Make 2017 great for your pet

Make sure your pet’s collar tag is readable and accurate.
Make sure your pet’s collar tag is readable and accurate. Getty Images

Here we are at the beginning of a brand new year. I’m always so thankful at the start of each year because that’s one of the many times I spend a few minutes remembering how fortunate I am.

I was a tiny baby alone, abandoned and afraid with an uncertain future. Actually, I wasn’t even sure I had a future. My very life was at stake the cold winter night I was deserted and left to fend for myself.

But then everything changed. I was adopted into a fabulous family and I’ve had an incredible, magical life ever since. I see every day as a blessing and I’ll be forever grateful.

I’ve learned from other rescued pets this is not a sentiment unique to me. In fact, dogs and cats saved from a life on the streets who are lucky enough to be adopted by loving families live with an overwhelming sense of gratitude. Most of us spend the rest of our enchanted lives showing our families how thankful we are and how much we love them for saving us.

So we’re able to enjoy the privilege of ringing in another new year. It’s such a wonderful feeling starting with a clean slate ready to embrace the new adventures that await us.

It’s also a great time to start the year off for with a renewed commitment to the pets in your life. It’s the perfect time to renew the promise of love, care and safety to that furry family member who has brought perpetual companionship, loyalty and absolute unconditional love into your life.

So what does that renewed commitment to your pet look like and how can you put it into action? For starters, evaluate your pet’s health.

Now would be a good time to set an appointment with your veterinarian for an annual check-up. Have the yearly vaccinations done, heartworm test, dental check and whatever else your veterinarian recommends. And, for sure, if your pet hasn’t already been spayed or neutered, please make an appointment for that procedure as well.

While you’re at the vet go ahead and get a microchip implanted. It will be a permanent way to identify your fur kid in the event he’s ever missing.

A further way to enhance safety and increase the chance your pet is located if he does go missing is to have a new identification tag engraved. Even if you currently have one, make a new one since the engraving wears off and the connection tends to break.

Another good identification tip is to write your phone number on your pet’s collar with a permanent Sharpie. This is just one added safety measure in case the ID tag disappears.

The next thing would be to look at the safety of your pet’s environment. If your pet is a cat, please consider having him stay inside always. A cat can happily live his entire life without being exposed to the dangers of the outdoors.

If you have a dog, he could also live inside, but of course must visit outside regularly. Please have him confined by a fence or leash when he’s outside.

Finally, commit to spending time daily with your pet. Pets of all ages need regular exercise and attention. Our favorite thing in the whole world to do is spend time with our family. And if we can play and exercise with our loved ones at the same time it’s just ideal.

Decide to make 2017 fantastic for you and your pet. This year can be our best one ever.

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