New Year's resolutions for pet owners
The arrival of the new year creates an urge to self improve. Whether it's losing weight, quitting smoking or increasing exercise, we tend to focus our resolutions on ourselves.
This year, why not resolve to do something for yourself and the family pet.
"Our pets can't improve their diet or get more exercise on their own," says Renee Coughlin of Canine Company. "They depend upon us to make their lives healthy, safe and happy."
She suggests five resolutions every pet parent can make to help their furry family members thrive in 2016:
1. Schedule a health check with your veterinarian. An annual screening is the best way to catch health problems early. Keeping up with routine vaccinations also ensures your pet is protected against serious diseases.
2. Make grooming a routine. To keep skin and coat healthy, pets should be brushed several times a week. Shampoos and haircuts are needed every six to eight weeks, depending upon coat length. If big tasks are too time-consuming, schedule regular appointments with a professional groomer to keep pets healthy and comfortable.
3. Monitor diet and exercise. Our pets need regular exercise and quality nutrition to maintain good health. Schedule playtimes, walks or romps every day to keep pets moving. Consult your vet about the best food for your pet's age and activity level.
4. Keep them safe. Don't let dogs or cats roam free because they could be hit by a car: sadly, more than six million pets die that way every year. Always walk your dog on a leash and install electronic fencing to keep pets safely at home in your yard.
5. Devote time to training. Whether it's reinforcing basic obedience skills or teaching a new trick, it's a life-long necessity for dogs. Even more important than managing behavior, training provides mental stimulation and enhances dogs' bond with their human companions.
For more advice on keeping pets healthy, safe and happy, visit Canine Company's "Speak, Good Blog" blog.
Wilton-based Canine Company offers electronic fencing, obedience training and mobile dog grooming and pet sitting services. Information: 800-818-DOGS (3647).