It's that time of the year when many people are setting goals for the new year. Don't forget to also make a list for your pets to help keep them healthy and happy.
Make sure your pet sees a veterinarian at least once this and every year for an annual exam. Your vet can check dental health, lumps and bumps, heart murmurs and update shots. March 15th is the licensing deadline and you'll need updated shots, so think about those appointments now.
Make sure your pet has an ID. Whether it's a tag or microchip, it's crucial to getting him back if he gets lost. Take an updated photo of your pet. It's good to have in the event you need to find him or her. Check their collar as well. You should be able to run two fingers beneath it.
Pay attention to your pet, especially during the winter. With limited outdoor activity, your pet gets as bored as you do and may become destructive. A game of tug, tag, hide the kibble or simply petting your little guy or gal is all quality time that will pay off.
Practice good pet hygiene. Now is a good time to trim the fat. If he or she is not moving as much this winter, cut out treats and reward with attention. Brush them as this will not only remove dead hair and keep their coat healthy, it will also help you identify lumps, hair loss or other changes that should be checked by your vet.
If you have a kitty, clean the litter box daily and do a complete litter change once a week. Polish up your pet's manners. Practice at home or go to an obedience class. Teach your pet a fun interactive game like fetch, shake or speak.
Look online and learn the basics of pet massage. It can give relief to older, arthritic pets and also be a great bonding experience.
We all get busy and it seems you never get enough time with your pets, so make the most of the time you do take with them. The payback is another great year of companionship and unconditional love from your best friend.
The Nebraska Humane Society is located at 8929 Fort Street in Omaha and is open weekends from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and weekdays 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. You can always look up animals and find information at nehumanesociety.org.