Don't overlook your pet's needs when making your own New Year's Resolutions! As a responsible pet lover and owner, you can make a few simple promises to yourself and to your pet that will go a long way towards keeping your pet healthy and happy. The veterinarians of Animal Health Care of Marlboro suggest a few practical resolutions that can ensure a bright future for your pet.
1. Make sure your pet receives at least one yearly health exam. "The annual physical exam is the most overlooked pet health need today," says Dr. Steven Tepper, a staff veterinarian of Animal Health Care of Marlboro. Most people only take their pets to the vet when a health problem already exists or for routine vaccinations. Preventive vaccinations and early detection of diseases are the keys to successfully treating pets. Veterinarians conduct comprehensive exams that often includes lab testing, diet discussion, behavior concerns, parasite check, and dental exam as part of this important health exam.
2. Discuss your pet's diet, environment and exercise/activity. Obesity leads to serious dog and cat health problems such as heart disease and joint pain. Exercise is important, but a pet will only exercise if there is incentive to do so! Dr. Breitstein warns, " don't play 'weekend warrior' with them: daily exercise is better than trying to get it all done on the weekends!" We will consider the age and life stage of your pet, the time you have to commit to being their personal trainers and of course the time of year before outlining a specific recommendation or plan. And if the weather is too severe to be outdoors, we have our in- hospital underwater treadmill and exercise options for indoor exercise and environmental enrichment.
3. Make your home a safe environment. Unfortunately, making your home pet-safe is a job often overlooked. Pet proofing your home can lower the risk of a serious pet accident occurring. Poisons in the home that can kill or seriously injure your pet include some kinds of house plants (dieffenbachia, philodendron, poinsettia, lilly plants, and hyacinth), antifreeze, sugar free gum and medications. Electrical cords are hazardous when chewed. Keep harmful objects out of pet's reach including overflowing garbage cans.
A little prevention goes a long way to having a happy, healthy 2012!