The Neighborhood Vet Blog
As you’re shopping for the holiday season, you may ask yourself, “What’s the best gift I can give my pet?” While pet sweaters are cute and can make for adorable holiday cards, we believe the best present a pet parent can gift their pet is a healthy, happy life. When you invest in your pet’s wellbeing, you’re giving the most heartfelt gift a pet could ask for (if they knew how to speak). As a pet parent, you are your pet’s advocate for a better life. You’re like Santa but better--you have the opportunity to make your pet merrier every day of the year.
So, think outside of the gift box this year, and provide your pet with more than can fit under the tree.
1. Provide Your Pet with Plenty of Playtime
Pets need exercise--both physical and mental exercise. If your pet passed puppyhood or kittenhood, don’t give up on play sessions and training sessions. For the holidays, consider purchasing some new toys that encourage physical and mental stimulation. Consider a puzzle bowl for your dog or a puzzle feeder for your cat.
Just for cats: Increase the merriment and reignite the kitten within: catnip is where it’s at. Consider a window cat perch, so your cat can watch the birds and other critters. This will surely bring some extra meowiment to winter.
Just for dogs: Take your dog on a special hike or walk. Choose a place you’ve never explored. The new sights and smells are a priceless gift without a large price tag.
2. A Well-Balanced Diet: An Unbeatable Way to Show Your Love
Proper nutrition is a gift that goes a long way. Your pet’s food forms the foundation for their health. Why else does your pet’s diet matter? One of the leading health issues for pets is obesity. A healthy diet can combat obesity and related health issues.
What does your pet need to stay healthy? Choose a food that exceeds the AAFCO guidelines. Look for meat as the top ingredient and be sure the ingredient list is short and simple. Like people, pets often need a diet designed for their needs. We can make finding the best food for your pet as easy as a quick discussion during your pet’s exam.
3. Don’t Skip Regular Checkups & Preventative Medical Care
When you bring your pet in for a regular checkup, you’re giving her the gift that goes beyond the surface. A wellness exam allows us to screen for health issues, provide your pet with vaccines to protect her health after you leave, and help spot potential health issues. Early detection of diseases can save your pet’s life and save you the added cost of more complex treatments. Early diagnosis and prevention are the equivalents of better prognosis and simplified treatment.
Preventing fleas, ticks, intestinal worms, and heartworms is more than just preventing discomfort. Medications that prevent these pests also block the diseases that come along with them like Lyme disease.
Don’t forget the smile. One of the most commonly overlooked preventative health measures for pets is dental checkups. Skipping dental care can lead to pain and periodontal disease for your pet. And while periodontal disease may not seem serious, it has been linked to many other serious health issues for pets.
4. Protect Your Pet & Ensure Her Safe Return
With New Year’s Eve right around the corner, it’s a great time to check your pet’s microchip contact information and ID tag. If your family welcomed a new pet into your home recently, be sure your pet is chipped and has an ID tag with your phone number and any medical concerns. Many pet parents have their pets microchipped but forget to update the information when they move or change numbers. Others never even register their pets’ chips. Don’t let your pet get left out in the cold this year. Give yourself and your pet the gift of peace of mind, safety, and security.
5. Don’t Forget the Love, Affection, & Attention
The holidays can be stressful--especially this year. Don’t forget to take a little extra time to snuggle, pet, and love on your pet. Petting your cat or dog doesn’t cost a cent and the extra cuddles remind your pet of how amazing they are! Not only will your pet benefit from positive endorphins, but this gift comes with the added bonus of reducing your stress and improving your mood--now, isn’t that better than anything that can be bought on Black Friday?
Unwrap a lifetime of good health for your pet. When you gift your pets with a lifetime of feeling great, your pets will repay the kindness in happy memories, fun, and longer lives. Don’t skip the gifts that matter most. Before Santa arrives, make an appointment for your pet’s wellness exam.