Who better to give pet health advice than one of our smartest pet consultants? Gabby the goldendoodle visited Harbor Pines Veterinary Center as our guest to share her thoughts on pet nutrition, dental care, enrichment, exercise, and preventive care. Read on to learn Gabby’s top five tips for keeping your pet healthy in 2021.
#1: Pet nutritional care
Gabby the goldendoodle: “Pet parents, I’m here to tell you that no pet wants problems like arthritis and diabetes weighing us down. We want to feel our best and get up and go with you every day of 2021, and good nutrition is the foundation for good health. Schedule an appointment with the awesome people at Harbor Pines Veterinary Center to discuss the best diet for your pet. They will calculate your pet’s caloric needs and the amount of food they should eat each day.
“You may think your pets require a wide variety of fancy treats and snacks, but take it from me—we are happy if we receive the 10% of our daily kibble as treats throughout the day. High calorie and high fat snacks and treats only set us up for problems like weight gain and pancreatitis. We’d rather keep our diet simple, steady, and the same.”
Set up regular weight-check appointments for your dog or cat. The Harbor Pines team will use professional scales to accurately measure and record your pet’s weight, and show you how to perform a body condition score. Staying on top of any changes in your pet’s weight is important, especially if they have a chronic illness or need to lose weight.
#2: Pet dental care
Gabby the goldendoodle: “Here’s one of the best tips I can offer for 2021—resolve to brush your pet’s teeth. If you start when we are puppies and kittens with a finger brush, we can learn to accept toothbrushing as a regular part of our time spent together. Start with weekly brushing, and progress to brushing daily. When you go the extra mile to keep us healthy and take good care of our teeth—I can tell you from experience—we truly feel loved and cherished. Always use pet toothpaste and not human products when you brush our teeth. And, remember, we also need professional dental care once per year.”
Schedule your pet’s regular professional dental checkup and cleaning at Harbor Pines Veterinary Center. When you bring your pet to our hospital for their dental care, we will make their experience stress-free, pain-free, and safe.
Gabby: “I can attest to that. And, your pet will leave with fresh breath and a great-feeling mouth.”
# 3: Pet environmental enrichment
Gabby the goldendoodle: “Like you, your pets need mental and physical work to stay healthy, so provide your pet with new learning opportunities in 2021—anything from simple training lessons at home to advanced obedience classes. At home, you can look for online classes, or set up a simple obstacle course. I guarantee that your cat or dog will feel a stronger bond with you when you work together at learning something new and fun, whether it’s a treat puzzle, a chase toy, or a climbing tree.”
All pets benefit from interaction with other people and pets. Would your cat enjoy more time in your lap at the end of each day? Would your dog enjoy once-weekly doggie day care? Our team can help you assess your pet’s feelings by understanding their body language. This way, you can ensure that play sessions with your cat or park visits with your dog are enjoyable rather than stressful.
#4: Pet exercise plan
Gabby the goldendoodle: “I’m a high-energy dog, and I can tell you from experience—exercising is awesome! I have dog friends who don’t use up their natural energy every day and have developed behavior and physical problems, and that upsets their whole family.”
Destructive or obsessive behaviors can result from lack of exercise, so keeping pets active is the best way to add happy, healthy years to their life. Never hesitate to call a Harbor Pines veterinarian if you need advice on your badly behaved dog.
Gabby the goldendoodle: “My favorite activities are a hike, a walk, or a game of fetch, and I bet most dogs would say the same. And from what I can tell, cats love toys they can chase or bat around.”
#5: Pet preventive care
Gabby the goldendoodle: “Last but not least, regular preventive veterinary care with the Harbor Pines team is the most important thing you can do for your pet. Regular wellness visits include a thorough physical examination, blood work, urinalysis, heartworm and fecal testing, vaccinations, and parasite prevention—I know that sounds like a lot, and some of it doesn’t sound good, but by tracking our health progress, they can find and treat any problems early and keep us healthy. And, they give plenty of treats throughout the exam. Despite the current pandemic restrictions, Harbor Pines will help ensure you get to the vet for your regular check-ups in 2021.”
We agree with Gabby. Contact us at Harbor Pines Veterinary Center any time you have questions about your pet’s health, or when your pet is due for a regular wellness visit. Follow Gabby the wise goldendoodle’s tips, and you’ll enjoy a happy, healthy year with your pet in 2021, and for many years to come.