2023 To-Do Pet Checklist
Most dogs and cats are very open to learning new things, but there are some things they can't do themselves. We need to help them out a bit to keep them happy and healthy this year!
Here is the rundown:
Brush their choppers! If you brush regularly, your pet will get used to it and not fight you. It only takes a few minutes. Not only does brushing promote healthy teeth, but a healthy mouth promotes a healthy body. Dental problems can cause heart, kidney, other organ damage, and lead to inflammation. This can bring on all sorts of issues for Fido and Fluffy (and for you too). Let's start a regular dental program in 2023 which should include brushing, chew toys, crunchy treats, microbial wipes, and cleanings. Please talk with your vet for their recommendations.
Daily exercise in 2023! Let's ensure our pets get a daily walk or playtime this year. They need the activity, and it creates good endorphins for both man and beast! If the weather isn't cooperating, play some inside games. This time spent with your pet will help you bond and strengthen your relationship with Fido and Fluffy. If you're busy and can't walk every day, call us!
Waistline watch! Our buddies don't monitor their weight well. And when you add in-between meal treats and not enough exercise; they often get heavier as they get older. This has a significant impact on their health. Be sure to feed them high-quality food and measure out what you feed them. It's so easy to overfeed if you don't measure. Give healthy, small treats sparingly.
Chip them and check. Does your best friend have a microchip? If not, get them chipped; lost pets with chips are returned more often than those without chips. If your pet is chipped, ask your vet if he will scan for it. Sometimes a pet chip migrates to another location and might not be easily found if your pet goes missing. If that's the case, ask your vet about inserting another chip.
Visit the vet regularly! Vet visits should be about a lot more than a vaccine or two. Even indoor cats need vaccines, pest control, and wellness visits! Your vet will notice if your buddy has a weight change, dry coat, runny nose, or unhealthy mouth, which could be early warning signs of a health problem.
Keep them away from toxic food and chemicals. Dogs and cats are curious; many will get into trouble if you don't stop them. Keep any poisonous foods (such as grapes and chocolate) off your kitchen counters. Also, put away antifreeze and other garage chemicals, so they are out of reach and preferably in a locked cabinet.
Heartworm, flea, and tick watch! This year let's keep up with our pest control. It's easy to forget to give these medications every month so put a reminder on your calendar or a sticky note by the pet food. It's best to provide these medications year-round for complete protection.
Buckle up! Unrestrained pets in our vehicles can cause you to have an accident. Even in a fender bender, a door or hatchback can pop open or a window could break. If your buddy is not securely belted in, he could take off. Your pet is safest in the backseat, away from airbags and the dashboard. Please consider a pet-safe seatbelt harness, a pet-designed car seat, or a travel crate.
Do regular grooming and bathing! Both dogs and cats need regular grooming to prevent tangles and mats. It's also a convenient time for you to check them for lumps, bumps, fleas, and ticks. Dogs aren't as good at keeping clean as cats, so they need regular bathing. Remember to clean their ears and trim their nails.
Continue to socialize and train them! It's fun! Especially with younger pets, it will help them learn how to interact with people and other animals. It's a vital part of growing up and may help your buddy be less fearful.
Make sure your yard has boundaries! Both dogs and cats would love to roam around if we'd let them, but that freedom comes at a significant cost. Pets get hurt, pick up illnesses, and get stolen. Be sure your best friend has a secure place to run around, like a fenced yard or catio. Keep them on a leash outside your yard.
Continue to love and care for them as they get older! Our buddies will grow old; that's a good thing. Sadly some people give up a senior pet because they can no longer be active with them. However, they need us more than ever as they age. Many pets can be stoic and avoid showing weakness, so continue with your veterinary care to stay on top of old-age aches and pains. Make their senior years golden!
Let's make 2023 a happy, healthy, and safe year for your best buddies!