Pet Resolutions for the New Year!

The years are flying by and your best friend will be a year older this year. Shouldn’t your New Year’s Resolutions include your pet? Here are some of the resolutions All Creatures Veterinary Hospital thinks your pet would love for 2018!

What resolutions would your dog want you to make for 2018?

1. Play more!

Socialize with other pups. Visit the dog park or sign up for some regular dog walking for entertainment. Enrich the environment to keep my dog brain working.  Food puzzle toys are fun. Dogs will play hide and seek… They seek better than hide.

2. Take me on adventures!

Walk or run more if you are a runner, and take your dog with you! Off-leash trail running can be done at Appleton Farms Grass Rides. In cold weather, substitute snowshoeing and cross-country skiing for running with your dog.

3. More beach time!

Dogs are allowed off-leash on even numbered days on Good Harbor Beach in Gloucester, MA,  and odd numbered days at Wingaersheek Beach in Gloucester. Trustees of Reservations (TTOR.ORG) has dog-friendly locations including Crane’s Beach in Ipswich in the off-season.   

4. Try something adventurous and new.

Consider an agility course, behavior training, flyball training or join a dog disc/Frisbee group Plan a camping or hiking trip with me. Make sure there are not any dangerous river crossings or technical challenges such as ladders that would be dangerous for me.

5. Take care of teeth.

Learn how to brush my teeth with dog toothpaste (chicken, seafood, and beef flavors!) to prevent dog cavities, tooth pain, and bad dog breath. Learn how to brush my teeth in this video!

6. Visit your veterinarian!

Take me for a physical exam and fecal exam at least once per year. Keep me free of parasites and disease to keep the whole family healthy.

7. Snuggle more!

I’m in heaven when I’m in a huge puppy pile with my pack. That includes you!  Contact with me has been proven to lower human blood pressure and decrease death from cardiac causes.  So don’t resist, after play crash on the couch or the floor with me for a snooze.

What resolutions would your cat want you to make for 2018?

1.  Change the litter box more often.

We cats have an acute sense of smell. Make sure to have one more litter box than you have cats. Have them spaced around the house and use clumping litter.  Unscented is usually best as scents can cause allergies. Scoop the box daily and change it at least once weekly. Scrub out with a dilute bleach solution ½ cup per 1 gallon of hot water and splash of   Pinesol. Rinse several times to remove bleach odors.

2. Enrich the environment for kitty play!

Did you know you could build short shelves up the wall in a stair pattern for me to climb? Think of all the vertical space in your home your cat could use for exercise.  Tall cat scratching posts have levels we can climb.  The “wall stairs” can access existing beams across rooms or a vertical beam wrapped in with sisal, rope or rug. Cats need to jump to exercise their abdominal muscles.  Soft pine 2x4s nailed to a post or a support beam for stair rail can be used as a scratching post. A tight-knit rug you don’t value can be in the scratch/play area. Attract me to the area with catnip or feline pheromones.  Food puzzles will keep me thinking as well.

3. Create a cat basking spot

We kitties love to bask in the sun. A basket set just inside the sunny south facing window will keep your me purring and warm in the winter. There are also heated cat beds to keep me warm. I don’t like to share a basking spot with another cat so please give me my own.

4. Create a separate feeding and watering spot in the home for each cat.

We usually do not like to share food or water bowls.

5. More teeth-brushing!

Brush teeth so my teeth do not develop painful cavities.  Remember to use pet toothpaste. Many cats that are assumed to be hiding and quiet because we are old but we are actually hiding due to pain.

6. Take me to the vet at least once a year.

Preferably every 6 months. My teeth need to be checked for calculus and cavities. My weight needs to be monitored and my blood work and blood pressures need to be checked.  I need regular parasite checks and parasite prevention including heartworm medicine! I need just as much care as the dog in the house even though I seem much more independent.

7. Snuggles are the best!

Make some time for some ear scratching and lap time when I jump onto your lap!