Dr. Patten’s 10 tips and tricks for a happy, healthy 2017!
Humans might not be so great at sticking to New Year’s resolutions, but dogs love a new challenge. Try some of these resolutions for a great New Year!
- Try a new activity. Go for a hike, walk, bike ride, or other adventure with your dog. Incorporating your dog into your exercise routine is a great way to bond with your dog. Also, it’ll keep you healthier — studies have shown that dog owners are far more likely to meet their daily exercise requirements.
- Measure how much you feed your dog or cat. Over 50% of pets in America are overweight. Use an 8 ounce measuring cup to make sure you aren’t over feeding your pet. The feeding guidelines on the bag are a great place to start and then adjust the amount based on your pet’s activity level.
- Start a pet savings fund. You never know when an illness or emergency will happen. Be prepared with a pet savings fund so your pet can receive all the care he or she needs.
- Set up a doggie play date. If your dog is friendly with other dogs, set up some time for your dog to play. This will improve your dog’s social skills, mental health, and provide great exercise. Join the pack walk which meets at McMichael Park Sundays at 9:30AM.
- Microchip your pets and update their collar tags. All pets should have a microchip. Make sure your microchip is registered with your up to date contact information. A microchip and a name tag with your contact information is the best way to make sure your pet is returned to you if he or she is ever lost.
- Brush your pet’s teeth. Most pets have some degree of dental disease and this disease gets worse as your pet ages. Brushing your pet’s teeth is a simple way to slow down the progression of dental disease. (Check out the “how to” video at the end of the article.) If your pet won’t let you brush their teeth, treats formulated to improve dental health are also a great idea.
- Teach your dog or cat a new trick. Teaching your pet new things will help keep their mind active and sharp. Teach them to come when called, sit, give a high five, or teach your cat to walk on a leash.
- Enrich your pet’s environment. Toss out your old yucky toys and provide your pet with new toys. Give your cat a scratching post, food puzzle, or a cat tree.
- If your pet has not been to the vet in over a year, it’s time for a check up. All pets should have an annual exam so your veterinarian can make your pet is healthy. Many pets, especially cats, are very good at hiding when they are sick. Your veterinarian can pick up on ailments that you may not know are present.
- Reach out to your local rescue groups about ways to help pets in need. This could include fostering pets, helping coordinate adoptions, fundraising, or walking pets at shelters. Try Salfid Rescue and ACCT for starters — they’re local and are always looking for helping hands.
ABOUT DR. PATTEN
Dr. Patten and her husband, Bret Asbury (a law professor), moved to a twin on Fox Street in 2013 with their children Gus and Marlowe. She set up Liberty Vet Clinic in Roxborough soon after.
Liberty Vet Clinic
8919 Ridge Ave