New Year's resolutions for pet owners

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New Year's Resolutions for pets - provided by Pet Vet Dr. Sandi Norman

1. I will give my pet dedicated time in 2010.

Pets really just want your time more than anything-they are socialized to your family-pack or pride-so making sure there is time each day for your pet is one of the best resolution you can make and usually pretty easy to keep!

2. I will have my pet spayed or neutered.

A happy healthy pet has a longer life and is a much better family member when it is spayed or neutered. It is an economical, one-time expense that lasts a lifetime and helps with the millions of animals we euthanize yearly in this country

3. I will provide my pet health care appropriate for his age and condition.

Get the needed testing or screening done so pets can get early treatment and you can develop good base data on your pet's health and a good relationship with your veterinarian.

4. I will give heartworm medication/flea prevention/control on a regular basis.

Fleas are a year round problem, even in our cold climate. They live in the house and also outside in warmer climates. Year round flea prevention/medication keeps the population from bugging your pet!

5. I will start my pet on a proper diet for his age/medical condition.

One of the great developments in animal nutrition is that we have great foods for different stages of life and medical conditions that can minimize you visits to the vet and help control problems associated with that medical condition. The new year is a good opportunity to get started on that path by finding a diet that works for your pet and sticking with it.

6. I will learn to groom my pet for good health.

The new year is a great opportunity to learn how to groom your pet. Many of these minor grooming procedures can be done at home where it is less stressful to the pet.

7. I will exercise and play with my pet more.

Our pets are part of our family so carve out a small amount of time with them each day or a dedicated time each week. They become much better pets when you include them in your life.

8. I will enroll in a basic training class.

This is especially true for new puppy owners. If you have a pet with a behavior problem, ask you veterinarian and seek out special help from experts to work toward solution. It will take time and patience, but you will be rewarded with less stress and a happier family member.

9. I will socialize my pet to other pets and people.

Enroll in a dog park or take your brand new puppy to socialization classes so that they become used to other animals and people.

10. I will donate time/effort/resources to a local animal welfare group.

Both your time and your money are needed at the local shelters and humane groups in your city. You may be surprised what your talents can do for these organizations that need your help.

11. I will certify my pet as a therapy animal.

Do you have a pet that is especially social, patient and people-oriented? Then he might be a good therapy animal. We have discovered that pets increase life span, help speed recovery by patients young and old and are a great moral booster to people in various psychiatric and medical treatment programs. Contact your local humane group and they can direct you to a good resource.