Top 10 New Year's Resolutions you can make for your pet!

At the beginning of each year, we usually make resolutions and goals to change our lives for the better. “Out with the old and in with the new” is a phrase many of us try to adhere to as we forgo bad habits and replace them with healthier practices!  Just as we want to embrace positive changes for ourselves for the New Year, it is also the perfect time for us to take stock of ways to improve the lives of our pets.
Here are our Top ten New Year’s resolutions to keep your dogs and cats healthy and happy in 2015!

Resolution 1: Visit your vet annually

A yearly visit to your vet is very important to keep your pet healthy and prevent any serious underlying conditions that may occur. Older dogs and cats are more prone to arthritis, diabetes, obesity or even cancer and therefore easier to treat if detected early - making regular check-ups to your vet all the more important! This is the ideal time to chat to your vet about any behavioural issues that you may be concerned about or talk about any other concerns or questions you may have about how best to care for your pet. You may want to discuss homeopathic vaccination alternatives, skin and coat care, diet and a whole host of other pet care topics – and your annual visit to a vet is the best time to do this. If you prefer herbal and homeopathic remedies for your pet, it is a good idea to visit a vet with a holistic health practice.
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Resolution 2:   Update pet ID information

Make sure that your pet’s ID information is properly updated. Very often information changes when we move and forget to update our contact details. If your pet is lost and your contact information hasn’t been changed, it is most unlikely you will find your dog or cat. Your pet must either be micro chipped or have a collar with a tag which includes your pet’s name, your name, current address and telephone number.
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Resolution 3: Groom your pet daily

Grooming is vital part of caring for your pets and keeping them in good health. Regular brushing is necessary for both dogs and cats in order to remove excess hair from the coat, prevent matting and promote a healthy, shiny coat. Dogs should be bathed but bathing too often can result in the oils being stripped from the skin. The frequency of bathing generally depends on the breed, coat and their lifestyle. Your vet would be able to advise how often your dog should be bathed. Treat your pooch to a pamper session at your local groomer to keep him looking his very best! 

Cats groom themselves, and don’t need to be bathed unless it is absolutely necessary (we all know how much cats hate bathing!) In the PetAlive range, we have natural remedies to treat skin conditions as well as promote a healthy skin and coat.  Skin & Coat Tonic is a herbal remedy to keep your pet’s coat in tip top condition all year round. Our Allergy Itch Ease is formulated especially for dogs and cats with itchy skin and, along with a regular flea prevention program, can bring great relief to animals with itchy and inflamed skin!

Pets also need to have their nails trimmed as long nails can affect their ability to walk properly and can also get caught in carpets or other places which can result in injury– have your groomer or vet clip your pet’s nails if you can’t do itself 

For some great tips on how often to groom your dog and how to do a good job, read our informative article.
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Resolution 4: Use a flea preventative

Preventing and controlling fleas is a very important part of taking care of your pet. If you find a flea on your pet, you can be sure that it has found its way into your home. Dogs and cats that are not treated immediately for fleas will experience itching, scratching, hair loss and skin irritations. In the case of animals that have a flea allergy, even ONE flea can cause a rash and skin irritation.

Many people ask us about natural flea prevention. While we would love to say that this works 100% in all cases, unfortunately we cannot. For pets in low risk areas who are groomed regularly, natural flea prevention products can be sufficient. However, when flea infestation is a big problem and especially if your dog or cat has a flea allergy, some more serious action is required. Use a vet recommended flea treatment in the form of a topical application or spray on your dog or cat. Make sure you choose a product that works on fleas (invertebrates) and is not toxic to pets.

It is important that you treat your pet for fleas every four weeks. Never use the same product that is intended for use on your dog for your cat or vice versa. Canine flea products can be deadly toxic to cats!

