Every January, humans set goals for a healthy, positive start to the new year. But what about our furry companions? From oral hygiene to natural raw pet food, pet experts and fur-baby lovers in the Darwins Natural Pet Products family weigh in with their own New Years resolutions to keep your dog or cat bright-eyed and bushy-tailed all year long.
We often make wellness-focused resolutions for ourselves, and its important to do the same for our pets. Taking time to make small changes to our furry friends health habits can lead to big improvements later, said Gary Tashjian, founder of Darwins Natural Pet Products. Anything from modifying diet to participating in a new activity can really make a positive difference in the life of your pet. And isnt making our pets happy exactly what all pet owners strive for?
Resolution One: Commit to at least 30 minutes of daily exercise. According to Dr. Kat Miller, an animal behavioralist and director of anti-cruelty behavior research for the ASPCA, pet owners need to tailor their pets exercise to their breeds and ages; for example, a puppy will likely have much more energy compared to an adult dog. Moving and staying active is important for health, no matter how many legs one has.
Resolution Two: Try a new activity. Already an active duo, Darwins pup Apollo and his owner Toni plan on trying new activities in 2020. Im interested in checking out some dog sports to see if its something he would enjoy both physically and mentally, said Toni. Weve signed up for a virtual 5K in March, so Im excited to get going on new activity goals for Apollo in the new year. Were very active, but I think we can always do more.
Resolution Three: Properly measure pet food. A good rule of thumb is to use your intuition when feeding your pet. A pets activity levels, age and metabolism can all affect how much food they should be getting, according to Jeanne Romano, a menu consultant at Darwins Natural Pet Products. Not measuring food can lead to over- or under-feeding, which can cause easily avoidable health problems in the future such as arthritis, obesity, and certain types of liver failure in cats, according to PetMD. Pets will have more spring in their step when they get the proper amount of food for their age and breed.
Resolution Four: Find ways to incorporate more natural, balanced ingredients in your pets diet. According to Steve Brown, an animal nutrition researcher, including balanced fats brings an abundance of health benefits to both cats and dogs.
The addition of balanced fats from lean chicken and turkey in raw pet food helps to ensure pets receive the most nutrients possible, which builds a strong foundation of good health through an increased production of healthy cell membranes. Put simply, establishing good nutrition in pets helps them stay healthy as they age.
Your dog might think socks are part of a balanced diet, but unfortunately, thats not the case. Darwins customer Sallyann says her dog Rileys resolution is to eat fewer socks and more healthy, raw foodnot just in the new year, but all year long.
Resolution Five: Tune in to your pets body language. Is your dog licking her lips, yawning, panting excessively or drooling? Those could be signs of stress and a signal to identify the potential source of discomfort. Changes in your pets walk, ears, eyes and more can tell you everything, without saying a word, notes pet expert John Woods.
Resolution Six: Promote a healthy gut microbiome. Thanks to the latest veterinary research and gene sequencing, experts have discovered the vital importance of a healthy gut to maintaining pets strong physical and mental health. More than 100 trillion microbes “ or bacteria “ live in a dogs gut. The vast majority are benign, many are helpful and some are essential for wellness. By feeding a variety of dietary fiber from vegetables, you feed the vast array of microbes¦and preliminary studies suggest that different species of microbes thrive on chicken than on beef. Yet another reason to rotate proteins in your dogs diet, Brown said.
Resolution Seven: Dont forget the annual trip to the vet. Much like an annual checkup with a primary care physician, cats and dogs can benefit from an annual checkup with their veterinarian. Depending on their age, a yearly or twice-yearly checkup will allow the vet to examine your pet for any potential health problems and take preventive measures, such as administering vaccines.
Resolution Eight: Brush up on your pets oral care. The American Veterinary Medical Association reports that 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have a form of oral disease by age three. In addition to brushing your pets teeth, owners can give their furry friends a chew treat, such as raw bones and duck necks. These types of treats are both durable and easily digestible, all while improving your pets oral health.
Darwins customer Patricia says her dog plans on following this resolution, with a twist. Her pup plans on: More playing in the rain, less mud in my mouth. A clean “ and yes, hopefully mud-free “ mouth will help ensure a healthy start to your pets year and beyond.
As we venture into a new decade, this is a prime opportunity to make sure your pet is ready and healthy for any adventure, says Tashjian. Just like humans, picking one realistic resolution and incorporating it into your pets routine can gradually lead up to larger ones that improve their overall health and wellness.
About Darwins Natural Pet Products
Darwins Natural Pet Products, a leading provider of raw pet food, delivers nutritious and raw pet food meals directly to consumers homes, feeding thousands of pets every day. Customers report on their pets improved health, mobility and energy. Darwins pet food is based on nutrition science and the natural diets of dogs and cats. For more information visit www.darwinspet.com.