New Years Resolutions for You and Your Pet

best dog vet redondo beachIt may be cliché, but there’s nothing wrong with setting a few goals heading into the New Year. I understand that resolutions are routinely broken, sometimes no more than a couple of hours into January, and are thrown onto the discard pile of past year’s resolutions with a few chuckles and a shoulder shrug. But the act of trying to improve oneself is a noble one, meant to improve one’s own life and those of the people around us who will benefit from our newer and better selves.

If one gives a little thought to how one would like to see themselves in some future time, then the exercise is a worthwhile one to take. I also think a resolution doesn’t get tossed aside the first time it is broken. In fact, a less than stellar event or outcome is just a beacon to recognize our human nature, remain humble, and give us the incentive to try harder, so that we can ultimately reach our goal. If it came easy, it wouldn’t need to be a resolution—it could have just been put on an errand list.

I have made a few resolutions this year in my personal and professional lPetife, and have implemented ways to track my progress at reaching my goals. Since I am a dog owner (and hopefully soon to again be a cat owner), my care gets critiqued from both a personal and professional point of view. Here’s a few resolutions I am making as a pet owner for 2013. Feel free to use these or add some of your own:

Redondo Beach Veterinarians #1 Pet Care Resolution: Exercise

1. More exercise time! Towards the end of the year, work and family commitments started to eat into the time I took to exercise my dog, Sassy. And so when I would take her out for her “routine” walk, she was dragging a bit, and clearly wasn’t as well conditioned. She can’t really afford this, given her senior status and early arthritis—her muscles are what keep her joints from hurting, and she takes longer to recover from muscle atrophy than she did even a year ago. I am committed to reversing this recent trend, so that she’ll feel better and I will prevent acceleration of her aging.

Redondo Beach Veterinarians #3 Pet Care Resolution: Dental Care

2. Brushing teeth 3x/week! I performed a dental cleaning and extracted an abscessed tooth last spring, and Sassy was healthier for it. With a clean slate, I could track how quickly the tartar would accumulate with my routine home care. Since she’s on a special diet for her arthritis, I can’t use my preferred maintenance diet of Prescription Diet t/d to keep her teeth clean, so my brushing her teeth becomes even more important. I think I was only getting her teeth brushed 1-2x/week the past couple months, and I could see a slight increase in tartar accumulation. I will commit to another day of brushing, and really slow the occurrence of that build-up.

Redondo Beach Veterinarians #2 Pet Care Resolution: Skin & Coat Care

3. Weekly brush outs of the haircoat! I tend to brush my dog’s out whenever I see the undercoat start to get a bit bushy, or find more shedding hair on the Swifter than I expect. Sometimes that means brushing her out 3 or 4 times a week. Other times, she looks good, and I may skip a couple weeks of brushing. Yet, despite not showing much loose hair, she was shedding plenty, and my Furminator would be pretty full if I had taken the time to use it. Loose hair and dandur can make a dog feel itchy, and so rather than just wait until I notice these signs of loose hair, I am going to make sure I brush her out and then wipe her down or bathe her, to help keep her comfortable.

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