(Welcome to the weekly pet column of Pet Connection Programs Inc. of Marilla, N.Y. A new article is posted each week, so be sure to check back on a regular basis!)
Making resolutions for a healthier year in 2018? The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is recommending that you include your pets in your New Year’s resolutions as well.
To help lead a healthier and happier year together in 2018, Dr. Mike Topper, president of the AVMA, recommends pet owners commit to helping their pets stick to the following three resolutions:
Exercise more. Planning on hitting the gym more regularly in the New Year? How about also resolving to keep your pet healthy with regular exercise and activity? Dr. Topper suggests taking your dogs for more frequent and longer walks, visiting the dog park to get some more active play and socialization, or signing up for agility course training. You can get your cat moving with new toys and games that will encourage her to run and jump. Before increasing your pets’ activity levels, however, Dr. Topper stresses the importance of talking with your veterinarian on what is healthy and appropriate for your individual pet.
Eat healthier. Will you be committing to eating healthier in 2018? Would your pets benefit from that same commitment? Dr. Topper says watching what our pets eat can help them maintain a healthy weight and add years to their lives. There are a number of steps you can take to improve your pet’s diet, such as eliminating table scraps and fattening, high-calorie treats; keeping food treats to a minimum and focusing on healthier food and treats; and not giving into those sad, begging eyes. Talk with your veterinarian about a nutrition plan that promotes the health of your pet.
Schedule a visit to the veterinarian. Visiting your doctor regularly for check-ups is an important way to stay healthy and catch illnesses and injuries early before they become a bigger problem. The same goes for our pets, Dr. Topper says. Since our pets can’t schedule their own checkups, resolve to take your pets in for regularly scheduled wellness exams and work with your veterinarian on a plan to keep your pets as healthy as possible.
The AVMA, founded in 1863, is one of the oldest and largest veterinary medical organizations in the world, with more than 89,000 member veterinarians worldwide engaged in a wide variety of professional activities and dedicated to the art and science of veterinary medicine.
(For more information on pets and animal adoption, please visit www.petconnectionprogramsinc.com. Or, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/PetConnectionProgramsinc. Located in Marilla, N.Y., Pet Connection Programs Inc. is a nonprofit maternity and special care shelter founded in 1984.)