercise—especially in shorter, more frequent sessions rather than one long, intense session—are more relaxed and less prone to injury. Although finding the motivation to head outdoors for a hike in a local park in the winter can be tough, you can get in your pet’s daily steps with many fun indoor games. On the next snowy day, try the following invigorating activities with your furry pal:
- Create an indoor agility course, teaching your pet to master the jumps and obstacles with a tasty treat.
- Choose an interactive toy that will keep your pet entertained when you’re busy—a robotic mouse or electronic ball launcher set up in the hallway, for example.
- Play hide and seek with your canine companion—your cat is likely to let you hide for the entire day.
- Break out your pet’s favorite toy for an indoor version of fetch—yes, you can play the game in the house.
- Brush up on old obedience skills or teach new tricks, keeping the treats small and low-calorie to avoid packing on the pounds.
- Design or purchase a food puzzle that makes your pet work for their meal.
By incorporating physical activity into your pet’s daily routine, you’ll help stave off boredom, problem behaviors, and weight gain. Switch up your four-legged friend’s daily activities to keep things fresh and exciting.
Keep your pet healthy with preventive care
While nutrition and exercise play a substantial role in your pet’s health, nothing is more important than routine preventive care. Keeping your pet healthy is much better than trying to battle a preventable disease, and our Bassler Veterinary Hospital team is primed and ready to tackle your furry pal’s wellness care, which includes:
- Lifestyle-appropriate vaccinations
- Thorough physical exams
- Baseline blood work and other screening tests
- Parasite prevention
- Nutrition advice
- Behavior problem management
- Dental care
Regular wellness care will keep your pet happy and healthy well into the new year. And, if you do nothing else, make brushing your pet’s teeth a daily goal. Up to 80% of pets have dental disease by age 3, so oral health care is vital for a pain- and infection-free mouth. During your pet’s wellness visit, Dr. Bassler will discuss the best health care plan to ensure your four-legged companion’s continued good health.
Together, we can make 2021 your pet’s best yet. Rely on Bassler Veterinary Hospital for all your pet’s health care needs to keep them in tip-top shape, and give us a call to schedule their next preventive care visit.