Now that it’s 2020, how’re you doing with your New Year’s Resolutions? Many of us find it easier to make an effort for others than for ourselves, which is exactly why we’re suggesting a few resolutions this year...for your fur family.
All Pets: Choose the best food that fits your budget; look for one with lots of whole food ingredients and nutrient levels that correspond with your breed’s inherent needs.
Always start by following the package’s recommended feeding guidelines for your pet’s size and activity level - these guidelines are written to provide the max amount of calories your pet might need, so don’t be afraid to feed a little less if you notice your pet putting on weight.
Don’t forget to wash your pet’s food and water bowls every day with warm, soapy water. Be sure to refill your pet’s water bowl with fresh, cool water at least twice a day. Standing water goes stale, and is a magnet for dust and fur.
Horses: Always use a raised feeder or hay net rather than feeding from the ground. This will help reduce the amount of dirt that they consume, reducing the chances of sand colic. Regularly cleaning feeders and watering troughs can also help reduce the transmission of bacteria and parasites.
Exercise and activity:
Dogs & Cats: Set aside at least 30 minutes each day for activity with your pets. That time can be spent all at once or broken into several shorter play periods. For dogs, this may be a long walk, some off-leash play at the dog park, or a couple dozen ball tosses. For our feline friends, time to chase a pole toy, peacock feather, or hunt the elusive laser pointer.
Birds: Pet birds generally enjoy a few rounds of playing “step up” and “flap your wings” with you, and toys that encourage climbing and chewing are also great stimulation.
Small Animal: A new wheel or exercise ball is a great way to get your hamster moving, and a walking harness or exercise pen can help get your bunny or guinea pig out and about safely.
Chickens: Hanging a head of cabbage just out of reach will entice your chickens to jump and work for the treat.
Horse: Offer your horse a Jolly Ball or other equine toy to help while away time in the pasture.
No matter the animal, spending some quality time getting them moving is beneficial to their health, and will likely have the side effect of brightening your day.
Tired of that infamous pet breath? When was the last time you took a close look at your pet’s teeth? Most dogs and cats develop some type of periodontal disease by the time they’re only 4 years old; left untreated this can lead to infection, tooth loss, and even life threatening heart disease. Brushing their teeth at home is always recommended, and for a deeper clean, check out our anesthesia-free services for as low as $80/cleaning.
If you have a rabbit, rat, or other critter with teeth that never stop growing, be sure they have access to plenty of hay and wooden chew toys, and inspect their mouths regularly for signs that the teeth are not wearing down properly. If you find any signs of malocclusion or irritation, a visit to the vet for a tooth trim may be needed.
A clean living space ranks right up there with good diet and plenty of exercise as one of the most impactful things you can do to support your pet’s health. Don’t forget the doo bags when taking your dog for a walk, and put them to use in your own back yard every day. No matter how good your cat litter of choice is for odor control, your cat will appreciate a daily removal of waste. For small critters and birds, spot clean daily and replace the bedding in their habitat weekly to reduce odor and prevent bacterial build up.
If you have chickens, remove droppings that build up below perches weekly. Turn or replace the bedding in their coop and nest boxes at least once a month to reduce the chances of respiratory irritation and bacterial diseases such as bumble foot.
Kahooligan Tip - So whether you’ve given up on your resolutions or still going strong, add a couple of these to your list this year. That way, no matter what, you’ll have a resolution or two that'll be easy to maintain...your pets will thank you for it!