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At the start of each New Year many of us find ourselves planning new goals and assessing changes we wish to make for the year to come. This year, consider how you might incorporate your pet into these life changes. Doing so will not only improve the quality of your pet’s life but also strengthen the bond you have with them. The staff of Longwood Vet Center is here to motivate and keep you on track for achieving success in the New Year!

1. Walk your Dogs Daily and Provide Exercise for Indoor Kitties
Not only is exercise good for the body, it’s good for the mind.  Exercise helps keep pets enriched and healthy, controls their weight, strengthens muscles, and keeps joints flexible and young.

2. Feed a Healthy Diet
No more table scraps and feeding empty calories! Kick start the year by consulting your veterinarian if you feel your pet is overweight.  Your veterinarian will recommend a balanced diet within an appropriate caloric range.  Measuring the precise amount of food offered to and consumed by your pet is essential to a successful weight loss program.   Excess calorie consumption equals excess pounds.  Carrots, apples, or green beans are low calorie treat alternatives that many pets love!

3. Brush Pet’s Teeth Daily
Daily brushing is the best way to prevent dental disease. Make it a rewarding and fun experience, and a part of your daily routine. Remember to pet toothpaste, not human toothpaste!

4. Attend Training or Obedience Classes
Your dog may benefit from additional training, but these classes can be for any dog that enjoys a challenge and bonding time with you. See our Canine Resources Section, for a list of recommendations.

5. Enroll Pets in Pet Insurance or Start a Savings Fund
Budgeting is the best way to minimize the burden of a large annual bill for routine veterinary care such as vaccines and preventative medications.  However, despite our best intentions emergencies and illnesses occur. Pet insurance gives you the comfort of financial security when planning for the unexpected.

6. Go on an Adventure with your Pets
Do you have an adventurous dog or curious cat? New experiences can be a fun and exciting for your pet. Dine at a dog-friendly restaurant, run on a dog-friendly beach, or teach your cat to walk on a leash!  Start slowly and use positive reward based experiences to keep these excursions fun for both of you.

7. Update Tags and Microchips
Life is busy. Let the New Year, be an annual reminder to update pet information. Tags and microchips are the best way for lost pets to find their way home!

8. Spend More Quality Time with Pets
Studies show a little extra TLC goes a long way towards health and happiness. Teach your dog a new trick. Cuddle your cat curled up on your lap. You are their entire world and that time is so important.

9. Write a Bucket List for Senior Pets
Compile and complete a list of activities for you to share that will leave you and your senior pet with some wonderful memories!

10. Last but Not Least: Schedule an Annual Vet Exam!
Annual exams are extremely important for keeping your pet healthy.  Establishing your pet’s baseline normals, monitoring trends, and acting on abnormal findings is essential to a long and happy life.  Although some pets are nervous about the prospect of visiting us, we try to make the experience as fun and stress free as possible for all involved.  Did you know that Longwood Veterinary Center is a Certified Cat Friendly Practice?   Certification means our staff has completed extra training that allows us to better assess signs of fear and anxiety in pets, makes us more knowledgeable in the use of gentle restraint techniques, and ensures we use positive reinforcement to allow your pet to associate our hospital and staff with good things!

Cheers to a Happy, Healthy and Successful 2018!

Written By: Tara Corridori, LVT

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