New Year Resolutions are seldom kept and often broken so instead of making them for yourself this year, make a list for your pets.
Owning a pet (or two or three) is a major responsibility but sometimes when life gets crazy-busy we forget those things that are essential to our pet’s health and wellbeing.
Here’s our list of New Year Resolutions
- Update your pet’s vaccinations. This is easy to forget as you generally only need them once a year, but annual vaccinations are essential to protect your pet against deadly diseases like distemper and rabies. Many of the highly contagious diseases that are easily spread in parks and play areas or via shared water bowls, cannot be cured thus your pet’s only protection is through vaccination.
- Fight ticks and fleas all year. Many pet owners mistakenly believe that ticks and fleas are a summer scourge only but only 5% of adult fleas can actually be seen with the naked eye. Tiny flea larvae can hide in your home and on your pet even through the winter months so protect your pet all year. EberVet Vetshops have a wide range of tick and flea protection, including chewables like Bravecto and Seresto collars for cats which last for months.
- Don’t forget the deworming. Regular deworming is recommended to protect not only your pet but your family too! Tapeworms and hookworms are easily passed on from pets to humans. Ask your EberVet Vetshop or your veterinarian about the best worm protection.
- Microchip. We can’t say it often enough. It costs less than a dinner for two, takes just a few minutes, is painless for your pet and yet it is your best chance of being reunited with your pet should they stray, https://www.ebervet.com/microchipping-pet-works/
- Sterilise. If you haven’t done it yet, book that appointment now. Pets that are not sterilised are at greater risk of mammary and testicular cancer, and the longer you wait the greater the risk. It goes without saying that litters of puppies or kittens need good homes and there is always the risk that you won’t find them and the litters will be dumped at animal welfare, placing a great burden on these already struggling organisations.
- Book a dental appointment. Did you know that by the age of 3 more than 85% of pets suffer some form of periodontal disease – sore and bleeding gums and tooth loss – making eating painful. https://www.ebervet.com/dental-disease-p…ous-health-issue/The earlier you attend to your pet’s teeth, the better your chances of protecting against tooth decay and bad breath.
- Upgrade your pet’s diet. Like humans, pets have different nutritional needs as they age. Some ailments, like skin or arthritis, are made better by feeding the right kind of food. Ask your vet or EberVet Vetshop to assist you in sourcing the right diet for your dog or cat. The right food is the foundation of good long-term health.
- Get some exercise. Ugh, this sounds like the one human resolution we all dread but it is just as important for your pet. Like us, pets need encouragement to exercise, especially as they approach their middle years. A walk, a run in the park or even a game of fetch in the garden with you will add years to your pet’s life. Swimming is particularly good for older dogs as it is gentler on their joints but don’t forget to give them a bath afterwards as the chemicals in swimming pools and sea salt may irritate their skin.
- Spring clean their beds. Unwashed bedding is heaven to fleas and the tiny cracks and grooves in kennels offer the perfect hiding place to ticks. Give your dog’s kennel a thorough scrubbing with a good veterinary disinfectant like F10 (available at EberVet Vetshops) and wash those blankets. If your dog’s bed is looking a little tattered, our Vetshops have a wide selection of beds for every size and breed – and for cats too!
- Wash the dog! Use a pet shampoo that’s gentle on the skin but will rid your dog of nasty parasites that might be lurking in his fur. Never use human shampoo; it may irritate your dog’s skin, causing dryness or rashes that are difficult to treat.
- Look out for lumps and bumps. As pets age, they may develop lumps or bumps on or under their skin. Don’t ignore them. They could be cancerous. Run your hands gently but throughly through your dog’s fur, checking under his arms and between his toes too. If you notice any unusual swelling see your vet immediately.
- Book an annual vet checkup. The earlier an ailment is identified, the easier (and cheaper!) it is to treat. Older pets (aged 7 and older) need to see the vet every six months.