Health resolutions for your pet in 2022
Instead of setting lofty New Year’s resolutions for yourself, how about setting some quality health goals for your pets? Of course, you could do both – putting yourself and your fur family on the path towards the best 2022 yet.
That’s a suggestion from Michelle Le Long, chief operating officer at pet insurance provider PD Insurance, who says: “Health is wealth, as the old saying goes. That’s something anyone who’s ever suffered a serious injury or illness will gladly confirm.”
“A pet’s health is their wealth, too – and taking even better care of your fur kids will save you real money in the long run. Plus, you’ll have a happier pet on your hands.”
Making health a priority in a busy world
Most of us make New Year’s resolutions with the best of intentions. We also want the best when it comes to our pet’s health. However, with busy lifestyles, myriad distractions and the realities of juggling a life/work balance, our own health and that of our pets can easily slip.
“By setting clear goals for your pet – such as more walkies, fewer treats, perhaps a few kilograms off, dental care, regular vet visits and up to date vaccinations – you can start the year right. And if those goals are written down somewhere obvious, like the fridge or family noticeboard, there’s a good chance you’ll stick to them,” Le long says.
“Who knows, it might also help with the motivation towards your own resolutions.”
Appropriate food intake
As with humans, a big pet health challenge is food consumption. While some breeds are more susceptible than others, pet obesity is a recognised issue in New Zealand and globally. Over one third of our cats and dogs are overweight.
While a tubby pup or curvy kitty can be cute, the consequences of extra weight are not. Your pet may see its life shortened by up to 25%.
Managing their intake starts with measuring how much food they get. Sticking to the ‘right’ food is important, too, so cut down on treats and stick to quality nutrition. You’ll get the information you need from food manufacturers or ask your vet. That too could be a good time to discuss any vitamin or other supplements which could benefit your pet.
Regular vet check-ups
On vets, your furry family needs check-ups at least once a year. Consider this ‘preventative maintenance’; any illness caught early leads to a better outcome and reduced suffering.
There are other benefits too, including teeth cleaning, claw clipping, updating vaccinations and the elimination of parasites, as well as being able to discuss any behavioural issues.
Committing to exercise and hygiene
Over-feeding is one side of a coin which has more exercise on the other. Good health, both mental and physical, for your pet includes regular exercise.
For dogs, nothing beats walkies with their human, while many cats love play or at least regular access to decent outdoor space. Commit to doing more with your fur kids in 2022. They’ll love you for it and physical activity directly benefits their, and your, wellbeing. Harvard University cites several studies that show dog owners have lower blood pressure than non-owners.
Consider improving obedience training at the same time; everyone loves good manners, including canine and feline ones. Plus, it gives you more bonding time with your pet.
Thorough, regular baths (for dogs) and grooming is also a valuable, if sometimes fraught, bonding experience. Resolve to make this a regular activity rather than hit and miss. With excess fur removed and germs reduced, there’s less on clothes, furniture and floor, healthy oils are better distributed from skin to fur, and your pet looks and smells great more often.
Protecting your pet
Le Long says every pet parent should consider pet insurance for their dogs and cats as a core New Year’s resolution. “In the event of ill health or an accident, the last thing we want to worry about is the cost of treatment. Even routine vet visits can be costly.”
“Pet health insurance is more affordable than ever, and you can cover your fur kid from as little as a dollar a day. Peace of mind is surely worth a couple of takeaway coffees per week.”
Leandri Smith – The Mail Room
027 365 9003 | [email protected]