The new year is the time when a large part of the human race makes plans, turns over a new leaf, resolves to improve their lives.
However, while our pets don't need to cut down on alcohol or spend less time on their smartphones, we can all help improve our pets’ new year - and hopefully you’ll be able to benefit too, thanks to these expert suggestions from online pet care supplier Medicanimal.com,
1. If you’re trying to give up bad habits then firstly you should consider giving up smoking. Second-hand smoke can affect your pet just as much as humans but there’s no way for them to tell you. Don’t stop there! Make sure you have a good walk daily with your dog – what a perfect partner to help you lose weight as well, if needed.
2. Since April 2016, owners are legally required to microchip their dogs. Remember to make sure your contact details are up to date otherwise the chip is fairly useless. There’s nothing worse for a vet/shelter to find a microchip but to then have out of date contact details.
3. See your vet for your pet’s yearly physical. Combine this with its annual vaccination (as well as the microchip if necessary). Many problems are picked up early only because you took your pet for its general check-up. Do it now rather than later.
4. Why not start a pet savings or emergency pet fund? If insurance is not affordable or your pet is too elderly to be insured then £30-£50 a month adds up very quickly and will give some peace of mind should there be any problems later.
5. Spay or neuter your dog if not done already. This is the only proven method to avoid unwanted pregnancies and very much reduces the incidence of breast tumours in bitches if done before their first season. Also look to do twice yearly urine testing for all cats over the age of 8. It’s very easy to do and the best way to spot early kidney problems.
6. Keep your elderly dog’s brain active - try new toys and activities. Puzzle toys are superb as your dog will need to move the blocks around to find the food underneath.
7. Remember to clean your pet’s teeth regularly. Use a pet toothbrush and paste ideally, otherwise there are solutions you can add to the water. This is really important in elderly dogs as it can cause heart valve issues if left untreated.
8. Take your pet regularly to your vet to be weighed. This is a great way to keep track of the progress made and for your pet to feel comfortable when visiting the vet.
9. Ensure you give the correct amount of balanced premium pet food and do not forget to use the measuring cup provided! Obese pets are becoming a common problem as a result of overfeeding and being fed the wrong types of food.
10. Remember to spend more time with your pet. A good cuddle, groom, brush and/or play time will be much appreciated by your furry family member. Cats also love indoor climbing trees, catnip toys and do not forget a cardboard box with a hole in the side ranks very high on the cat entertainment scale!