Pets live in the moment, so they’re not likely setting intentional goals for the new year. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make some resolutions for them, to help them live their best lives. Check out the following pet-friendly New Year’s Resolutions from Midtown Veterinary Hospital

#1: Schedule your pet’s annual wellness visit

Whether your pet is currently up-to-date or hasn’t visited us in years, start the year by booking your pet’s yearly wellness visit. The first step toward your pet’s veterinary health is a phone call or online appointment request to connect with our helpful client services team. This simple gesture will have a lifelong ripple effect on your pet’s total wellbeing. 

An annual wellness visit is more than routine—it’s exceptional care. The standard wellness appointment includes:

  • Physical exam — Your pet’s whiskers-to-tail exam can ensure healthy development and identify hidden abnormalities or early disease signs. Of course, we hope to give your pet a clean bill of health, but if not, early diagnosis and treatment can help us rewrite your pet’s future health.
  • Vaccines Vaccines educate your pet’s immune system and protect them against infectious viruses, including rabies, canine distemper, feline respiratory viruses, and feline panleukopenia. 
  • Testing —Annual testing includes heartworm, tick-borne, and parasitic disease screening tests. Wellness blood work is also recommended to establish your pet’s health baseline so we can monitor for early changes that may indicate future disease.
  • Parasite prevention — Year-round parasite prevention defends your pet against ticks, fleas, heartworms, and intestinal parasites 24/7/365. 
  • Personalized recommendations — Your veterinarian is an invaluable resource for individualized guidance on every pet topic, including nutrition, behavior, basic care tasks, quality of life assessment, and training. 

If your pet’s care has lapsed, don’t be ashamed—make this the year for positive change. Our caring team can help get your pet up-to-date so that you can look forward to a brighter future together—rather than looking back with guilt or regret. 

#2: Commit to your pet’s monthly preventives

Days, weeks, and months pass quickly, and before you know it, you’ve forgotten your pet’s monthly parasite prevention. Unfortunately, this momentary oversight can have long-lasting effects on pet and human health, because you are opening the door to flea infestation and illnesses that include heartworm disease, tick-borne illnesses, and zoonotic (i.e., transmissible from pets to people) parasitic infections. 

Ensure you never forget a preventive dose—set up a dedicated reminder.

  • Create a phone reminder — Use your smartphone calendar to set a recurring reminder. For extra security, set a repeating alarm.
  • Sign up for manufacturer reminders — Many popular products (e.g., Heartgard, Revolution) offer monthly email or text-based reminders. 
  • Set up a one-dose autoship — Our online pharmacy offers convenient one-dose RemindMe autoship programs where the arrival doubles as a prompt to administer the product.

#3: Eliminate your pet’s unnecessary calories

Extra calories can add up to serious weight gain—especially when you’re a small pet. Commercial pet treats and table scraps are frequently high in calories and low in nutritional value and a common contributor to pet obesity.

Although we don’t subscribe to the adage “Food is love,” we do recognize that treating your pet enhances your bond. Curb your pet’s calories without sacrificing the experience using the following:

  • The 10% rule — Your pet’s daily treats should not exceed 10% of their daily caloric intake. Use an online calorie calculator or talk to your veterinarian to determine your pet’s daily calorie requirement.
  • Fresh foods — Fresh whole foods are generally healthier and low in calories and fat. Try skinless white meat chicken, blueberries, baby carrots, apple slices, green beans, tuna flakes, and plain air-popped popcorn. 
  • Non-food rewards — Try alternating food treats with other reinforcements, such as verbal praise, walking, or playing with a favorite toy.  

#4: Brush up on your pet’s oral care

Many people resolve to improve their own dental health with promises to floss daily, brush after meals, or visit the dentist for a long overdue cleaning. Give your pet the same opportunities by dedicating time and effort to their oral health.

Dental disease is the most commonly diagnosed—yet preventable—disease in pets, and affects 70% of cats and 80% of dogs by the tender age of 3. Sadly, this condition is more than cosmetic—untreated dental disease can lead to painful tooth decay and loss, bone erosion, oral infections, and ultimately, organ damage.

Take these simple actions now to prevent or reverse your pet’s dental disease:

  • Schedule an oral health assessment — Your veterinarian can visually determine if dental disease is present and make treatment recommendations.
  • Have your pet’s teeth professionally cleaned Dental cleaning and X-rays under anesthesia are often necessary to address present disease and identify problem areas hiding below the gum line.
  • Brush your pet’s teeth daily — Routine toothbrushing with a pet-safe toothpaste is the gold standard for preventing plaque build-up.
  • Use verified anti-plaque products — Veterinary dental diets, chews, treats, and water additives approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) can effectively reduce plaque and tartar accumulation. 

#5: Get active with your pet

Exercise not only helps your pet maintain a healthy weight but also promotes better cardiovascular health and decreases behavior problems and stress. If traditional exercise does not motivate your pet, explore other options, such as swimming, treat-dispensing balls, homemade obstacle courses, nose work, and foraging toysThree hundred and sixty-five days seem like a long time, but they will pass in the blink of an eye. Ensure you feel good when you look back on 2022, knowing you gave your pet the care and attention they deserve. For additional tips or to schedule your pet’s next appointment, contact Midtown Veterinary Hospital.