JVC Practice Manager Jane’s dog, “Juba”
More than half of pets in the U.S. are overweight or obese. Make sure you’re using the correct measuring cup so you aren’t just “approximating” the amount of food you’re giving your pet. Try to be as consistent and precise as possible—one cup means one cup level, not one cup heaping! Just “eyeballing” portions can easily lead to overfeeding.
Tailor your pet’s diet to his/her age and activity level. Just because your pet needed 1.5 cups of food three years ago doesn’t mean that amount is still appropriate for her. Similarly, your pet may be far less active in the cold winter months and would, therefore, require less food.
The feeding guidelines on the bag or box of pet food are only meant to be rough guidelines. Each pet has different size, activity level, metabolism, etc. that needs to be factored in.
Good Oral Hygiene
Most of us already know that regular tooth brushing and periodic dental cleanings will not only keep our pets’ teeth in great shape but will also prolong their lives. How can we manage New Year Pet Resolutions like this with everything else we have going on though?
Thorough brushing only takes a minute or two, so failure to regularly brush has less to do with lack of time than it does with focus and discipline. Many diligent pet owners find it helpful to literally schedule the task on their calendars. Others just designate the same days each week to help keep them on track. Try linking the brushing to something you already do regularly. For example, if you always floss three times/week, tie your pet’s tooth brushing into that activity.
The key to successful resolutions is to strive for progress, not perfection. If you currently are only brushing your pet’s teeth once a week, aim for two days a week. Any improvement will help your pet’s health! For tips on handling your pets during brushing, reference our pet education article Handling Exercises for Trimming Nails and Brushing Teeth.
Get More Active
Yes, we had to include this one. However, small changes really add up, so start with manageable goals! For example, 5 minutes of fetch per day can significantly lengthen your pet’s life!