Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!

Yes, Happy New Year! It's a time for fresh beginnings and a reset to our lives. Have you thought about what you might want to do differently for your pets? While our furry friends tend to not make resolutions all on their own, it may be a good time to think about what is best for them. Here is a quick list of 5 things to think about for the new year that we think are important. 

1. Annual Exam: Have your dogs and cats been in to see our Vets in the last year? While many pets seem healthy, there are sometimes underlying diseases that are going on that we do not know about just by looking at them. Perhaps your pet has gained some holiday weight or has weight loss. Have they had bad breath recently? Are they drinking more water or urinating more frequently. Do you notice if your pet is panting more or seems painful? These are all reasons, and more to have your pet checked out at least annually, but sooner if they are not doing well. 

2. Check your pets breath and teeth routinely: Have you been avoiding kisses from your dog because his breath just smells horribly? Has your cat not been wanting to eat their food lately. It is hard to remember in the chaos of today to look at our pets teeth to make sure that nothing is wrong, but it is important to their health too. Dental Disease is one of the leading causes of health problems in our pets (can lead to heart problems as well as other issues) and easily preventable. It may not work in your schedule to brush teeth every day, but do remember that if we did not brush our teeth for years, we would have dental disease as well. 

3. Take your dog for more walks and monitor weight: We all can forget that it is great for a dog's mental and physical well being to go for walks. It also helps them with weight control and obesity. This is also very true for young dogs. A favorite saying is "A tired dog is a happy dog." A puppy going for a walk can help with potty training as well. It is also just as important to monitor your pet for weight loss. Weight loss that happens very quickly can be a sign of disease as well. 

4. Know your pets poop : Yes, you read that right, but we just wanted to see if you were still reading. If you notice that your pet seems to have an upset stomach and has either diarrhea or vomiting, it may be due to foods that they are eating. Avoid foods that cause these problems and know that some dogs and cats also can have stress diarrhea. 

5. Monitor for signs of pain : Would you know if your pet was in pain? For dogs, signs of pain can include, but are not limited to limping, vocalization, panting, hiding, loss of appetite, change in behavior, and change in normal body postures. For cats, these may include, but are not limited to change in litterbox habits, lack of appetite, open mouth breathing, irritability, hiding, licking unusal body areas, increased vocalization, clingy behavior, or appearance of the third eyelids. 

The overall message that we would love you to take away from this is that your pets rely on you and us to make sure that they remain happy and healthy. We can notice the trends in your pets, however you see them on a day to day basis and know them better than anyone else. We look forward to seeing you in the new year and hopefully it will be just for a wellness visit or just to pop in to say hello. Have a wonderful new year.