Five New Year’s Resolutions to Help Your Pet Live Longer

The New Year is well underway, and resolutions are being made to better ourselves and our lives. As we head into unchartered territory in 2021, have you thought about kicking your goals up a notch and making some New Year’s resolutions on behalf of your pets?

Sadly, as fur baby parents, we generally outlive our four-legged children. There are no miracle methods or products to stretch their lives out to match ours, but we can, with veterinary advice and preparation, add many happy years to the time we have with our pets. Here are five New Year’s resolutions we can make in 2021 to add to their longevity!

A resolution to maintain vaccinations.

Vaccines present one of the most outstanding achievements in preventive and modern animal medicine. Keeping vaccines current will give your pet virtually 100% efficiency in fighting off the variety of infectious diseases your pet can contract. There are a specific set of vaccines a pet should get, and they are generally administered at certain time frames early on, then on an annual basis after that, with the rabies vaccine being every three years.

For dogs, the vaccines that should be administered are for the following:

  • Adenovirus-2, parvovirus, parainfluenza, distemper – these four are commonly grouped in one combo vaccine, the DAPP.
  • Rabies
  • Leptospira
  • Bordatella

For cats, the vaccines that should be administered are for the following:

  • Panleukopenia
  • Feline herpesvirus
  • Calicivirus
  • Rabies
  • Feline leukemia virus

There are typically several concerns some pet owners may have about vaccinations and the risks involved. Feel free to discuss any concerns about any side effects with your veterinarian. Preventing your pet from contracting any of these illnesses will add many quality years to your pet’s life.

A resolution to maintain a healthy diet.

Research shows that when it comes to feeding our pets, sometimes less is more. According to a study, dogs being fed a restricted-calorie diet lived an average of two years longer than dogs fed more. Maintaining a healthy diet and weight will also help to prevent heart disease and painful joint issues.

However, be sure to consult your veterinarian before reducing your pet’s serving size. He or she will be happy to discuss with you what formulas and portioning would likely work best for your pet’s age, weight, and level of health, as well as to discuss what sort of things to avoid when reading the labels on a bag or can of food.

A resolution to practice good dental hygiene.

Studies show that periodontal or gum disease is the number one illness found in both cats and dogs. About 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats have oral disease by the time they are three years old.

The American Animal Hospital Association recommends annual dental cleanings beginning at age one or two as regular cleanings and exams will allow your veterinarian to look for disease, fractured teeth, and other potential issues. In addition, plaque, tartar, and gingivitis are as likely to develop on the teeth of a carnivore as it is for us omnivores. Hair can also frequently build up around the teeth of some pets. For dogs, chewing at an itch can result in a mouthful of hair, and for cats, grooming themselves can result in those hairballs we all love so much.

There are signs to watch for to know whether your pet has a dental issue. The most common indicators are bad breath and discolored teeth. Others to watch for are chewing on only one side of the mouth, drooling, pawing at the mouth, and bleeding. It is also important to note that dogs and cats are good at hiding pain, so routine exams are essential to catch these issues early and treat them before they get out of hand. It’s critical to keep your pet’s teeth in good health for them to maintain a long, healthy life and save you money on costly procedures.

A resolution to stay active.

Exercise is proven to reduce stress, increase endorphins, balance mood and emotions, and maintain physical fitness in pets and humans. A dog chasing a ball, or a Frisbee regularly will be as happy as he or she is fit, and a cat with a cat tree to climb on and a dangling toy to bat around is active and bliss.

Regular exercise is paramount to your pet’s longevity, so remember to jot down playtimes on your daily planner!

[Click here for more tips on staying fit with your pet!]

A resolution to keep consistent vet visits. 

If your pet appears to be healthy, it may be tempting to skip that annual veterinary appointment. But regular wellness appointments are crucial for ensuring that your pet enjoys many happy and healthy years. Yearly examinations by the veterinarian are a vital component of good preventive care.

How can we help keep your pet healthy and reach your goals in 2021? Contact us or schedule an appointment today! Be sure to follow our blog and social media for many tips on keeping your pets happy and healthy for many years to come!