As the New Year rings in, everyone loves to make those resolutions. Granted, many are short-lived (go to the gym the first week of January and then go in March- big difference!), but it is always good to set goals. Here are a few suggestions of New Year’s resolutions that will benefit your pet.
- I will not let my pet become overweight (or I will put him on a diet if he already is). Obesity is one of the top health issues affecting both pets and people. In cats, being overweight increases the risk of diabetes, urinary tract disease and arthritis. For dogs, there is an increased risk of cranial cruciate ligament ruptures (a knee injury), breathing difficulties and arthritis. In fact, the number one factor (aside from genetics) that affects signs of hip dysplasia is body weight.
- I will keep my pet’s teeth healthy. Several years ago, Purina did a study looking at factors that affect longevity. When genetics were taken into account, body weight was number one (see resolution #1) and dental health was number two. Upwards of 80% of dogs and cats are showing some degree of dental disease by the age of two. When tartar and calculus form on the teeth, gingivitis develops. The bacteria then can get into the bloodstream and spread to organs such as the kidneys, heart and liver, creating a myriad of problems. A good diet, dental treats, dental care such as brushing and using food or water additives, and regular veterinary exams will help keep your pet’s mouth healthy (and his breath fresh) and help him to live a longer life.
- I will stay informed about my pet’s health. Unfortunately, there are new health issues that arise every year. Pet food recalls, emergent tick-borne diseases, and new contagious diseases are just some of the things veterinarians need to manage. Our website and Facebook page will have important facts for our clients about these and other important topics.
- I will take my pet to my veterinarian for his regular wellness exams. This one obviously had to be included! Your pet’s trip to the vet is for more than just shots. We perform a thorough head-to-toe physical exam as well as getting a history of how your pet is doing at home. Problems discovered early can be managed much better than waiting until they already are causing significant disease.
All of us at Blairstown Animal Hospital wish you and your family (both two and four-legged) a happy and healthy New Year.