10 tips to boost your pet’s health in the new year

Happy dog playing in the snow

The New Year is just days away, and our thoughts are likely turning to resolutions for a healthier year — many of us have well-intentioned plans such as losing weight, exercising more, and stressing less. With all of the goals we may have for ourselves, this is also a great time to make resolutions for our pets. If your pet hasn’t been acting like his or her peppy self lately, here are some tips to help boost your pet’s health in the New Year:

  1. Getting a check-up from your vet should be your first course of action. Your veterinarian will check your pet’s skin, coat, eyes, ears, tummy, joints and mouth. This wellness checkup will serve as a “baseline” to let you and your vet know your pet’s current health status, and enables your vet to make recommendations if your pet is not in optimal health already.
  2. After your vet visit and once your pet is cleared for “take-off,” put together a simple exercise routine for your pet. If you have a dog, set up a daily walk schedule, or a time when the both of you can play fetch or another active game. For indoor cats, try interactive cat toys to keep your furry feline in shape and ready to pounce at any time.
  3. Good nutrition is key to good health, but finding a quality pet food that your pet loves can be challenging. As a pet parent, it’s important to read the ingredient list on the back of your pet’s food bag or can. The first ingredient should always be the protein source like fish, chicken, beef or duck. Halo pet food is known for high-quality ingredients and yummy recipes for both cats and dogs. For more information on quality pet food read Why You Should Feed High Quality Pet Food.
  4. Skin and coat supplements can be an important way to keep your pet healthy and looking good. Our pet’s skin and coat can tell us a lot about how they are feeling. A dull coat and dry skin may mean that our pets are lacking in nutrients or just not feeling well. One of the best things you can do for your pet’s skin and coat is to administer a daily omega fatty acid supplement. Omega 3 in particular is an antioxidant that helps prevent free radicals from causing damage to the cells of organs in the body. Products like Super Pure Omega 3 Soft Chews can be given to both cats and dogs, and comes in a chicken liver-flavored soft chew that most pets love.
  5. Grooming is another way to help keep your pet healthy. Regularly grooming long-haired pets will help reduce shedding, which can be quite a nuisance. Even short-haired pets can benefit fit from a shampoo and brushing, which will leave them feeling and smelling like a million bucks! Also, don’t forget to trim your pet’s nails to avoid painful breaking.
  6. Weight management is yet another way to make sure your pet is in tip-top shape. Overweight pets can develop medical conditions such as diabetes, joint problems, and respiratory issues. If your pet is overweight, be sure to switch him or her to a reduced-calorie food (after talking to your vet). It also helps to measure your pet’s food every time rather than free feeding or “eyeballing” pet food amounts, which can result in feeding more calories than needed. Also, watch the number of treats you give to your cat or dog since calories can add up quickly.
  7. Brushing your pet’s teeth can be a nuisance. Especially if your pet isn’t used to having anything other than food and treats in his or her mouth. However, using dental wipes like the Max’s Dental Wipes or the TropiClean Pet Clean Teeth Gel can really help reduce plaque and tartar from your pet’s teeth without the fuss. You can also use a water additive to your pet’s water bowl like Be Fresh Dental Care Solution, which kills plaque- and tartar-producing bacteria. If you can, brushing really is the best option for pet teeth, so try using a pet toothbrush and pet toothpaste to get those teeth squeaky clean.
  8. Stop pests in their tracks with monthly flea, tick and heartworm preventatives! Did you know that your pet is at risk for heartworm infection and flea and tick problems all year round? Prevent pests from harming your pet with monthly heartworm prevention and monthly flea and tick prevention like Flea5X Plus.
  9. Putting an end to behavioral problems may be on your list for the New Year. Some pets may develop inappropriate behaviors like urinating in the house, or chewing or scratching furniture. Well, there is no better time than now to stop unwanted behaviors. If your cat chews or scratches furniture or other objects in your home, make sure you have a sturdy cat scratching post as well as fun interactive toys like the Kong Kickeroo with Catnip or the FroliCat Pounce Rotating Teaser Toy for Cats to keep your little feline friend occupied. For dogs, try using long-lasting chew toys like Kong Classic Dog Toy. A clean up kit that removes urine stain and odor might be necessary for dogs that haven’t quite kicked the habit of “going” in the house.
  10. Keeping joint problems at bay may be the last thing on your mind, especially if your pet is younger. However, it’s never too soon to promote healthy joints for the future! In fact, did you know that 90% of geriatric cats have arthritis, and 1 out of 5 dogs over the age of 7 has arthritis? Luckily, you can start preventing joint issues now with daily supplements like Super Joint Enhancer Soft Chews for cats and dogs.

No matter the age of your pet, start the New Year off right by committing to boost his or her health for not only this year, but also many years to come.

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