Another new year has begun and, as always, we all write down our resolutions. I want all pet owners to put the well-being of their pets on their lists. Here are a couple important ones that can benefit humans and their companions:

Invest in pet insurance or a pet health savings plan

The economic outlook this year is a bit scary with rumors of recession and inflation. Having a pet health plan can help you avoid financial problems if your pet is sick or even avoid the ugly idea of ​​”cheap euthanasia.”

Even healthy puppies and cats can have emergencies like poisonings, accidents, injuries from fights, and foreign bodies. These are 100% treatable but also very expensive if they require hospitalization and surgical intervention. It is much less expensive to prevent a disease than to treat it.

Some of these health care plans will even reimburse some money for annual blood tests and routine dental care. Many pet owners underestimate the power of routine blood tests and veterinary care. Finding blood values ​​early enough that may be predisposing factors for the disease can completely change the course of the disease. In addition, it is a good way to increase the longevity and quality of life of your pet because we act quickly before any symptoms appear.

Don’t put off or miss veterinary exams and visits. If your pet is injured or sick, delaying veterinary care could result in increased expenses. If you don’t find a plan you like, open an additional savings account and make an automatic deposit of $50 per paycheck that can build up a reserve for pet care emergencies or surprises.

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Start an exercise program with your furry friend

Many pets in the United States are just as overweight as their human counterparts. The New Year is a great time to commit to losing those extra pounds.

This resolution is one of the most popular among humans and should include pets. Studies show that dog owners spend about twice as much time walking each week as non-dog owners. This positive reinforcement can be beneficial to your goals and help your pet lose weight as well.

In addition, walking together is a way to strengthen the body with your pet and also release stress. This activity enriches the dog’s brain and deepens the human-animal bond. Some studies have shown that a deeper bond may benefit from increasing oxytocin in pets and humans.

mitsie vargas

Reserve regular spa days for you and your pet

Looking your best is another popular resolution each year. Why not include your pets?

Keeping a pet well-groomed can help prevent skin problems and the associated expense of a vet. Scheduling a recurring appointment for your pet will ensure your furry companion gets regular nail trims, ear cleaning and coat care.

It will also serve as a second set of eyes to examine your pet for problems that require veterinary attention.

Happy and healthy 2023 to all my readers.

Mitsie Vargas is at Orchid Springs Animal Hospital in Winter Haven. She can be contacted at [email protected]