Ahh, the holidays. Now that they’re over for another year and we’re all back in the swing of things, many of us begin making adjustments to benefit our health and wellness in the new year. Our pets should be no different! Although we don’t recommend fasting, juicing, or a food detox for your pet, we can recommend 5 ways to start your pet’s New Year off on the right paw.

Diet “Detox”

Okay, we know we said no detox – but think of this as an opportunity to start feeding your pet the best quality diet possible. Pets and people are very similar in this regard. Simply put, the better our diets, the healthier we are. A nutritious diet can not only improve your pet’s quality of life, it can actually lengthen their life, as well. Maintaining a balanced, AAFCO diet is the best way to prevent disease and keep pets feeling great. It may feel like an investment, but in the long run, feeding a high-quality diet can actually save money by preventing disease and illness. There are many options out there and it can be confusing to try and select the “best” product for your pet. Please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re here to help you make the best decisions for your companion.

Get Moving!

Again, like people, pets benefit both physically and mentally from regular exercise. Some of these benefits include healthier joints, better muscle tone and flexibility, and aid in maintaining an ideal weight. Also, pets who get regular exercise are less likely to engage in unwanted behaviors like digging, barking, and scratching the furniture because they’re also less likely to get bored.

So, get moving! Try doga, hiking with your dog, or playing laser pointer “tag” with your cat to get started.

Know the Score

Is your pet overweight, underweight, or at their ideal weight? Believe it or not, there are very specific guidelines for pets called body condition scoring. As your veterinarian, we can do this at your pet’s preventive care exam. We can show you exactly how to tell whether your pet’s weight measures up, so to speak. Body condition is also a really important way to gauge your pet’s overall health.

Weight Check

Did you know that over 50% of pets in the U.S. are classified as overweight? There’s no better time than the beginning of a new year to get your pet on a great nutrition and exercise plan. In addition to talking with us about your pet’s body condition score, call us about coming in periodically for a no-charge weight check, which can be a great way to keep your pet’s weight management on track.

Treat Them Creatively

Treats are a common way many of us show love for our pets, but is this the healthiest thing to do? At Bayside Animal Hospital, we’re issuing a New Year’s Challenge! Let’s find ways other than food to “treat” our pets. Think about playing a new game, introducing a new toy to the mix, having an extra walk, playtime, or brushing as a fun reward. If you absolutely must give food, think about dividing up your pet’s regular food into treat-sized portions (instead of giving extra treats in addition to regular meals). You may also want to consider giving fresh, unseasoned fruits and veggies as healthier alternatives.

Want more tips about how to start the new year off on the right paw? Call us to schedule an appointment to discuss your pet’s nutrition, exercise, and body condition score. We look forward to helping your pet stay on a healthy path this year!