2023 Best Pet Health Tips

By Connor S.

You rang in the new year and it’s 2023! The holiday season is over, and you have a fresh start to keep the New Year’s resolutions you set for yourself. But did you make a New Year’s resolution for your pet as well? It’s not too late if you haven’t! One of the best New Year’s resolutions you can make for your furry friend is to encourage them to be healthier. Luckily, you play a big part in that. Follow these 2023 pet tips to help your four-legged friend be the epitome of health this year.

1. Winter Exercise

The tough winters in central Pennsylvania come as no shock. They are often cold, snowy, and lack adequate daylight. However, you still want to make sure your furry friend gets the appropriate amount of exercise they need each day to remain healthy throughout the start of the new year.

Most cats are content pacing around the house, and they do not need a lot of exercise beyond that to remain healthy. On the other hand, dogs do require more intense exercise and must go outside at various points throughout the day, for extended periods of time. In fact, it’s recommended that dogs get 30 minutes to 2 hours of exercise each day. Small dog breeds like terriers and pugs require less exercise, while larger dog breeds like retrievers and great Danes need much more. In addition, puppies tend to need more exercise as well so they can get rid of their excess energy.

There are many different types of exercises you and your four-legged friend can do throughout the new year. On warmer winter days you can take your dog on longer walks, try interval walking, go on runs, play fetch in the snow, and so on. On colder days, there are many indoor pet-friendly exercise activities that you and your pet can partake in. For instance, you could play hide and seek with treats, do dog-yoga, puppy push-ups, climb up and down the stairs, or use a dog treadmill. Overall, you want to make sure your pet gets the same amount of exercise they would get if it wasn’t the winter.

2. Annual Vet Visits

At the start of 2023, make sure your pet is healthy by bringing them to the vet for their annual wellness exam. A wellness exam normally consists of a physical exam of your pet, in which your veterinarian will examine your pet’s ears, teeth, heartbeat, and reproductive organs, among other things. Your pet’s weight will also be taken and documented, so you can see your pet’s weight trend over time. Moreover, your veterinarian will tell you the different vaccinations that are recommended for your pet, so they can get them as needed. Lastly, an annual vet visit is the perfect time for you to bring up anything that you are concerned about.

In addition to annual checkups, the start of a new year is the perfect time to ensure you have the proper tools to keep your pets healthy. One of the tools that you should have on hand is pet insurance. Looking into pet insurance and how it works will show you that certain costs associated with annual checkups and emergency vet visits will be mitigated, and your furry friend will get the proper care they need at all times. Not only will pet insurance help keep your pet healthy, but your wallet too. The last thing you want to start the year is a sudden injury to your pet that puts you down thousands of dollars.

3. Pet Socialization

There is a lot more to keeping your pet healthy than making sure they get adequate exercise and going to the vet when they should. A fully healthy pet needs a vibrant social life, much in the same way people need to have a social life.

There are many reasons why pet socialization is important for your furry friend. One reason is that pets that socialize tend to be more active and get more exercise. For instance, when you bring your dog to the dog park, they meet new dogs and tend to chase after each other.

Socialization is beneficial for our pet’s mental health too. When dogs or cats are able to play with each other or meet new people, they tend to be more trusting to others. This in turn makes them less anxious and fearful of other cats, dogs, humans, etc. It even makes them less frightened of sounds and smells as well.

One final reason why you should make an effort to socialize your cat or dog this year is because it’s a confidence building mechanism. When your pet has positive encounters while meeting others, then they will have more confidence and will want to make as many new friends as they can. Even if they have a negative experience with another animal, a positive experience afterwards can help them understand that normally socialization is a positive experience.

4. Examine Your Pet’s Diet

Similar to how most of us examine our own diets after the holiday season, you should also examine your pet’s diet to set them up for success in 2023. There are many health benefits for pets who follow a proper diet. A well-balanced diet will help your four-legged friend have a better coat, stronger bones, a finer muscle tone, better teeth, and fewer gastrointestinal problems. Perhaps most importantly of all, when your cat or dog is following a proper diet they will have more energy and will generally feel better every day.

Regardless of the type of pet you own, make sure they are indulging in well balanced meals. They should be consuming proper amounts of protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. The amount of each and the kind of food your furry friend needs will depend on their size and breed. However, it’s always a good idea to consult a vet to find out which food is ideal for your pet. Lastly, as difficult as it can be, make sure to not feed them table food every time you eat. This can lead to major health problems like obesity.

5. Quality Time

The last 2023 pet health tip is to make sure you are creating enough quality time to spend with your dog, cat, or other pet. Spending quality time with your pet will not only benefit your pet, but you as well.

Creating quality time with your pet is great for them because it gives them time to play with a friend. Life is busy, and sometimes we ignore our pets more than we should. When this happens they often lay around bored and depressed. Conversely, when we take time to play with our pets, they are content and get to participate in something they enjoy. Likewise, when you spend time with your pets, ideally doing something they like such as playing tug, giving them belly rubs, etc., it will help create a strong and loyal bond with one another.

As important as quality time is from your pet’s perspective, it’s equally advantageous to spend time with pets for your own health. Pets help you feel calm, less anxious, and less stressed when you spend time with them. They also help to enlighten your mood, and generally make you happier. In sum, spending time with pets is great for your mental health. Ultimately, you are in charge of the health and well-being of your furry friend. Above all, you want to make sure they are happy, healthy, and loved all year round. Start off this new year right by making sure you follow these key health tips in 2023!