Navigating the New Normal of How to Parent Our Pets

Those cute little faces make it pretty difficult to say no, don’t they? Yes, they are adorable. But there are some things that we as pet parents need to stand firm on to maximize their health. One of the most influential ways to appropriately parent our pets is to pay special attention to their daily routines.

In the last year, many of us spent a lot more time at home. With good intention, we quickly adjusted our daily lives, paid more attention to our pets, and adopted new pets. It is wonderful that our pets have been getting more attention, more love, and ultimately more veterinary care; but lots of businesses are trying to get back to life outside the home. Making that shift is going to require some effort from us all, pets and pet parents alike.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever given into a guilty pleasure. 👁👁

*Raises hand!* It’s okay, we all do it and this ideology often transfers over to how we interact with our pets. As evidenced by the article, Preparing Our Pups for Post-Pandemic Life, featured on ADM’s website, pandemic pandemonium heavily contributed to negative dietary changes for our pets. As a veterinarian, I offered my opinion for a candid survey-based discussion about what has transpired and how we can get ready for the changes that lie ahead.

The first step is talking about what has transpired and specifying what behaviors have led to unanticipated outcomes. Free-feeding versus feeding on a schedule, relaxing our standards on what our pets can eat, and exercising less are just a few examples of the effects that stay-at-home orders have had. A huge focus for the article is that many pets put on pounds in the last year. It’s not hard to believe that this is true, but in light of this, it has become more crucial that we maintain our pets’ weight.

Chinese Crested dog with ponytail and bandana standing in front of dog food bowl looking backward.

Veterinarians love to see pets that are “well-loved”, but that is not synonymous with over-conditioned. Their bodies are very sensitive to what we may perceive as small changes in weight. A couple of pounds can greatly increase their chances of developing conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease. The journey to healthier pets (and healthier humans too) can very easily be worked into post-pandemic lifestyles. Small changes in how we parent our pets can yield huge results; that is what we are encouraging.

Keep An Open Mind and Heart. Be Willing to Be Educated

The truest way to responsibly parent our pets is to arm ourselves with knowledge. While Dr. Google can be helpful in a bind, there are so many reputable sources overflowing with free information. There are more resources available to us now than there were to our parents and their parents before them when they were navigating these fur-filled waters. As with all things, the world of pet ownership will keep evolving and veterinarians will continue to conduct research that yields new findings. Preparing Our Pups for Post-Pandemic Life provides some great information and recommendations about how to get your pets ready for these new lives.

Now, go out there and be the best pet owner that you can be! Subscribe below and check out ADM’s video about their survey results!

It takes a village and we are proud to be a part of yours!

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