For pets with a flea allergy, our FleaDerm is a topical cream that can be applied onto the affected area to stop the itching from the flea bites. Your dog will also enjoy our BeFree Flea Shampoo which is a gentle cleansing shampoo to prevent and treat fleas. Regular treatment with Feelgood Pets AllergyClear Pets and Allergy Itch Ease will help to treat the problem from the inside as well as the outside!
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Resolution 5: Practice good oral hygiene habits

Pet owners often neglect their animal’s teeth! This year make it your mission to brush your dog or cat’s teeth daily to prevent tooth decay, plaque build-up, receding gums and gingivitis. Remember to only use toothpaste recommended for pets and not human toothpaste! There are also tooth brushes specially designed for your pooch and kitty, so make sure that you buy one too.  To learn how to brush your cat or dog’s teeth, click here for our informative article on pet oral hygiene care.

A healthy diet, dental treats and chew toys will keep your pet’s teeth in great shape. Regular dental check-ups and cleaning at your vet are guaranteed to keep your pet’s teeth clean and healthy even when they enter their senior years. Use our Gumz n Teeth, which is a 100% safe and natural combination of herbal and homeopathic ingredients for preventing gum disease and tooth decay in pets as well as improving their overall dental health.
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Resolution 6: Feed your pet a healthy diet

Dogs and cats need to be fed a diet rich in essential nutrients and vitamins to keep them in tip top condition. Pet owners are often guilty of feeding their pet pals table scraps or too many treats which contributes to weight gain or other digestive issues – be resolute about not feeding your pet anything other than his food! Choose a vet recommended brand of food for your pet or if you are eager to switch to a more natural diet, try DoggoBone Raw Active Food for Dogs or Vondi’s cooked foods. (available from Feelgood Health, 8 Gabriel Road Plumstead or call 021 797 0193)
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Resolution 7: Exercise your pet

Have you been slacking off on walking your pooch regularly in the last year? Let this be the year where you make up for all the walks he has lost out on. Regular exercise is essential for your pet’s physical and mental health. Dogs need that stimulation especially if they are shut in at home the whole day. Switch up your dog’s exercise routine by including walking, swimming or playing fetch with him during the week – you will reap the rewards too when you see how fit you’ve become!

Cats also need exercise. If your indoor kitty has become a bit lazy, invest in a cat tree or scratching pad for him to play and jump around. Other activities to keep your cat more active include using toys – for instance a toy mouse attached  to the end of a stick and dangled for them to try and reach - or even chasing a laser toy!
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Resolution 8: Pet proof your home and property

Just like you need to child proof your home, so you also need to pet proof your living areas. Your home has many potential hazards indoors and outdoors which can be a danger for your beloved pets. Keep medications, detergents, household cleaners, electrical cords, string and toys out of reach of pets.

Human foods such as chocolate, grapes or raisins are toxic for dogs while indoor plants and flowers such as lilies, daisies, poinsettias and carnations are poisonous for cats. Insecticides and pesticides used in the garden are also dangerous for pets. Make sure that you’ve closed containers properly and lock them up after use and out of your pet’s reach. If your property is not enclosed and your pet keeps trying to escape, you need to install a gate or fence.
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Resolution 9: Keep your pet’s living area clean and tidy

Keep your pet’s sleeping area clean and hygienic at all times – even if your pet sleeps outside. Wash bedding  weekly on a warm cycle and air beds daily. If your dog sleeps in a kennel, give it a good scrub down too! Vacuum pet hair from carpets, sofas and beds to keep your living area clean. Dog poop should be picked up and litter boxes changed daily to prevent an accumulation of waste matter and flies, as well as to reduce nasty odours. Always keep your outside area clean and disinfect the area where your pet spends most of his time (remember to use a bio-degradable product which is good for your pet AND the environment!)
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Resolution 10: More quality time with your pet

This year spend more time bonding with your pet. All our pets want is our undivided attention, a regular routine, a few hugs and cuddles and lots of praise. With our hectic lives and schedules, we sometimes forget to give them the “gift of our time”. Set aside at least 15 minutes each day to connect with your furry pal. It’s entirely up to you how you decide to spend time with your pet – snuggling in front of the TV, an evening walk around the neighbourhood or giving him leisurely brush down. You can be sure that all efforts will be appreciated!
HAVE A QUESTION related to your pet?
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Customers from the UK, Canada, Europe and USA, see more at: Native Remedies - Allergy Itch Ease, Skin & Coat Tonic, Gumz n Teeth,  

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