4 Simple Resolutions To Improve Your Pet’s Health

4 Simple Ways to Improve Your Pet’s Health

When you welcome a new pet into the family, you are gaining a new best friend.  Being a pet owner comes with the responsibility of ensuring your friend is living a healthy and happy lifestyle.  Do you find it tough to stay on top of your pet’s overall health?  If you answered yes, you’re not alone.  With hectic schedules and ever-changing medical advancements, many people find it hard to keep up.  Here are four tips and tricks you can use to help ensure your pet lives a long, happy, healthy life.

1. Manage Your Pet’s Diet

This past holiday season, we know that humans weren’t the only ones sitting around the table during celebration dinners! It’s very possible that both you and your pet may have managed to get a little off course when it came to your diets.  Many owners are unaware of the dangers of feeding your pet leftovers. For example, large quantities of alliums(garlic, leeks, scallions) can lead to toxic anemia, especially in dogs!  Many other foods can be potentially harmful for pets.  For a list of pet toxins and dangers visit http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/poisons/ .

It’s important to speak with a veterinarian about an appropriate diet and exercise plan for your pet. A vet will not only be able to help steer your pet’s diet in the right direction, but will also give you useful tips and tricks to keeping your pet healthy. For example, if your cat is overweight or obese,  try feeding them measured amounts each day, rather than leaving the food out all of the time . Simple changes to your pet’s lifestyle such as these can help ensure a longer, healthier life.

2. Make Time For Play & Exercise

For dogs, a daily walk can mean a longer and healthier life. In fact, walking your dog can be so important that the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) endorsed “Step It Up!” a new initiative from the Surgeon General to promote more walkable communities.

So why the endorsement? The AVMA writes: “In the veterinary profession, we’ve also seen that America’s pets are not immune to the ever-expanding waistline, leading to many of the same chronic diseases. That’s why the AVMA endorsed the Surgeon General’s new initiative last month. Not only will walking the family dog promote good physical and mental health for the pet and its owner, but it will also help strengthen the human-animal bond.”

3. Schedule Your Pet’s Exams

It is very important for your pet to receive regular exams. The AVMA explains, “Veterinarians recommend regular wellness exams (every six months), for the same reason your physician and dentist recommend them – if you can detect a problem in its early stages, it’s more likely to be treated and resolved with less expense, less difficulty, and better success.”

A pet who receives regular exams can be updated on vaccinations, heartworm prevention, and also be checked for intestinal parasites.  The likelihood of seeing early signs of serious illnesses before they become life-threatening is much higher with routine examinations. It is important and helpful to take a preventive approach to your pet’s health, rather than a reactive approach.

4. Set Up a Pet Portal Account

For many of us, it is helpful to set reminders on our phones, or computers, for the events we don’t want to miss. Why not give your pet’s health the same attention? Pet Portal from Island Animal Hospital (IAH) allows you to be reminded of some of the “petcautions” that need to be taken in order to ensure a healthy life. Set up email reminders, request appointments, or even request prescription refills. Pet Portal gives you the ability to view your pet’s healthcare reminders from the comfort of your home.  IAH clients are automatically signed up for a Pet Portal account when they provide an email address at the office or over the phone. To access the Pet Portal, click here to log in or request an account.

These four tips are just some of the ways you can help ensure your pet lives a healthy lifestyle. At Island Animal Hospital, our caring veterinarians and staff are always more than happy to answer your questions about pet nutrition, exercise regimens, disease prevention, and more.

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