Make 2020 the best yet for your pet.
New year, new you? Most of us look to the new year to set new goals and new challenges, but what about our pets? Not only is the new year is a great opportunity for us to make positive changes to our lifestyle, but it can also be a great time to re-evaluate the health and wellbeing of our pets. If you’re stuck for ideas, we have some great suggestions below to help improve the lives of our pets and make this year the best yet!
Watch that weight!
Just like us, being overweight can have detrimental consequences for our pets. Not only does a bit of extra weight increase the risk of many diseases and health complications, being overweight can also shorten the lifespan of our pets! If you find that your furry companion has a little bit extra to love, help them out and get them on a weight-loss plan as soon as possible. Speak to your vet to make sure your pet isn’t suffering from any underlying medical conditions, and to rule out any health problems before you reduce or change their food. When changing their diet, be sure to feed them species-appropriate food and the recommended amount. If your pet is getting lots of yummy treats, you may need to reduce the amount or change the treat to help them lose weight.
Not only is a daily walk great for your dog’s physical and mental wellbeing, but it can also have positive effects for you too! Regular walking has shown to not only improve cardiovascular health, but it can help lower blood pressure, improve muscle tone and decrease stress. Not only is a daily walk a great way to improve your fitness, but it also gives you an opportunity to spend some quality time with your pet. Your pet will appreciate being able to see and smell new things, burn-out some excess energy, and love being next to their favourite person – you! Before heading out, make sure the weather is appropriate. During summer, aim to walk in the mornings or evenings when it is cooler, and always make sure your dog does not walk on hot concrete or asphalt – if you couldn’t walk barefoot on it, neither should they!
Learn a new trick
Teaching your furry companion a new skill or trick can be rewarding for both you and your pet. Learning new things is a great form of mental stimulation, which is just as important as physical exercise for your pet. Training a new trick will not only keep your pet’s mind stay active, but it is a great way to bond with your animal. Make sure you have some tasty treats handy to reward your pet during training. What trick will you try first?
Make a date with your vet
When was the last time your pet visited the vet? It is important that your pet visits the vet at least once a year for a check-up and to keep up-to-date with their annual vaccinations. This is also a good opportunity for you to discuss any concerns such as changes in behaviour or physical abnormalities, and for your vet to check that your pet is in good health.
Have you moved or changed your name? If so, you may need to check your pet’s registration and microchip details are up to date. In NSW, it is a legal requirement for dogs and cats to be microchipped, but it is up to you to make sure that the details listed are correct. If your pet ever goes missing, their microchip could be the only thing that helps you be reunited with your lost pet. To update these details you can contact your local council or visit www.petregistry.nsw.gov.au