New Year’s resolutions for you and your pets

Dr. Lauren Coulson, DMV from the Helen Woodward Animal Center joined Good Morning San Diego with some New Year’s resolution ideas for you and your pets.

1. Get healthy! What better time to start an exercise schedule with your pet than the New Year? There is so much more to do besides just walks, especially in San Diego. Dog parks and beaches will definitely help them get in some cardio! Swimming in pools and lakes is also a great way as well. Kitties can be a bit more challenging but feather toys and laser pointers will make most cats exercise … for a little while. Also, make sure your pet is eating the appropriate amount of food. Follow the feeding guide on the back of the bag. If weight loss is intended, feed for the goal weight, not the current weight. Also, treats should not make up more than 10% of a pet’s diet.

2. Start brushing teeth or brush more regularly. Dental health is just as important for pets as it is for humans! Not every dog or cat is going to go for a good tooth brushing, but the more often it can be done, the better. To see a real difference brushing should be done 2 -3 times a week. Using a finger brush or even gauze over your finger may be easier than an actual tooth brush. Build up to about 15 seconds on the cheek surface of the upper and lower jaw on each side.

3. Schedule that vet appointment: Time to stop ignoring that lump, and get that limp checked out. Make a list of all of your burning questions to ensure your four-legged friend starts the New Year off right.

4. Get in to see the groomer. Not every dog or cat needs extensive grooming, but a little pampering never hurt. A good bath can improve the skin’s condition and get rid of pesky mats. Keeping up with nail trims can prevent painful foot conditions as well. Often times, groomers provide ear cleaning and gland expression services.

5. Continue training. Training does not end with puppy classes. It is a lifelong process that is up to owners to reinforce. Consider an adult obedience class or agility course. Socialization can be an important part of training. Exposing you pet to new situations can challenge them to grow and mature.

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