Happy New Year from all of us here at the Humane Society of Southern Arizona!
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It’s 2018, and we are excited for the year ahead of us. In 2017, we found homes for over 6,000 homeless pets.
Soon, we will be moving into our new campus! The new campus will allow us to provide high-quality care for the pets in our shelter, find homes for even more pets, and keep the pets in our care healthier and happier while they wait for their forever homes. After 73 years in our current location, we are so excited for the changes ahead.
We asked our wonderful staff what they think responsible pet owners should do in the new year to keep their pets healthier and happier in 2018. Check out these eight pet resolutions for the new year.
1. Make sure your pet is getting regular exercise.
Regular exercise helps keep your pet at a healthy weight and can reduce destructive behavior. Going on walks and playing with your pet can even help you bond with your pet and benefit your health! Make time this year to help your pet get the exercise they need.
2. Don't leave your pet unattended with chew toys.
Many chew toys have the potential to pose a choking hazard, and can go from fun to dangerous very quickly. Keeping an eye on your pet while they have a chew toy (especially a new toy) is the best option for your pet’s safety and your peace of mind.
3. Make sure your pet's vaccines are up to date.
Our pets are family, and we want to keep them safe and healthy. Vaccines are an important part of this. Your pet’s core vaccines help prevent diseases that are easily transferable and/or fatal. Talk to your vet about your pet’s vaccines and make sure you stay on top of the schedule.
4. Get regular veterinary and dental checkups.
Regular checkups are critical to your pet’s health. Untreated medical and dental problems can cause a lot of pain and stress for your pets, and can even be fatal. It’s easy to forget about regular appointments if you are busy, but this year, make the time to get your pet to the vet (talk to your vet about how often they need to see you!). Your pets will thank you.
5. Make a commitment to do the things you've been putting off.
Does your pet need new toys? A potential adjustment of their medication? A new exercise routine? It can be easy to put off certain things that are beneficial to your pet’s well-being, especially if they’re not urgent. This year, make a commitment to take stock of your situation and do the things you’ve been neglecting. You are your pet’s only advocate, so their health and well-being is in your hands.
6. Feed your pet a healthy diet.
Between the countless different types of pet food at the store and the human food that you might give them on a regular basis, the well-balanced diet we’d all like to feed our pets sometimes falls to the wayside. It’s never too late to make necessary changes in your pet’s diet. Read up on some do’s and don’ts and talk to your vet about how to optimize what your pet eats.
7. Get your pet spayed or neutered and microchipped.
If you haven’t already, it’s time to get your pet spayed or neutered. There are a lot of myths about spaying and neutering pets, but the truth is that it is better for them, for you, and for the community. A microchip is another thing every pet should have. This small procedure can mean the difference between a lost pet coming home…or not.
8. Train your pet.
There’s no doubt about it, it would be great to have a perfectly well-behaved pet who can do neat tricks. However, most of us don’t. Start small this year by training your pets at home, or find a professional. Training can improve communication, reduce or eliminate behavior problems, builds confidence, and can even save your pet’s life.
When in doubt, you can always talk to your veterinarian about your pet’s health and well-being. They can give you some great pointers on small changes you can make today to make a big impact on your pet’s life!