The year 2020 turned out a lot differently than many veterinarians had thought it might. After the coronavirus pandemic broke, we all thought the industry would tank and many smaller veterinary clinics would be in or on the brink of financial ruin. Then the government financial stimulus programs arrived along with a giant wave of isolated pet owners with more disposable income available to them seeking veterinary care. TO OUR BELOVED PETS: A NEW YEAR RESOLUTION
The human-animal bond saved veterinary medicine in 2020, and now that we are approaching 2021, it’s important we continue this trend even as some of us start going back to our normal routines. In 2020, more of us stayed home in the company of our pets while working and attending online school courses. It was the best home monitoring experiment for our pets and as a result, our pets received better care and more attention than ever before.
So as we ring in 2021, let’s remember our pets also saved US from our loneliness and isolation.
Together, let our resolutions for the new year include:
- Consult with your veterinarian about all of your pets at least twice a year throughout adulthood. Senior age pets really should be evaluated at least 3-4 times a year, and Geriatric pets 4-12 times yearly. Take advantage of virtual visits if your veterinarian offers them. They are simple and often offered at a lower price than in-person visits. Virtual visits are not a replacement for in-person visits, but they can certainly help bridge longer gaps between office visits.
- Put your smartphones down and spend some time with your pets instead. You and your pets need each other’s company, and it’s been shown that pets have a beneficial impact on human health. Nurture them, nurture you. Photograph or videotape these interactions – they make sweet memories in our futures and help with healing the pain of separation, temporary or permanent.
- Feed your pet things that are good for their bodies and do not overfeed. Rewarding pets with your time and attention can make a great substitute for caloric-dense treats that can lead to obesity, chronic medical issues, and lowered immunity. Your veterinarian can counsel you on what you should be feeding your pet.
- If you do not know the answer to a question you have about the care you’re providing or about to provide for your pet, please ask a veterinarian first. There are lots of licensed veterinarians at your fingertips that you can access from your computer or phone. There is a ton of misinformation out there that is potentially very harmful and even deadly if applied to your situation. Encourage others you see on platforms to consult their veterinarian rather than seek out advice on an unregulated site. You can help others seek out meaningful and accurate information by steering them in the direction of a professional.
To better health and happiness in 2021!