Making the new year a healthy one for you and your pets! Some ideas for New Year’s resolutions for both of you in today’s blog post:

Pets fill an irreplaceable spot in our homes and families, but they rely on us to provide a safe and healthy lifestyle. As you embrace the New Year and its promise of changes and personal improvement, don’t forget to include your pets in your 2004 New Year’s Resolutions. Here are a few pet-friendly ideas:

Move it—and lose it. If you’re hoping to lose a few post-holiday pounds, your pet may be your perfect fitness partner. 30 minutes of aerobic exercise (walking, running, hiking, even cross country skiing) three times a week with your pooch will benefit both of you. 2014 New Year's Resolutions for Your Pets from WestVet Idaho's 24 Hour Veterinary Emergency HospitalYour cat may not be up for a jog, but time spent chasing and batting a toy will benefit his waistline (and temperament), too. Keeping your pet at a healthy weight is critical for their long term good health. Bonus: pets think of the work out as play time, they’ll not only be tired, but more content!

Make some mealtime rules. Measure the food servings. Most veterinarians recommend twice daily feedings for our furry friends. Seek professional input on the types and amount of food you should provide. Remember absolutely NO human food or snacks. Our food contains too much sugar, salt, fat, etc., for our four-legged friends. In addition, track those treats! If you, your partner, the dog walker, and the kids all dole out a treat or two—it will be too much. Consider counting out a daily portion in a separate bowl, when they are gone, treats are done for the day. 

Maintain a schedule. Pets thrive on routine. When meals, walks, and play happen at the same time daily, you will find your pet one step ahead of you—ready and anticipating the next big thing. 24/7 After Hours Emergency Veterinary Care in Boise and MeridianBe aware that cats may become stressed with life changes, including new babies moving in, college-bound children moving out, a new home, or the addition of a new pet. With some simple precautions and assistance from your veterinarian, you can help ease your felines into the new family dynamic.

Complete routine veterinary visits. An annual physical exam by your family veterinarian is critical to your pet’s health. Their veterinary records will help you track your pet’s weight, vaccines and preventative care medication, and note any other significant changes. Call and schedule your pet’s 2014 appointment today.

Seek specialty care when needed.  Veterinary specialists partner with your family veterinarian to provide the highest level veterinary care available. Your pet may benefit from seeing a specialist if they are not responding well to treatment or have an aggressive or advanced illness.  Specialists, like our team at WestVet, have completed rigorous, advanced training in one specific area of veterinary medicine beyond earning their Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. A veterinary specialist could save your pet’s life. 

Training. If your pooch could benefit from some better manners, consider a training course. Training for your dog often becomes training for YOU on how to be consistent, firm, and clear in both commands and expectations. Bonus: the time spent together will strengthen your pet relationship and bond.

Update contact Information. Take a few minutes this year to ensure that your furry friends have well-fitting collars with current owner contact info listed on their tags. If you and your pet become separated, tags and a current city pet license are the quickest way to return your four-legged friend home. Don’t forget to update microchip information, many companies enable you to do so online in a matter of minutes. 

Happy 2014—make it a great year for your furry friends, too!

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