New Year's Resolutions for Pet Owners

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Happy New Year from the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association and our member veterinarians, who are dedicated to helping you give your pet a high quality of life!

Our pets provide us with so much affection and unconditional love that we often consider them part of the family and may want to include them in our New Year's resolutions.  Following are some ways to include your pets in your resolutions.

Save Money

At the top of almost everyone’s resolution list is to find ways to save money.  Pet owners can help keep veterinary costs low by following a few simple guidelines in the New Year:

  • Keep pets up to date on important vaccinations and parasite prevention.  It is much less expensive to prevent a disease than it is to treat it.
  • Don’t procrastinate or miss veterinary exams and visits.  If your pet is injured or ill, delaying veterinary attention could actually lead to higher expenses!
  • Resolve to keep good communications with your veterinarian and veterinary staff.  Keeping your veterinarian up to date on pet health and behavior changes could catch problems earlier, at more treatable stages.
  • Consider investing in pet insurance or starting a pet health savings plan as the New Year begins.  These simple steps can help you avoid financial issues if your pet is sick or even avoid the unpleasant thought of an “economic euthanasia."

Exercise & Lose Weight

Next on many resolution lists is the promise to exercise more and lose weight.   Why not let your pet help you keep that promise?

  • Like their humans, many pets in the US and Canada are overweight or obese.  The New Year is a great time to make a commitment to losing those extra pounds.
  • Studies show that dog owners spend about twice as much time walking each week than non-dog owners.   This positive reinforcement can be beneficial for your goals and help your pet lose weight, too!

Quality Time

Some people will make resolutions to spend more quality time with family.   That resolution can be expanded to include the pets as well.

  • There is an old adage that “a tired dog is a good dog.”  Including a small amount of time in our daily routine for our pets can help prevent destructive behavior issues.
  • Many pets could benefit from enrolling in a basic training and socialization class, especially if you have a new puppy.  Consider this New Year as a great time to make sure your pet is a “good pet citizen."
  • In addition, the extra exercise and activity you provide for your pets might help with weight loss and prevent medical issues, thereby saving money on veterinary costs.

Looking Your Best

Looking your best is another popular resolution each year…why not include your pets?

  • Keeping a pet well groomed can help prevent skin issues and the associated expense of a groomer or veterinarian.
  • Proper grooming and brushing is also another way to meet your resolution of spending more time with your pet.

Helping Others

Helping others is a promise that many people will make each New Year.  Keep that promise by volunteering your time at or providing needed resources for your local animal rescue or shelter.

Talk to Your Veterinarian

Finally, a great resolution for all pet owners is to promise to discuss all aspects of your pet’s care with your veterinarian before acting on information found online.

  • Even though Internet searches and discussions with online friends might seem to be helpful, there is misinformation and bad advice present on the web. 
  • Avoid using “Dr. Google” as your only source of pet health recommendations.  Your veterinarians are the true “pet health experts” and are happy to answer your concerns.
  • Most importantly, your veterinarian's advice will be custom fit for your pet!

Published: December 23, 2011;    Updated: December 27, 2013

Filed Under: Seasonal Issues, Companion Animals, Cats, Dogs

Source: VNN

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