Resolutions are common this time of year, and they are beneficial to setting your own goals for the year ahead. This is also a great time to make positive changes in your pet’s life. Our Southwest Vet team understands your pet’s importance in your life, and we are committed to helping you jump-start your furry pal’s health journey. Read our pet-friendly New Year’s resolution ideas to help ensure 2023 is your furry pal’s best year yet. 

Resolutions for your pet’s physical health

You likely agree that pets’ lives are far too short, but, unfortunately, they can’t live forever. However, you can help your pet achieve the next best thingan extended and improved overall quality of life. The following resolutions can improve your pet’s health and help add years to their life:

  • Polish those pearly whites — People aren’t the only ones who benefit from good dental habits. Resolve to manage your pet’s oral health in 2023 to protect them from periodontal disease—the most commonly diagnosed pet dental disease. Ask our team if your pet is ready for a professional dental cleaning, and resolve to brush your pet’s teeth daily at home.
  • Calculate your pet’s daily calorie allotment — Overweight or obese pets are at an increased risk for developing multiple health problems, so maintaining their healthy weight is an important goal. You can easily feed your pet more than their daily recommended calorie intake, especially if you’re unsure of the exact amount they should be eating. Use this dog or cat calorie calculator to determine your pet’s daily nutrition needs.
  • Measure your pet’s meal portions — When doling out your pet’s meals, use an actual measuring cup to ensure you are providing them with an accurate portion size.
  • Cut back on treats — No more than 10% of your pet’s daily calorie allotment should come from treats. If you often use treats to reward your pet, consider other—nonfood—ways to show your appreciation, such as a short play session with your furry friend’s favorite toy or giving them a belly rub. 
  • Get moving — Physical activity is essential for weight management and overall health. Aim to exercise your pet for 20 to 30 minutes per day, choosing activities based on their age, fitness level, and preference.

Resolutions for your pet’s mental health

You know your pet’s physical health is important, but their mental health is equally essential. Follow these tips to support your pet’s mental wellness:

  • Maintain a routine — Pets thrive on predictability. Set a daily routine to help your pet feel comfortable and safe because they know what to expect.
  • Create positive experiences — Build your pet’s confidence and help them enjoy new things by creating positive experiences and reinforcing them with treats and praise.
  • Train your pet — Training makes for a more well-behaved pet, and also keeps their brain engaged, supporings their mental health. 
  • Make pet-friendly spaces — Home is your pet’s haven—the place they feel the most comfortable and secure. Create a pet-friendly home by ensuring your furry friend has a comfortable bed, food and water access, play areas, and a retreat—such as a crate or spare bedroom—if they become overstimulated. 
  • Provide your pet with puzzle toys — Puzzle toys offer food treats to stimulate and hone your pet’s innate problem-solving skills. Give your pet the satisfaction of working for their treats by providing them with enrichment toys such as lick mats, Kongs, and interactive puzzles. 

One of the best New Year’s health resolutions you can make for your pet is to ensure they have their annual wellness exam. To help maintain your pet’s optimal health, these visits enable your veterinarian to monitor your furry friend’s health, and diagnose diseases early—when they are easier to manage and treat.  Start 2023 on the right paw by scheduling your pet’s first wellness exam of the year with our Southwest Vet team.