Dogs with hats on

Happy New Year! Gloria Dorsey, DVM, MPH has a list of New Year’s Resolutions that EVERY pet owner should make this year:

  • Resolve to not feed your pet table foods!  This bad habit will promote finickiness in your pet.
  • Resolve to exercise regularly with your pet, especially if he/she is showing signs of obesity. This will help to prevent life-threatening diseases and painful joint conditions.
  • Resolve to have an annual check-up for your pet if it’s been longer than a year since the last check-up. Each year without a health check is the equivalent of 5-7 years without preventive care in the life of our furry family members.
  • Resolve to keep your pet safe during travel by using an approved crate, carrier or harness.
  • Resolve to update your pet’s identification if you have not done so recently. This includes having a microchip implanted. Microchip implantation is a simple procedure performed by a veterinarian. It takes a few seconds. The chip is about the size of a grain of rice and causes minimal reaction in the pet. Additionally, it provides lifetime identification, a unique code. Most scanners have an anti-migration feature (bio-bond). A scanner is required to read the code. It requires a wand that is passed over the shoulders. You’ll have peace of mind and be able to enroll immediately. Be sure to keep contact information up-to-date.
  • Resolve to make an emergency escape plan that includes your pet(s). This should include knowing where your pet is most likely to hide in case of fire.
  • Resolve to purchase one product that will enhance your pet’s quality of life.
  • Resolve to donate much needed dollars to the local animal shelter of your choice in your pet’s honor to help animals that aren’t as fortunate as your pet is.
  • Resolve to pick up your pet’s droppings at parks and along public walkways. Your neighbors and the environment will thank you.
  • Resolve to not allow your pet to go outside off leash to relieve itself. Pets are safest on a leash with you at the controlling end of it. Don’t forget, it’s the law.
  • Resolve to report any suspected acts of animal neglect or cruelty to your local animal control agency or the Department of Agriculture.
  • Resolve to add the address and telephone number of the nearest 24-hour animal emergency care facility to your favs list. Don’t lose precious time trying to find the number in an emergency.