It’s a new year, check in with your pet
Entering a new year tends to set off a lot of checklists. What did you accomplish in the year that just ended? What are your resolutions for the year that’s just beginning? While we’re all feeling reflective and geared up to get things done, it’s not a bad idea to put a little bit of that energy toward your pets. Take some time this month to run through a checklist for your furry friend; it’s a great opportunity to update, plan, and refresh for a happy, safe and healthy year. Check your pet’s ID Microchips and collar tags are great tools, but they’re only as useful as we, as pet owners, make them. Check your pet’s tags for legibility (it’s amazing how much those suckers can wear down) and accuracy, and if it’s time to get new ones, go ahead and put in that order. If your pet is microchipped, how long has it been since you logged in online to update their profile? HomeAgain, the microchips we use at Woodford Humane, allow you to provide tons of helpful information in the event that your pet gets lost, including photos, unique markings, medical conditions, and of course contact information for you, a back-up person and your veterinarian. The most important detail is keeping your phone number and address up to date, but medical information can be just as critical if your pet is found and a stranger needs to provide them with temporary care. Touch base with your vet Prevention and awareness are the best treatments for a multitude of potential health problems. Call up your vet and see what your pet may need in the coming year. When will they be due for vaccinations? How long has it been since they had a blood panel? Do those teeth need a cleaning? Have they had a regular old routine exam in the last year? You can’t prepare for every single thing that might send your pet to the vet in a year, but you might be able to avoid some surprises if you plan from the start. Refresh your first aid kit and emergency plan If you keep a pet first aid kit, and we recommend that you do – especially if you travel with your pets often, or go on lots of camping or hiking adventures with them – pull everything out at least once a year to check for expired or degraded items and swap them out for new ones. Antibiotic ointment, adhesive tape, eye drops, even rubber gloves have a shelf life and must be swapped out intermittently. Plus, taking a close look at your first aid kit at least once a year is a great chance to brush up on how to handle common scenarios that may arise. We don’t have a lot in the way of natural disasters to plan for here in Kentucky, but anyone anywhere can be affected on occasion by fire, flooding or extreme winter weather. Make, review, and/or update your emergency plan this month too, so you know where you and your pets can go if you’re forced to leave your home. Swap out toys and gear We saved the best for last: out with the old, in with the new! We know you picked up some presents for your pets over the holidays, so maybe it’s time to swap out some of their old stuff. Sort through those toys, collars, jackets, etc. and weed out the ones your pets have outgrown or no longer enjoy. Your gently used gear can be donated and get a second life at Woodford Humane; or, in the case of toys, sometimes you just need to rotate them out periodically for them to become exciting again. If your New Year’s resolution was to add a pet to your home, we can help with that too! Stop by Woodford Humane Tuesday through Sunday, or get in touch with us at 859-873-5491 or firstname.lastname@example.org.