People are not the only ones who can benefit from a New Year’s resolution that centers around health. With winter weather that’s less-than-desirable, and daylight that tends to end far too early, your typical healthy habits might not cut it. The team at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services is here to help you find some healthy habits for pets in the New Year:

Play More Together Indoors 

With some pet accessories and a little creativity, you can keep your pets entertained (and active) even in small spaces. Playtime is the perfect opportunity to enhance the bond you have with your pet. The following toys can help you encourage your pets to play indoors this winter:

  • A soft ball for fetch (make sure it is a material that is not likely to break valuables in your home)
  • A tug-of-war toy
  • A laser pointer (cats aren’t the only ones who enjoy chasing the red light)
  • Enrichment toys and puzzles (keeping your pets physically and mentally engaged is good for their health)
  • Any kind of toy that you can hide and let your pet loose to find it

Go for a “Walk” In Your House

If the weather is too cold for your daily walk, you can still get those steps in without leaving your home. Do a few laps in your living area, have your pet follow you up and down the stairs, or walk through every room of your house a few times. You might not complete a 5K, but any and every movement you and your pet get in adds up to a healthier lifestyle. 

Prepare for Walks Outside

Sometimes it’s impossible to avoid going outside with your pet in the cold. Any time you must brave the elements, it is important to properly prepare. Protect your pet’s paws with weather-safe booties. You might want to have him practice walking in them at home before attempting to walk outside with them. If the temperatures are really frigid, invest in a coat for your pup. Make sure it fits properly and isn’t too restrictive. When you return from the walk, use a towel to clean off your pup’s paws, chest, and stomach to remove any ice or chemicals.

Healthy Habits for Pets this Winter: Nutrition Edition

The food your pet eats is an incredibly important aspect of overall health and wellness. Take advantage of the start of a new year to check in with your vet to make sure your pet’s getting the proper nutrition. Ensuring your pet stays at a healthy weight is the cornerstone of a good wellness routine and contributes to your pet’s longevity. If you need to make any adjustments to the type of food or the amount you give, this is a great time to start.

Schedule a Wellness Visit

After choosing which healthy habits for pets you want to include for 2024, you may want to schedule a wellness visit with your regular vet. Animals have a tendency to hide when they aren’t feeling their best. Because of this, you might not always know when something is going on with their health. Scheduling a wellness visit in the New Year is a great way to ensure that your pet is healthy and happy as we dive into 2024. Your veterinarian can do a nose-to-tail exam and some basic diagnostics to give you peace of mind that your pet is healthy. 

Happy New Year from the team at OVRS. We are thrilled to be able to offer exemplary emergency and specialty veterinary care for another year. We are here to give your pets extra help when they need it. To learn more, please call (248) 334-6877.