Top New Year's Resolutions for Pet Owners

Happy New Year! Need some inspiration for your resolution list? Why not include a few “to do” items that will benefit your pet, too? Check out our top five suggestions just for pet owners — and their four-legged friends — here.

1. Sign up for pet insurance.

How it benefits you: Pet insurance saves owners money and, more importantly, keeps them from having to make urgent decisions about a pet’s health based on finances.

Pet insurance can greatly reduce veterinary care expenses for everything from illness and injury to hereditary and chronic conditions.

In an emergency, the support of pet insurance can literally be a lifesaver, as it allows pet owners the freedom to make decisions with their hearts rather than their wallets and focus on what is most important — the health and well-being of their pet.

How it benefits your pet: Pet insurance gives veterinarians the freedom to provide the most comprehensive care possible, which allows pets to receive the level of care they need and deserve.

2. Don’t skip your pet’s annual or bi-annual wellness exams.

How it benefits you: Regular wellness exams allow your vet to evaluate subtle changes in your pet’s health and diagnose conditions such as masses, heart murmurs, arthritis and dental disease before they worsen, which can save valuable time, money and stress in the long run. Remember, it is always easier to prevent a disease than to treat one.

The doctors and technicians at The Drake Center provide a wealth of information and tailor all recommendations on each pet and family’s individual lifestyle, making your pet’s annual or bi-annual wellness exam the perfect time to discuss any concerns and ask questions.

How it benefits your pet: Dogs and cats are experts at hiding or masking illness, which means even pets who appear healthy at home could have an underlying problem or be silently living in pain. Regular visits to the veterinarian can help uncover these hidden issues and ensure your pet is living the happiest, healthiest life possible.

3. Exercise!

How it benefits you: Exercising your pet — whether it’s taking a daily walk, attending an agility class or spending a few minutes with a feather toy or laser pointer — means you get a workout, too! Best of all, spending this time together will help strengthen and enhance your relationship with your pet.

How it benefits your pet: Regular activity is essential for both dogs and cats. In addition to keeping your pet physically fit, exercise provides much needed mental stimulation and helps alleviate unwanted behaviors such as inappropriate elimination, anxiety, eating disorders, attention seeking, aggression, and barking.

4. Start an open dialogue with your vet.

How it benefits you: When it comes to the relationship between you and your vet, honesty is always the best policy — especially when the discussion includes tough topics like finances or compliance. Being honest with your veterinarian helps to ensure that he/she is treating your pet correctly, working within your budget and providing ideal solutions for your family. Simply put, real talk is the best way to help your vet help you!

How it benefits your pet: Remember that you are a vital member of your pet’s health care team — don’t let emotions like fear or guilt step in the way of his/her best interests. A direct and thoughtful approach allows you and your vet to work together to develop the best possible care plan for your pet.

5. Spend more time together.

How it benefits you: Spending time with pets has countless benefits, including reduced anxiety and stress, lower blood pressure and a boost in immunity — not to mention the opportunities pets provide for exercise and socialization. Quality time together also helps strengthen your bond.

How it benefits your pet: It increases happiness! Similar to its advantages for humans, spending quality time with a favorite person also promotes a pet’s physical and mental well-being and improves his/her overall quality of life.  

This blog post originally appeared on The Drake Center

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