10 New Year’s Resolutions for Pet Owners

"I won't feed my dog too many table scraps"

1.  I will have my pet microchipped. This is a safe and affordable way to ensure your animal is returned to you should she get lost. About the size of a grain of rice, microchips are painlessly inserted beneath the upper layer of your pet’s epidermis.

2.  I will update my pet’s vaccinations. Protect your cats and dogs from deadly diseases such as parvo, feline leukemia and rabies. Vaccinations are essential for indoor-outdoor cats, and dogs that frequent animal parks. Vaccinations are given on a walk-in basis, first come, first-served, Monday through Saturday from 9:00am – 4:30pm. Vaccinations are between $15 and $20 dollars.

3.  I will safeguard my home from chemicals & poisons.  Snail bait, rat poison, and weed killer can be lethal if ingested by your pet. How do you know if your animal has been exposed to deadly toxins? Be mindful of changes in his behavior. Uncharacteristically lethargic or aggressive behavior could mean something is seriously wrong with your animal.  Foaming at the mouth, nausea or blood in your animal’s urine or stool are obvious signs to take your pet to the vet.

4. I will get pet insurances for my four-legged family members. Consider this, blood transfusions and surgeries can cost thousands of dollars. If your pet ingests poison, is hit by a car, or injured by a predator, you could be scrambling to pay his vet bill. No one wants to lose their pet because they couldn’t afford to pay for his medical care.

5.  I will not addict my pet to human junk food. Pets get diabetes too, and we all know how dangerous chocolates can be to our dogs and cats, particularly dark chocolate.  Lean meats and vegetables can be quite good for your animal, so if you must feed them your food, give them the healthy stuff.  Also, if you want to avoid creating a pet that begs while you eat, refrain from feeding him from the table.

6.  I will spay or neuter my pet.  Spaying and neutering has proven to increase the lifespan of your animal.  It is also regarded by the animal welfare community as the single most effective way to reduce animal overpopulation, homelessness, and the resulting euthanasia of neglected or unwanted cats and dogs. To schedule an appointment, go online at www.animalsamaritans.org, or call 343-3477 x3

7.  I will foster a pet in need.  When you foster a homeless dog or cat, you give it a chance to be adopted.  AnSams provides free foster orientation classes for anyone 18 or older.

8.  I will give my pets the exercise they need. Dogs, especially large dog, need their exercise.  Your pet will be more loving and obedient if he gets the playtime he needs. Just like proper diet, proper exercise is key to raising a happy, healthy pet.

9.  I will be consistent with rewards & punishments. Where resolution #7 speaks to your animal’s physical health, this resolution is for his mental well-being.  If you are too harsh in training or your animal he will learn to fear you, and fearful dogs and cats make unpredictable, often aggressive pets.  To earn your pet’s respect, practice positive reinforcement. Most pets, if treated well, learn to behave because they want to please you.  Of course, never underestimate the motivating power of a tasty treat.

10.  I will get my pet’s teeth cleaned. It’s not just a luxury for four-legged divas. Good oral hygiene is vital for your pet’s overall health, and can add years to his life.  It can also help with bad pet breathe, and ensure your pet retains all his teeth into old age. Call 343-3477 x3 to make a pet dental appointment, or schedule an appointment online. AnSams now offers non-anesthetic dental care.

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