It's that time of year again where we all make resolutions and try to do better in the new year. Pets deserve a great start in 2022, too!
With the holidays almost behind us and winter in full swing, it's difficult to think of anything but hibernation mode. But what if we could spend this time reflecting on what we're grateful for? If you're like many pet parents out there, your furry friends are among the things you're most thankful for.
Here are five easy things you can do to help your pets have a great start in 2022!
Prioritize Preventive Veterinary Care
Regular veterinary exams are essential to keep your pet happy and healthy. Physical exams, routine bloodwork, diagnostics, parasite checks, and discussions about the pet’s overall wellness help veterinarians screen for any issues before they can lead to more serious problems. In addition, many practices offer bundled wellness care services like GoFetch+ to make it easier to get your pet the care they need and more!
Provide Interactive Toys That Will Keep Their Brain Active
Interactive toys offer many benefits to your dog and cat – they provide mental stimulation and help combat boredom, satisfy their instincts, and make mealtime more fun. They can also help manage behaviour issues caused by stress or anxiety. You can invest in toys like puzzles, sensory and vessel toys, and ones that involve your pet's sense of smell. In addition, some cats love baby sensory videos, and there is plenty of pet-focused games and video content.
Improve Your Knowledge of Pet First-Aid
Veterinarians are the experts, but when your dog eats something he shouldn't or your kitty hurts a paw, you'll need to jump in to help. And, sick or injured pets won't always show signs right away. Learn the basics and take a pet CPR course; there are several good online resources to choose from. Also, set up a pet first-aid kit, and include items like gloves or muzzles for the unexpected, bookmark trusted websites and phone numbers such as emergency clinics and the Pet Poison Helpline. A televet service like 24/7 vet support from GoFetch will connect you to a trained professional in minutes to provide advice or triage the situation.
Keep Your Pets Active
When your pet is a rambunctious puppy or kitten, you might think they'll never slow down. As pets get older, you will likely need to adapt activity levels to their abilities. Boredom is the root of many behaviour problems in cats and dogs, so daily exercise is a must. Going on walks to swimming or even playing with toys can keep them happy and healthy. Your veterinarian can advise on the right type and amount of exercise and suggest any supplements that can be right for your pet to help keep them active.
Don't Ignore Behavioural Changes
New or undesirable behaviours in your pet could signify a medical issue. Reach out to your veterinary team, or a televet provide like GoFetch's 24/7 vet support for help. And, as we start to spend more time away from home or as more people go back to work, watch for signs of separation anxiety; this can include urinating, defecating, chewing, digging, pacing or destructive behaviours.
Bonus: Give Your Pets Plenty of Attention and Snuggles
Dogs of any age need lots of company, but hanging out with your pup also helps you spot health issues. Cats can be seen as more independent creatures, but they still crave attention and love. Each pet will have its own personality, and some may prefer to spend more time alone, while others may have a stronger desire to play. And our pets are good for humans too! Research has shown that simply petting a dog or cat lowers the stress hormone cortisol, while the social interaction between people and their pets increases levels of the feel-good hormone oxytocin (the same hormone that bonds mothers to babies).
Click here to get the GoFetch+ Winter Wellness Guide, including great holiday safety tips, recipes and more.