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General Wellness

December 29, 2015

Posted in cat care, Dog care, food

8 Resolutions for Pet Parents

As a good pet parent it's important to be sure that your pet is healthy, happy and well-cared for. Your pets provide you with unconditional love, so make sure you show them how much they mean to you by resolving to treat them to their best possible life.

Here are 8 things you need to do in 2016:

Count Calories - To keep your pet’s weight in check, you need to be measuring their food. Don’t just eyeball the portions. It’s important to use a measuring cup to ensure your pet isn’t taking in more calories than they need. You vet can tell you how much food and how many calories (including snacks and treats) what your pet needs based on their age, activity level and other factors.

Try a New Activity - There are so many ways to include your pet into your own activities and it’s a great way to bond. Think about yoga (dog) hiking, running even kayaking. You’ll both pet will reap the rewards of a healthy physical activity.

Get More Playtime - Find time to get your pet off the couch and play indoors.More playtime will get your pet engaged, provide bonding time and give them more aerobic activity.Try lasers, catnip toys, new tug toys, anything (even a box) that will get your pet moving and more physically active.

See Your Vet - Make a date for your pet’s yearly exam. Many medical conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, or obesity are common in aging pets and much easier to manage when detected early. Vet visits are also the perfect time to ask for advice, update your pet’s food, or get an expert opinion on any behavioral issues that may be affecting your bonding with your pet.

Get Grooming (Daily) - Brushing removes excess fur from the coat, reducing the amount you find on your clothes and furniture. It also helps distribute oils from the skin to the fur, keeping the coat shiny and healthy. Daily grooming is also a great bonding activity and can sooth your pet.

Practice Good Oral Hygiene - It’s not easy to perform daily toothbrushing on your pet, but it is the best way to prevent tartar and plaque. The build up of both can lead to tooth decay and other health issues. In addition to daily brushing, you can also give your pet treats designed to reduce tartar, but you’ll also need schedule regular yearly cleanings by your bet to  ensure your pet’s teeth are healthy for their lifetime.

Try Some New Tricks - Keeping your pet mentally stimulated can actually make them healthier. And by teaching your pet new tricks and practicing those they already know are a great way to keep them mentally sharp. Keep your pet’s mind engaged with puzzle feeders, or giving them treats and rewards for thinking through a trick that uses their mind.

Update Pet Info - Over the course of a year people move, get new phone numbers, and forget to update their pet’s tags. Often they only remember once the pet is lost. If any of your contact information has changed  update your pet’s ID, tags and microchip information.

December 22, 2015

Posted in cat care, Dog care, food

Avoiding Holiday Pet Weight Gain

It’s easy for humans to put on  few extra  pounds during the holidays. But this is also a time of the year when pet’s tend to gain some weight as you or guests sneak them a few extra treats or get off schedule with their exercise. For your four-legged friend just a 1 or 2 pound gain can actually be a large percentage of their overall body weight and have a big impact on their health. Think about it, if your 20 pound dog gains 2 pounds that 10 percent of their overall body weight. For an average woman, a 10 percent weight gain could be upwards of 14 pounds.That’s a lot of extra poundage to be carrying around.

Here are some ways to be sure your pet enjoys the holidays and stays healthy all year round:

No feeding from the table - This might be a rule for your and your family, but guests often can’t resist sneaking one small bit to Fido or Fifi when they attend a gathering at your house. Be sure to clearly inform your guests that they shouldn’t give your pet food. If you explain that it might be a health risk rather than you are somehow depriving your pet, your guests should grasp the consequences and follow the rules.

Put pets out of sight - If you are worried that your pet might beg or even just be too cute for Aunt Betty to resist slipping a treat to, then make sure your pet is in another room when the family sits down to eat.

Control treats - The calories in treats can add up. Factor your pet's treats into their daily food intake. Treats should only make up about 10 percent of your pet's caloric intake.

Count calories - Ask your vet about the proper calorie intake for your pet. They will take a lot of factors into consideration including your pet’s size, age, activity level and overall health. Once you have that calorie amount you can portion out your pet’s food accordingly. It’s always a good idea to measure rather just free pouring.

Swap out high-calorie snacks  - Consider healthier options such as apples, carrots, bananas, or homemade treats. They provide great nutrition and can also help your pet feel fuller without all the extra calories and processed ingredients.

Be more active - The holidays are hectic and you might be off your regular schedule and neglecting walks and playtime with your pet. Be sure to stick to your normal walk schedule and include some extra playtime activities. The cold weather might means your pet is less active and it’s important to get them to move around as much as possible - even if it’s in the house.

Make pets work for treats - If you want to give your pet an extra treat consider using a toy that lets you put the treat inside, That way, your pet will have to work to get the treat and burn off calories doing so.

IdealPetX.com is committed to the health and well-being of your cats and dogs and helping you be the best pet parent you can be.