The New Year is upon us! Time to start bettering ourselves through resolutions. This year, why not make your pet’s life better as well? Here's a checklist of a few simple actions you can take that will greatly improve your pet’s quality of life.
1. Be More Active
There are few among us who couldn't stand to get up and moving a little bit more, and that includes many of our pets. With obesity becoming a serious problem in dogs and cats, consider a little extra play time every day. Or if you are feeling more adventurous, you can go for a hike or spend a day at the beach. Anything you can do to get them moving!
RELATED STORY: The Benefits of an Active Dog
2. Go for a Checkup
A pet should go for a checkup with the vet every year -- a lot can happen in 365 days, and much of what might be happening is under the surface. Even when your pet seems like they are full of vim and vigor, there's always a chance that they are in the early stages of something serious. And while that is never a pleasant thought, what is worse is letting a condition grow until it becomes life threatening. Make an appointment today -- your pet will thank you.
RELATED STORY: The Annual Cost of a Vet Visit: What to Expect
3. Try Obedience Training
Another good way to spend some free time is to invest it in your pet’s behavior. Dogs and cats alike can be trained (dogs to a greater extent) to follow a series of commands, as well as learn how to properly conduct themselves around others. And while this is easier to do when they are younger, the old adage “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” isn't true; it may just take a little longer.
RELATED STORY: 20 Dog Commands You Need to Know
4. Get a Dental Cleaning
Did you know that 80% of dogs develop dental problems by age three? A large part of this staggering statistic is the fact that many pet parents overlook their pet’s dental hygiene. While you can always give them the occasional dental treat, or even brush their teeth, a yearly cleaning from a professional is the best way to ward off periodontal disease, for dogs and cats.
RELATED STORY: Prevent Dental Problems Before They Start
5. Go Someplace New
Everybody likes a trip -- including your pet (or, at least, most pets). Next time you're heading out of town, pack your pet’s bags and take them with you. Assuming your pet likes a nice car ride, going on a road trip to someplace new is a great way to mix things up and add a little spice to their life. Just remember to pack everything they’ll need!
RELATED STORY: Road Trip With a Dog Checklist
6. Stick to a Grooming Schedule
Bath time with a pet is rarely a walk in the park. This year, why not do yourself a favor and let a professional take the reigns? And while you can certainly find a four star resort that will pamper your pet like no other, you can also find plenty of reasonably priced options to fit your budget.
RELATED STORY: How to Find Good Dog Groomers
7. Test Your Pet for Heartworm
The most important thing on this list (and one that is too often overlooked) is the importance of a yearly heartworm check. Every pet should be taken to the vet and checked, even if they are on medication, as there is always the possibility that a heartworm has slipped by. Call your vet and set up an appointment today.
Wondering about your pet's risk of contracting heartworm? Use our handy Heartworm Tracking Tool to see your local heartworm forecast!
What Else are You Planning to Do With Your Pet This Year?
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