Posts Tagged ‘new year’s resolutions’

Resolutions for the New Year That Will Benefit You and Your Pet

January 1, 2012

The transition to a new calendar year may inspire you to muster the resolve to make good changes in your life. How about the lives of your pets? No time like the present to make some new year’s resolutions that will benefit both of you. Here are three suggestions:

More Face Time With Your Pets

Our furry family members are more than happy to be our exercise partners, confidantes, psychotherapists, and nonelectric heating blankets. Take advantage of such pet-facilitated services as much as possible this year!

What dog doesn’t crave attention from their favorite human? Teach your best friend some new tricks. Begin working on that long overdue grooming. Get your pup out for more exercise (lose the sedentary human behavior at the dog park). Don’t let the winter weather be a deterrent. Go shopping for some canine winter apparel and gift yourself with Dr. Phil Zeltzman’s book, Walk a Hound, Lose a Pound to glean some inspiration!

What about our kitties? Well you know how it is- cats tend to like things on their terms. However, even the most curmudgeonly of cats will benefit from a feather toy tempting them to expend some energy and some affectionate scratches under the chin. The challenge is to spend more quality time with your kitties while convincing them that the activity is of their choosing.

Fewer Vaccinations

Your adult pet’s good health requires inoculation with core vaccinations no more than once every three years. The term “core” is reserved for those vaccines, such as distemper, that are recommended for every adult animal. Overvaccinating (vaccinating more than once every three years) exposes your best little buddy to needless risk (yes, there is some risk associated with every vaccination). Besides, why spend your hard earned money on something that is completely unnecessary?

If your veterinarian has remained on the “once a year bandwagon” and the thought of convincing him or her otherwise gives you a case of the willies, I encourage you to read the chapter called, “Discussion About Your Dog’s Vaccinations” in Your Dog’s Best Health: A Dozen Reasonable Things to Expect From Your Vet. Kathie please make this a live link to the Amazon page The information found there will provide you with all the inspiration you need to broach the vaccination conversation with your vet. (For those of you who are cat fanciers, please know that my hope is to create the feline version of this book within the year. In the meantime, know that the basic principles provided in Your Dog’s Best Health apply to kitty care as well.)

Recruit a Professional to Help With Your Pet’s Behavioral Issues

Would you love to be able to leave your dog home alone for more than ten minutes without the house being destroyed? Would you be ecstatic if your precious puss quit spraying your walls with his version of graffiti? Would you relish the idea of taking your dog for a walk without having to ice your shoulder afterwards? There is no time like the present to tackle such behavioral issues. I encourage you to get the professional help you need so that you and your pet can fully enjoy cohabitating. Chronic behavior issues tend to gradually result in more and more isolation for the pet until most of their waking hours are spent within a crate, a single room of the house, or the backyard. Such isolation begets even more negative adaptive behaviors, and the end result may be relinquishment to a shelter or rescue organization; worse yet, euthanasia.

Please know that if your dog or cat has a significant behavioral issue, you are certainly not alone. Also know that the sooner the issue is dealt with, the happier the outcome will be for both you and your pet. Hiring a pro to help you work out a behavior bugaboo will be one of the best investments you make this year!

When choosing a trainer or behaviorist, check in with your veterinarian for a recommendation. Additionally, check out the websites below. You’ll find lots of information about how to choose the right person to help you with the issue at hand. These sites also have “locators” to help you find a professional in your area.

Association of Pet Dog Trainers

Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers

International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants

Animal Behavior Society

American College of Veterinary Behaviorists

Have you made any “pet resolutions” this year? Does your pet have a behavioral issue that is affecting the quality of your life? Have you successfully dealt with a significant behavioral issue in the past? Please share what you know so that others may offer advice and/or benefit from what you have learned.

Best wishes for a happy new year,

Nancy Kay, DVM

Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Author of Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life
Author of Your Dog’s Best Health: A Dozen Reasonable Things to Expect From Your Vet
Recipient, Leo K. Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, Eukanuba Canine Health Award
Recipient, AKC Club Publication Excellence Award
Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook

Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot is available at Amazon.com, local bookstores, and your favorite online book seller.

Walk with Your Dog

December 29, 2010

My esteemed fellow blogger, Jana Rade (Dawg Business: It’s Your Dog’s Health!)  has written an excellent piece that is ideal for any dog lover as we think about transitioning into a new year.  I think you will enjoy what Jana has written as much as I have.

Best wishes,

Dr. Nancy Kay

 

Time of resolutions is here. Personally, I prefer to avoid falling into this trap, I think that the only thing New Year’s resolutions are good for is to give you something to feel bad about later.

But if you are the New Year’s resolution type, and sometimes you even succeed in keeping them, here is a New Year’s resolution suggestion for you. Walk with your dog.I know it sounds obvious. But how often do you take your dog for a walk?

Walking with your dog is as good as putting money in the bank. It will keep both you and your dog healthier and happier, and it will strengthen your bond with your dog.

I’m sure you have heard the saying: ” A tired dog is a good dog”. People run into behavioral problems with their dogs all the time. Many of these could be easily avoided by providing their dog with enough exercise, mental stimulation and quality time with their owner.

A lot of people believe that you shouldn’t have a dog (particularly larger breeds) unless you own a house with a big yard. If you live in an apartment, no dogs for you. What I am seeing though is, if anything, it is the other way around.

I think that dogs living in an apartment are often happier than the ‘house with a big yard’ dogs. Here is why. If you live in an apartment, you have no choice. You have to at least take your dog around the block to go potty. More often than not, for dogs with big yards, the yard is it. They get put into the yard to go potty and to entertain and exercise themselves. This might work if there is more than one dog—they will play together and have a good time. But what is a single dog to do? Your dog doesn’t want to be alone in the yard, he wants to go somewhere and do something. With you.

Walks mean the world to dogs. We often spend a day at a friend’s farm. Our dogs are with us all day, having a great space to roam and investigate. But even then, they still cannot wait for their walk. We take them at the beginning and at the end of the day. And even though they have been outside all day, the walks are still exciting and important to them. It is just different from just hanging out and playing.

Even the  friend’s dog, who lives there and gets to use the property all the time, gets so excited to tag along. It is special time for him. It’s a ‘pack thing’.

Walking with your dog might help your dog to keep out of trouble, and it will make your bond stronger. Jasmine taught me this very early on. We walk our dogs every day, no matter what. Our dogs don’t get themselves into trouble, because they are content. They calmly hang around the house, awaiting their next walk time.

May you and your dog have the very best year ever!

Jana

Dawg Business: It’s Your Dog’s Health!

A graphic designer by profession, Jana became a dog mama by design. Her first puppy, Jasmine, changed her life completely, and now everything she does revolves around her. Jasmine’s health issues led Jana to focus her blogging efforts on dog health.

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Nancy Kay, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Author of  Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association 2009 Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, 2009 Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, 2009 Eukanuba Canine Health Award
Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook 

Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot is available at Amazon.com, local bookstores, and your favorite online book seller. 

Free Christmas or Chanukah gift wrap with books purchased between now and December 25th (www.speakingforspot.com/purchase.html).