Tips for Kicking Off a Healthy New Year with Your Pet


With the start of a new decade, it’s the perfect time to set New Year’s resolutions for a happier, healthier 2020. The start of a new year not only means new beginnings and goals for people, but also for their pets. To kick the New Year off right, PetSmart’s resident veterinarian and pet care expert, Dr. Jennifer Freeman, DVM, shares her top three tips for pet health and wellness in 2020:

#1: Exercise Regularly.
One of the most popular human resolutions applies to pets, too. While all pets need exercise, it’s important to consider age, breed and current health when determining the extent. Most dogs typically need at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day, whether it’s walking, running or playing fetch.

A Pet Poll, conducted by DART Insight for PetSmart, shows how much Canadian dog owners are typically walking per day. The poll found Canadian dog owners walk an average of 13.5 blocks per day. Albertans walked the most at 16.1 blocks per day followed by Saskatchewan/Manitoba dog owners at 15.05 blocks per day. With the cold weather in full swing, the Top Paw® Outdoor Dog Booties and Beaver Canoe Woven Dog Parka will keep pups warm and toasty while they meet their daily exercise goals.

A great indoor option for mental and physical stimulation is PetSmart’s Doggie Day Camp, with its new structured play format called The Ultimate Experience, available at select Ontario PetSmart locations. The revolutionized day camp provides pets with a structured schedule of enriching activities for their bodies and minds. The Ultimate Experience also gives store associates the opportunity to build stronger, more positive relationships with canine campers through a variety of mentally stimulating games, story time, “yappy hour,” rest and relaxation and bubble time.

#2: Groom Your Pet.
“Regular grooming is important for every dog, regardless of size, age and coat type, because it helps prevent common problems such as excessive shedding, skin and paw irritation, painful hair mats and overly long toenails,” said Dr. Freeman. Ideally, dogs should be professionally groomed every four to six weeks. It’s important for pet parents to share any pre-existing health conditions or concerns with stylists ahead of time so the service can be customized to their pet’s needs, temperament and health.Coping Tips, Loss, Grief, Pets, Rhonda Massad, News, West Island News, West Island Blog, Depression, Dogs, Cats, Family pet

In between professional grooming services, pet parents can keep their dogs’ coats well-maintained by using products like the Top Paw® 3-in-1 Wet-Dry Pet Grooming Glove and special pet shampoos like Top Paw® Oatmeal Baking Soda Shampoo, which provide the right balance of cleaning agents and moisturizers for a softer and healthier looking coat.

#3: Choose the Right Food.
There is no doubt that eating nutritious food is another popular 2020 goal – and that goes for pets, too.  Knowing what’s in your pet’s food can help you better understand the type of nutrition your dog or cat is or isn’t consuming. “Start by reading the ingredients on the food label, paying special attention to the first three ingredients, which make up the majority of the food,” said Dr. Freeman. “While each animal has its own unique nutritional needs, every pet needs to consume an adequate amount of protein.” Always consult with your veterinarian to choose the most appropriate diet for your pet’s needs. If you decide a switch is in order, PetSmart store associates are available to help pet parents sort through their options.

*Survey methodology
A total of 1,600 pet owners were surveyed—800 dog owners and 800 cat owners by DART Insight and Communications Inc. Using a Bayesian Credibility Interval, the national combined pet owner’s results are deemed to be accurate to +/- 2.8%, 19 times out of 20; dog and cat owners weighted to 800 sample each are deemed to be accurate to +/- 4.0, 19 times out of 20. A copy of the analysis and data are available at


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