Dr. Katy Nelson, veterinarian at BelleHaven Animal Medical Center and host and executive producer of “The Pet Show with Dr. Katy” on Washington DC’s News Channel 8, offers five more ways to express your love:
1) Get social. Give the gift of good manners to your pup. A tired pup is a well-behaved pup. Giving the gift of doggie daycare or dog walking services is an amazing way to get your pets “zoomies” out, making them calmer and building lean muscle, too.
2) Love their diet. It’s time to take a closer look at what you’re feeding your pets. I recommend an all natural diet high in fresh animal proteins and low in carbs. If your dog is experiencing digestive or dermatological issues, it may be caused by certain ingredients. Talk to your vet about gradually switching him or her to a grain free or single-source protein food to narrow down the cause.
3) Buy a new bed. As our pets age, their joints need more support (just like us!). Simply giving them a fluffy bed may not provide all the support they need, especially for larger breeds. Consider looking into an orthopedic bed that will actually decrease pressure points and make them a little less “creaky” when they wake up in the morning.
4) Provide a proper collar/harness. Collars should truly only be used for identification purposes, not for leading your pet around. A proper fit requires you to be able to slip two fingers underneath the collar comfortably. A harness is a much healthier and effective way of leading your pet as it distributes the force more evenly and does not lead to collapsing rings of the trachea. Using a measuring tape to measure around the neck, the deepest point of the chest, and the widest part of the shoulders can help you to find the proper fit.
5) Make an appointment with your veterinarian. There truly is no greater gift than the gift of good health. Bringing your pet in for regular check ups helps catch problems earlier, saving your pet pain and suffering, and saving you money!