January brings with it an opportunity for new beginnings and, if one of your aims is to live a healthier and more active lifestyle, why not get your furry friend involved too?
Most pets will benefit from moving and playing more, so if you’re planning on moving into 2022 with positive changes, it’s the perfect time to introduce some routines that will ensure your furry family member gets the exercise they need to be happy and healthy.
PDSA vet nurse Nina Downing said: “Christmas can be a time where we take life a bit slower, which more often than not can lead to our pets following suit. As we enter January it’s great time to turn things around – starting as you mean to go on.
Get more exercise
“We might be tempted to spend more time indoors during dark and chilly evenings, but maintaining a consistent exercise routine is just as important for our furry friends as it is for us.
“Even on the gloomiest of days, it’s essential that you continue taking your pooch out for their daily walks and let them blow off some steam.
But don’t be alarmed if they choose to spend time indoors as they don’t want to get their paws wet! You should still encourage play indoors, so they can burn off some energy.
More quality time
“Spending quality time with our precious pets over the festive break can be a joy to both us and them, but it can be hard for them to adjust once we get back to work.
“Separation anxiety is very distressing for furry friends and can happen after a sudden change in routine. While we can’t always change our day-to-day schedules, there are things you can do to help your puss or pooch remain calm.
“Train them to be on their own for short periods of time and build it up slowly to slightly longer periods, but it’s important to remember that they shouldn’t be left for more than four hours at a time.
“If you can’t get back, why not ask a neighbour to check in on them during the day. For dogs you may need to hire a dog walker or send them to a trusted doggy day care. When you do have some extra time between busy schedules, try to give your four-legged friend an extra walk or playtime.”
“The amount and type of food your pet eats plays an important part in controlling their weight. The correct diet will help to keep them fit and healthy.
We recommend feeding dogs and cats high quality commercially available food labelled ‘complete’ as this has all the daily nutrients they will need. You should also make sure the food is designed for their life stage – kittens and puppies need different food from their older counterparts.
“If feeding your pet table scraps is something you’ve been guilty of, make a resolution to resist doing this in future – it’ll greatly benefit your furry family member in the long-term.”
Take better care of yourself
“Keeping up a regular grooming routine is another essential part of maintaining good health for your pet, so if you struggle to maintain their coat, book in appointments with your groomer in advance to make sure they stay looking and feeling tip top!
“If you’re not able to get to your groomer, trying scheduling in some dedicated grooming time with your pet each week to keep up with the basics – it’s also a great bonding opportunity.”
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