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Posted on 12-31-2012

Happy New Year from the

Doctors and Staff of the

Kalamazoo Animal Hospital!

The first of the year is a time for reflection, setting new goals and getting off to a fresh start.

Why not incorporate your pet into your New Year’s resolutions?

Get more exercise.

This is the quintessential goal set forth by almost all of us each year. It’s a good one, and it’s just as good for your pet.

We all know that obesity is a growing problem in our society. Since pets are a reflection of their owners, it should come as no surprise that pet obesity is also a growing problem. In fact, 53 percent of adult dogs and 55 percent of adult cats were classified as overweight or obese by their veterinarians. So take it upon yourself to get your four-legged friend moving.

Make it a priority to take a daily walk with your dog; set aside a half hour to play with your cat. Incorporating a little exercise into your pet’s routine is the easiest way to prevent disease and keep them around for the longest time possible. Of course, you will also benefit from adding or extending a daily walk.

Teach them a new trick.

Who says old dogs can’t learn new tricks? If you’ve always wanted to teach your pooch how to roll over, play dead or shake hands, make it a goal for this year.

Teaching your dog a new trick helps stimulate his or her brain, which helps to keep them more alert, satisfied and well-behaved. (Boredom, along with inadequate exercise, are common causes of dog behavior problems.) It’s also a great way to feel more connected with your pup. For safety’s sake, every dog should know “stay” and “come.”

Health Check Up.

A regular visit to your veterinarian is the best way to stay ahead of potential problems. Annual examinations of teeth, heart/lungs, and body condition overall will be less costly than waiting for a problem to develop and your pet suffering needlessly from complications of preventable problems. Having a good "baseline" of information about your pet also gives the veterinarian something to compare against and determine exactly what is wrong when something isn't quite right with your pet.

Brush their teeth.

Brushing your own teeth is a habit, and it should be for your pet as well. Tooth-brushing helps reduce tartar accumulation and bad breath, and improves gum health. As with people, poor dental health can contribute to other health problems. Start slowly and gently to get your furry friend used to this new routine and work up to daily (or at least two or three times weekly) brushing. Always use a pet toothpaste and brush, never any dental products meant for people. 

Please take a moment to visit our new website: kalamazooanimalhospital.com

Also, we have daily postings on our Facebook page that you will find interesting and fun.

Please "Like Us" on Facebook.

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