2016 is the year of the healthy pet! A few simple New Year resolutions can significantly improve their quality of life, helping them stay happy and preventing more serious problems further on. As an owner, you are responsible for their wellbeing and Animal Care Hospital of Phoenix is ready to help. Here are three simple lifestyle improvements that will turn you into a superowner.

Brush Up

While a central part your routine (or should be), its is easy to forget that that pets benefit from regular teeth brushing and dental exams as well. Veterinary dental exams are one of most important parts of preventative care. A good exam will teach you many important components of at-home care, including proper brushing technique and pet dental product education. Exams are also used to evaluate your pet’s current dental health, discovering any potential problems and allowing treatment to begin before periodontal disease can develop serious complications.

Animal Care Hospital of Phoenix provides free dental evaluations for all of our patients. We recommend annual evaluations for all pets, with a corresponding teeth cleaning that includes dental radiographs to identify potential issues; hand scaling and curettage to remove plaque; and polishing, fluoride treatment and rinsing, improving tooth and gum health significantly.

We have many lucky patients that already benefit from regular dental care at home from their dedicated caretakers. And it truly amazing to see the difference in their oral health when we see them for their checkups! This regular care reduces the frequency of needed routine dental cleanings under anesthesia as well as future need for more involved procedures when extractions are required.

Check out the Veterinary Oral Health Council’s website (www.vohc.org) for a list of products that have been rigorously tested as successfully reducing plaque accumulation, as well as additional information on your pet’s oral health.

Get Fit

Exercising with your dog is a great way to burn calories while strengthening the pet-owner bond. Daily walks, gradually increasing in distance, help condition a pet without causing overexertion. Incorporating basic field exercises like fetch into your pets daily routine is a surefire way to reintroduce high-intensity activity to a pet, building fast-twitch muscle and improving agility. Progressing slowly and periodically increasing the workouts will prevent injury and exhaustion. Weight loss is a marathon, not a sprint. It is so rewarding to see our patients prance in to see us after successfully completing the weight loss plan we have recommended. They are visibly more energetic and happy!

Eat Well

The biggest component of pet weight loss is proper nutrition. Fortunately for your pet, you control the amount and type of food a pet consumes daily. Replacing a pet’s food with a special weight loss formulated type is a simple and effective way to reduce their caloric intake and burn fat. Your Animal Care Hospital of Phoenix veterinarian is the best resource for finding a diet that will work best for your pet, while also identifying underlying causes like hypothyroidism or hormonal imbalances.

Pet obesity contributes to an extensive list of serious long-term health complications including hypertension, cardiovascular disease, Diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure, breathing disorders, stroke and high cholesterol. Additionally, obese pets have significantly diminished quality of life, unable to move, run and play like nature intended, making maintaining a healthy weight crucial.

If you believe your pet’s dental health and fitness can be improved, please schedule an appointment with your Animal Care veterinarian today. Our staff is more than happy to give you the tools and education to help your pet live healthier, and provide comprehensive support when professional help becomes necessary.