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As you embrace the New Year and its promise of change and personal improvement, you can include your furry friends in your 2015 plans.

Here it is again—a brand new year! As our pets fill an irreplaceable part in many of our homes and families, they do need us (their people) to provide a healthy life for them. In today’s blog post, we have a few pet-friendly ideas for a Happy New Year:

Move it—and lose it. If losing a few post-holiday pounds is on your ‘to do’ list, your pet could be your perfect fitness partner.Happy New Year 2015 with WestVet, 24 Hour Animal Emergency Hospital 30 minutes of aerobic exercise (walking, running, hiking, cross-country skiing) three to four times a week with your pooch will benefit both of you.

While your kitty may not be up for a jog, the time spent chasing and batting a toy will benefit his waistline and temperament. Veterinarians report that keeping your pet at a healthy weight is critical for their long-term health. Bonus: pets think of the work out as play time, they’ll not only be tired, but more content! Dr. Teri Dowdell offers multiple programs and therapies that can help a pet with sports conditioning, weight loss, post surgery recovery and muscle strengthening. Often, just a few treatments combined with at-home exercises will get your pet off on the right ‘paw’ for the New Year.

Make some mealtime rules. Measure food servings; most veterinarians recommend twice-daily feedings. Seek professional input on the type and amount of food. Remember absolutely NO human food. People food contains too much sugar, salt, fat, etc., for four-legged friends. Don’t forget to track the treats! If you, your partner, the dog walker, and the kids dole out a treat or two—it will be too much. Consider counting out a daily portion, when the treats are gone, they’re done for the day.

Maintain a schedule. Pets thrive on routine. When meals, walks and play time happen at the same time, you may find your pet one step ahead of you—ready and anticipating the next big thing. Cats may become stressed with life changes. These include new babies arriving, college-bound children leaving, a new home, or the addition of a new pet. With a few simple precautions and assistance from your veterinarian, you can help ease your felines into the new family dynamic. Dr. Hazel Carney provides behavior consultations if your kitty is suddenly stressed, aggressive or anxious, and/or not using the litter box.

Complete routine veterinary visits. An annual physical exam by your family veterinarian is critical to your pet’s good health. Routine Veterinary Exams can help keep your pet healthy, see a specialist when your pet needs advanced care.Veterinary records will help you track your pet’s weight, vaccines, and preventative care medications and any other significant changes. Call and schedule your pet’s 2015 appointment today!

Seek specialty care when needed.  A veterinary specialist could save your pet’s life.  They partner with your family veterinarian to provide the highest level of care available. Your pet may benefit from seeing a specialist if they are not responding to treatment or have an aggressive or advanced illness. Specialists have completed rigorous, advanced training in one specific area of veterinary medicine beyond earning their Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. WestVet is pleased to offer the services of 12 veterinary specialists to pets and their families.

Train it up. 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 expectation. Bonus: the time spent together will strengthen the relationship and bond with your pet.

Update contact Information. Ensure that your pet has a well-fitting collar with current contact info on their tags. If you and your pet become separated, ID 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 2015—make it a great year for your furry friends, too!


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