Pet Care: Strengthening Your Bond Through Wellness

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Spending time at home during the pandemic has given many of us a new appreciation for the role our animal companions play in our lives and shown us the value of interactive play for both them and us. Tossing a tennis ball or hiking our beautiful Pioneer Valley with your dog, or pre-dinner wand toy play with your cat keeps both you and them physically fit and mentally stimulated as well as tightening that human-animal bond. Are you a yogi? Cat winding between your legs during downward dog or sitting on your tummy during final relaxation—it’s all good! And don’t forget to plan in some snuggle time under that fleece security blanket for you and your pets at the end of the day.

Preventative medical care is as important for your animal companions as it is for you. Like you and your family, your pets should have annual checkups. Their veterinarian will also recommend a vaccine schedule to guard against preventable illnesses. Annual checkups can identify issues such as thyroid, diabetes, and kidney problems which are treatable if diagnosed early. And be sure your pets are microchipped and registered for that one time kitty sneaks out a door left ajar. (Remember to update their microchip registration if you move or change your contact information!)

For health and behavioral questions for your animal companions, there are some great websites on the internet with articles written by vets. These include WebMD’s Fetch, PETMD, and Idexx’s Pet Health Network,  

So join our pack of like-minded animal lovers and Take the Dakin Dare. Through the #ByMySide 31-Day Activity Challenge we’ll give you lots of ideas to keep both you and your pets healthy and happy.

Contributed by Marianne Gambaro

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